“My First OSCE”: A Tragedy In One Act
Me: Okay, sir, I’m just going to take your blood pressure and then we’ll move onto a physical exam. *pumps cuff up expertly*
Gauge: *briefly flutters around the 2 mmHg mark, then back to 0*
Me: … *tightens valve* Hmm. Sorry, sir, I’m going to readjust this and try to get this working.
Valve: No, you aren’t.
Me: Or it may be a problem with the cuff – *spends an eternity checking for leaks and pumping*
Me: *I am now holding a puffed up balloon of a cuff in my hand*
Patient: Aha, you fixed it!
Me: *releases valve* *nothing happens*’
Me: *awkwardly bats BP cuff balloon around* No, I guess it’s a problem with.. many things. Hmmm.
Me: Let’s see.. give me a sec?
Patient: Oh, uh, no problem.
Me: *runs to retrieve bag from waiting room*
Preceptor: What the -?
Me: *pulls out brand new sphygmomonometer from bag!*
Brand New BP Cuff: *is still awkwardly wrapped in plastic*
Me: *hastily fumbles with plastic* Sorry for the wait, sir – since you’re having chest pain, it’s just very important to me that I get your blood pressure right.
Patient: That is so impressive. I am so impressed right now.
Preceptor: … yeah, you have 5 minutes left.
“My Feedback”: A Short Disaster
My Standardized Patient: You know what I like about you? You’re tenacious. You just won’t give up!
Me: Thank you!
My Standardized Patient: No matter how bad things seem!
Me: Oh. Uh, thanks!
My Standardized Patient: – and no matter how utterly hopeless it seems, you refuse to give up. You have no ego. As an actor, I very much appreciate that quality. I wish you were one of my co-workers!
Me: That – hmm. That means a lot, thank you!
My Standardized Patient: What a fantastic experience.
Yes sir, my preceptor’s request to “bring that cuff to clerkship tomorrow so we can practice” is certainly a good sign. THINGS ARE LOOKING UP FOR LITTLE OL’ ME.