An effective inhaler technique is one of the cornerstones of asthma and COPD treatment. This allows the medication to get to the lung where it can help control the patient's symptoms. It is also important to have an understanding of all the different inhalers available e.g. metered dose inhaler, dry powder inhaler. This OSCE station tests several key areas, firstly the students knowledge of airway disease, an effective inhaler technique and the ability to be able to communicate and teach this to the patient.
Wash your hands using the Ayliffe technique
Introduce yourself and give your name and grade
“Hi, my name is Howard Hughes and I am a 4th year medical student”
Clarify patient's identity by confirming name and asking for their DOB
Explain what you will be performing and what it involves
“I have been asked to have a chat with you regarding your inhaler and to make sure you are using it in the most effective way possible.”
“Would this be ok with you?”
Tailor the consultation to the inhaler (s) the examiner has provided:
Metered Dose Inhaler(MDI): Inhaler that delivers a specific amount of medication to the lungs via aerosol e.g Salbutamol/ Ventolin, Steroid Inhalers.
Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI): Delivers a dose of fine powder medication to the patient's lungs via inhalation e.g Symbicort, Spiriva.
Spacer add on device for MDIs that provides a chamber for the aerosol, allowing easier uptake.
Let the patient know you have finished and thank them for their time.