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on 11 June 2017
Really helpful tips and step by step guides. The guide also covers potential questions you could be asked in stations which is invaluable. A must for Med students!
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on 10 September 2017
very good book
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on 14 August 2014
Ideal book for practical skills in OSCE. The sections in each scenario gets you ready for the exam as well as the questions that you might be asked in the station. Not only this guide prepares you for the exam it is also extremely useful for carrying out daily procedures on the ward. It gives you useful information about the procedure that you would not routinely find in other practical textbooks.
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on 7 January 2015
This book offers a comprehensive step by step guide to a wide range of practical procedures. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, with sufficient information being given without overloading the reader. Clear photographs and diagrams are also included which help illustrate each of the relevant steps. I found the range of procedures covered in this book to be impressive and also felt it to be a helpful introduction to more complex procedures, such as lumbar puncture or chest drain insertion, although further reading will be required for anyone needing more than just a basic undergraduate level understanding of such skills.

Mark schemes are also provided so that readers can practice OSPE style stations and give themselves or others objective feedback. Although this element of the book is useful, I tended to use it with caution given that the mark schemes provided will inevitably deviate from those used by your medical school / examining body. However, I still felt that the book provided a very useful framework upon which additional pieces of information could be added in order to meet the specific needs of my exams. As a practicing foundation doctor, it serves as a useful initial quick reference guide when learning about more complex procedures before receiving formal teaching and training.
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on 4 February 2015
In a similar fashion to Zeshan’s other books, this guide provides clear and concise instructions to practical skills vital to passing OSCE’s and clinical competencies. It is aided by informative pictures and diagrams which help with visual understanding of the different techniques, ensuring a slick and detailed source of learning for the examinations. Information boxes such as ‘LP results in meningitis’ and ‘causes of urinary retention’ allow a more thorough understanding of the clinical relevance behind the procedures, and not just the procedure itself. This provides a solid base for performing well in the examinations in a more holistic way. Also extremely useful are the detailed instructions not only for clinical procedures but also for giving information, such as inhaler technique, something which could be examined in an OSCE station.
One of the things I find most useful about this handbook are the mark schemes with tick boxes at the end of every chapter, followed by questions. Like Zeshan’s other book, The Unofficial Guide to Passing the OSCE’s, this ensures a much greater understanding of the topic and sieves out any gaps in knowledge. The ‘additional questions to answer’ also cover any extra questions that may be asked in examinations or on the wards.
As a medical student the only fault I could find with the book is that I would warn any other medical student using it to be weary of the mark schemes; although they are extremely useful, they may differ between different medical schools and so shouldn’t be solely relied upon. Aside from that, I cannot fault this comprehensive and valuable guide to practical skills. It serves to transform what felt like a daunting exam into something much more manageable with its methodical and systematic style. I am extremely thankful I found this guide early on in my medical education, just in time to use it before my first set of OSCE’s!
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on 23 February 2014
This book is far better than others I have previously used for learning and practising practical skills. The best thing about this book are the examiner style mark schemes, which make it obvious how and what to revise, and make it easy to practise the skills. The content is very comprehensive, containing everything you need for exams, with other more interesting and advanced skills as well. It has a great, easy to see layout with useful pictures which makes very clear what you need to know and the techniques you need to use. I am using this now for finals revision and wish I had something like this in earlier years.
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on 7 February 2014
This is a fantastic book and a must have for any medical student. It contains everything from the basics to advanced procedures and has been reviewed by senior clinical staff. I've found myself looking at it most days whilst on clinical placement and it will be really helpful for upcoming OSCE's. A perfect companion to the Unofficial guide to OSCE's. Like the green book, it's set out in a similar style, being very easy to read. There are helpful summaries and tips along the way and lot's of good clinical questions throughout. A must-have!
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on 30 April 2015
This is a really useful book that gives you a great step-by-step explanation of a range of skills, from simple phlebotomy to more complicated stuff like lumbar punctures, chest drains, etc. The information is broken down quite handily and makes reading the text a breeze. The procedures are explained clearly, complete with indications, things to consider when performing the relevant skill, etc.

Dotted around, you can find boxes with additional information and example questions that will ensure that you not only master the skills alone, but actually learn/revise a bit of medicine along the way. I find this great, as sometimes you forget some of the little details and having those boxes ensures you stay sharp. The illustrations are of great quality and help turn the text into practice. Particularly useful are the equipment checklists, complete with a photo of how you want your tray to look like. I find these quite helpful as if you have the correct equipment you are probably half-way there to passing the station. Finally, the mark schemes are perfect for emphasising what is most important to focus on in the exam.

Definitely a great guidebook to have, I recommend it to anyone who struggles to keep on top of their skills station prep.
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on 21 August 2015
I bought my copy of the unofficial guide to practical skills during ophthalmology. I had heard stories of students holding the ophthalmoscope upside down and the wrong way around, so was keen to avoid a similar mistake!

This book is extremely broad in the range of skills it covers from paediatrics to knee joint aspirations. It was interesting to actually read through the steps behind certain procedures that seem to be done in an instance by medical staff. There are some skills that are poorly taught (if taught at all) as a student, such as nasogastric tube insertion and catheterisation that are clearly explained in the book. I am quite a visual learner and after reading about a skill I would look it up on YouTube to cement my learning - perhaps an online learning resource is something that the unofficial guide needs to develop, as there is a limit to the ability of textbooks to really bring a skill to life. Overall this is another fantastic adjunct to the unofficial series and I’m glad to have bought it.
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on 16 February 2014
I just brought this book after being recommended it by a friend. It is very colourful and information is in small chunks. Most importantly for me, there are lots of pictures to go with instructions for each OSCE procedure. There is also an examiner mark scheme which is useful when i'm practising with friends. I would highly recommend this book!
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