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Do you need to be able to demonstrate the ability to undertake clinical examination of your patient?

Are you struggling to remember all the information you have to deal with?

Are you going to be examined in an OSCE?

Then I may be able to offer some help.

podcastsDuring my Masters Degree in Anaesthetic Practice I too had to learn the skill of clinical examination and at the end of the two and a half year course I had the pleasure of having to go through 14 OSCE stations, part of which was assessment of clinical examination skills.


Being a simple soul one of the ways I find easiest to absorb and retain information is through repetition. I use a number of techniques. Initial learning is by writing notes on what I am reading, which makes it a more active process. When I then want to remember the important points I get myself a big white board and keep writing them down and rubbing them out until I can do it from memory. I find that I can very quickly remember the key points this way which will then act as triggers for more detailed information.

The other technique I often use which I have always found very valuable is the use of audio tapes. I spend an hour and a half each working day travelling to and from work. This is valuable time which I have recently learned to utilize through the use of podcasts. So now I’m not only driving to work, but I’m learning new things at the same time. This seems like a very useful way to maximize my most valuable resource i.e. time.

I have been teaching the subject of history taking and clinical examination for well over five years now, and have probably taught well over 150 students during this time. One of the things I’ve discovered during this teaching is that nurses greatly benefit from the repetition involved in practising this important skill.

There are many parts of the clinical examination which do need to be practised with a hands-on technique. However I still feel it is extremely valuable to learn the process one goes through when examining each system so that you almost have a script in your head.

During an OSCE if you have learnt this script the whole process becomes much quicker and much slicker.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision MP3 Audio Tools

I have produced a series of short Clinical Examination audio files to assist in the revision process for your examinations.

During these MP3s I take you through what I would expect to see as the examiner for the various systems. You can use these files on your smart phone or on your computer at home and have the ability to listen to them over and over again. This repetitive process will help you remember the script during this stressful time of the OSCE.

There are six files for you to listen to in turn:

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- Entrance and End of Bed Examination

This includes a useful way to remember the very first things you should do and what to look for around the patient that you should be looking for and commenting on. This is the start of all the other examinations and is the key to giving you a good start!  8 minutes and 40 seconds.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- Respiratory Examination

As well as advice on auscultation and percussion skills this offers a system on examination of the neck lymph glands. If you follow the system you wont go wrong. 13 minutes and 52 seconds.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- Cardiovascular Examination

Ensure that you are thorough when listening to the heart sounds and be able to identify the JVP properly and let the examiner know that you are looking in the right place! 10 Minutes and 8 seconds.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- Abdominal Examination

Light palpation, deep palpation, shifting dullness, and finding the liver edge. All vital parts of the examination and therefore part of the structured approach. Learn the differences between them all and how to perform them properly. 13 minutes and 40 seconds.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- The 12 Cranial Nerves

One of the examinations practitioners seem to be most afraid of. But with a systematic approach you wont go wrong. I give you a system for remembering the names of the cranial nerves and then break down the examination into its component parts. 11 minutes and 50 seconds.

Clinical Examination OSCE Revision- Examination of Motor Function

Power, tone and reflexes are all discussed with the routine to go through to ensure that you don’t forget anything. 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

I think you will find these files an extremely valuable learning aid. Just click on the Add to Cart button below.

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Any money I do make will go towards the up keep of this website. When you click on the link below it will take you to the E-Junkie site from where you can amend the price or leave blank and have them for free.

 I use E-Junkie who are a very reputable and highly recommended company to handle the financial aspect.




Possibly the book I most highly recommend for nurses to use as their pocket guide. Phil Jevon is a practitioner in Walsall and has produced an easily read, pocket sized tool. You can click on the picture above  to purchase this excellent book.
Talley and O'Conner
Slightly less 'weighty' than Macleods but still with lots of useful detail and information. The latest copies also have a CD with good, well narrated examples of clinical examination.
This title is 'Highly Commended' in the 2006 British Medical Association Awards! 'an incredibly thorough book which is very well illustrated - a must in a book explaining how to perform examinations' - ("Medical Student Review"). This book will show you how to: talk with a patient; take the history from the patient; examine a patient; formulate your findings into differential diagnoses and rank these in order of probability; and, use investigations to support or refute your differential diagnosis.