Taking blood cultures is a relatively common OSCE station. You’ll be expected to demonstrate your clinical skills and ability to communicate effectively. This blood culture collection OSCE guide provides a clear, concise, step by step approach to obtaining blood cultures. There is wide variation in the type of equipment used for obtaining blood cultures and therefore you should always follow your medical school or local hospital’s guidance. You should note however that blood cultures should ALWAYS be obtained via a fresh stab and not use existing peripheral lines. If a patient has a central line blood may be taken from this if investigating a source of infection where the line is a potential source, however, this should be done in combination with a peripheral sample (which should be taken first). Check out the blood culture collection OSCE mark scheme here.
- Clinical skills
- Communication skills