You'll find a selection of common scenarios around difficult communication scenarios below, these will be OSCE-style histories, which require clinical acumen combined with well developed communication skills which give a chance to develop in both of these key areas. OSCE revision resources often overlook the difficulties that are caused to students by tricky communication situations which can perilously unnerve and wrong-foot a student in the middle of these daunting exams!
Today's sim is on back pain and encourages the candidate to take a thorough history whilst using their empathy and people skills to help the patient. There is a mark scheme included but you can add your own details to this to make it more applicable to your learning needs/ your curriculum. (the participant info sheet is for the student/ doctor taking the history.
This case may seem relatively simple until you consider the need to fully investigate the dual possibilities of UTI and sexually transmitted disease. The mark scheme contains a list of criteria that we feel are important to ask. Please feel free to add to/remove from this list as you see fit. You will need to use sensitivity in your communication whilst extracting lots of information to accurately diagnose the problem and cause.
This scenario is centered around the sensitive topic of HIV and as a result requires significant empathy and considerable communication skills to deal with this thoughtfully. This deals with the issues of sexually transmitted diseases, notifiable diseases and public health. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions that we can use to update and improve the case and other cases.
Everybody knows there is a large differential for headache cases. This case provides a great opportunity to practice both your information giving skills as well as your empathy and communication skills. You will not be given all of the clues so it will be necessary to use your clinical acumen to get to the bottom of what's going on here.