Hemingway, Steve, Stephenson, John, Roberts, Bronwyn and McCann, Terence (2014) Mental health and learning disability nursing students' perceptions of the usefulness of the objective structured clinical examination to assess their competence in medicine administration. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 23 (4). pp. 364-373. ISSN 1445-8330

The aim of this study was to evaluate mental health and learning disability nursing
students’ perceptions of the usefulness of the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) in
assessing their administration of medicine competence. Learning disability (n = 24) and mental health
(n = 46) students from a single cohort were invited to evaluate their experience of the OSCE. A 10-item
survey questionnaire was used, comprising open- and closed-response questions. Twelve (50%) learning
disability and 32 (69.6%) mental health nursing students participated. The OSCE was rated highly
compared to other theoretical assessments; it was also reported as clinically real and as a motivational
learning strategy. However, it did not rate as well as clinical practice. Content analysis of written
responses identified four themes: (i) benefits of the OSCE; (ii) suggestions to improve the OSCE;
(iii) concern about the lack of clinical reality of the OSCE; and (iv) OSCE-induced stress. The themes,
although repeating some of the positive statistical findings, showed that participants were critical of
the university setting as a place to conduct clinical assessment, highlighted OSCE-related stress, and
questioned the validity of the OSCE as a real-world assessment. The OSCE has an important role
in the development of student nurses’ administration of medicine skills. However, it might hinder their
performance as a result of the stress of being assessed in a simulated environment.

OSCE_Article%20IJMHN%20RESUBMITTED%20120913%20TMC.pdf - Submitted Version

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