Here are some tips for you to remember in your exam and exam prep:
- Act confident. Even in real life, your confidence helps the patient feel safe.
- Always stop what you're doing when you hear the 4mins 30secs bell. Aim to finish before then, of course, but if you find that you have not completed your task in that time, here's what to do:
--Stop, thank the patient then tell the examiner what you would have done if you'd had more time (it takes less time to do this than to try and complete the task, plus this way you remain in total control of what's happening.)
- At the end of your task, whenever appropriate, tell the patient that you will give him/her a leaflet which will explain further about his/her condition. This is something you'd have to do in real practice too, so you might as well show that you know to do so. Check on the table when you enter the station to see if there's a leaflet on it. If there is, make sure you mention it. If there's none, use your initiative and mention it anyway.
- If you don't have a study partner, here's a great way to practice your history and counselling stations (and even your examination and procedure stations if you're creative enough:)): use a tape recorder and record yourself answering the question as you would on exam day. Then play back and critique your work.
Be your own harshest critic (better you than an examiner!). Don't let the absence of study partner hold you back. You can pass this exam without one. I know this for sure. You just need to BELIEVE that you can and you will.