CSA Videos

Communication (CSA TUBE) And Examination Skills

Good effective communication is the bedrock of the consultation and without it the consultation can be haphazard and disjointed. Patients often visit their GP to make sense of their symptoms and having poor communication skills can leave the patient confused and bewildered reducing the chance of seeking out future medical advice.

It is often assumed that people are ‘born’ with these skills and those who do not have them simply have to ‘make do’ at being poor communicators. However, this view point is far from the truth. Communication skills can in fact be learnt if one adopts a flexible model or approach to the consultation and adopts a number of simple tips.

The CSA examination, essential to pass the MRCGP, is effectively an assessment of one’s consultation skills observing you for three main criterias. These include your ability to gather information, interpersonal skills and your decision making in the form of management skills. All three criterias used by the CSA examiners requires good communication skills to pass.

Below are a range of articles written by the CSA course organisers to help you improve your consultation skills, be better clinicians and hopefully as well pass your CSA exams. Further tuition on communication skills required to pass the CSA exam is available on the day of the CSA course as well as on one 2 one CSA tuition sessions.

Explaining Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A DVT is when a blood clot forms in the deep veins, usually in the leg. The deep veins run through the muscle of the calf and transports blood from the legs back to the heart. The blood clot can partially or completely block the flow of blood through the vein causing pain, swelling and a heavy ache in your leg.

In a small number of people who have a DVT, a part of the blood clot may detach and travel through the blood. This is known as an embolus. the blood clot may travel thorugh up leg, through the chambers of the heart before getting stuck in a blood vessel in the lung. This is known as a pulmonary embolus. 

Explaining Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes episodes of irregular fast heart beats that prevents it from pumping blood to the rest of the body efficiently. In AF, chaotic electrical activity develops in the heart causing it to quiver. This reduces your heart's efficiency and performance making you feel dizzy and giving you palpitations where you are made more aware of your heart beating. AF can also cause turbulent blood flow to develop in one of the heart's chambers which can lead to a small blood clot shooting off and causing a stroke in the brain

Explaining Hypertension

High blood pressure is when the pressure in these tubes is too high. Having too high pressure can risk one of these ‘pipes’ or blood vessels ‘bursting’ and cause a stroke or can put you at risk of a heart attack

Explaining Asthma

Asthma is a condition that affects your lungs. Your lungs are made up of lots of small tubes that allow air and in particular oxygen to pass freely. In Asthma certain triggers, also known as allergens, may irritate these airways and cause them to become narrow. As a result air may become trapped inside your lungs making you feel short of breath. The narrowed airways also restrict the flow of air through them making your chest feel tight as well as producing a sound known as a wheeze

Explaining Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to control sugar levels. Your sugars levels are controlled by a hormone or chemical messenger called Insulin. Unfortunately, your body is not responding to the insulin as well as it used to. As a result the sugar levels in your blood are consistently high consequently causing your symptoms of tiredness, weight loss and passing urine more often

Explaining GORD

Your stomach produces acid which helps it break down food. When some of this acid leaks back into your food pipe, this is known as acid reflux giving you the burning feeling that starts from your stomach and moves up to your throat. 

Examinations skills for the MRCGP CSA exam

MRCGP CSA Exam Resources and websites

Useful links and websites that you can visit include the RCGP website for latest information regarding the exams, or the London Deanery for the GP curriculum and resources. Other good revision links include NICE & BNF for latest medical guidelines. Useful GP registrar online resources include the BradfordVTS, and the Pennine GP Training website. For online revision for the AKT, GPnotebook and the NHS Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS) are rich in up-to-date advice. 

Quick Reference Tools
The MRCGP CSA prep course organises have written some quick reference tools to help you pass your MRCGP CSA exam and aid you in your consultation skills