The Situational Judgement subtest measures your ability to understand and
address moral and ethical concerns in real world medical and educational
situations.

A lot of the scenarios presented in this subtest require you to use effective communication to resolve problems. According to the UCAT Consortium and the ethical guidelines that govern the medical field, good communication is non-confrontational. Rather than confronting someone with a problem in public while others are around, it is best to approach others in a neutral, private environment to communicate your concerns with them. Confronting someone in public may lead to defensive behaviour and make others around you uncomfortable.

Consider these three examples below.

Scenario 1

All fourth year students are completing a group project about the effect of certain drugs on neurochemicals in the brain. Harry is assigned to this group by the lecturer and the group assigns everyone a role and begins work. The group has some preliminary discussions to generate ideas for the project. It quickly becomes clear that Harry is not contributing to the discussions or completing his assigned work and the project starts to suffer as a result.

How appropriate are each of the following responses by the other group members in this situation?

Take Harry to one side and explain to him in private that his reluctance to contribute is causing problems for the whole group

A) A very appropriate thing to do
B) Appropriate, but not ideal
C) Inappropriate, but not awful
D) A very inappropriate thing to do

Answer: A) a very appropriate thing to do.
Approaching Harry in private in a non-confrontational manner would allow him to receive and reflect on comments that relate to the wider group, without feeling awkward.

Scenario 2

Denise is an intern who has just started a new rotation in the emergency ward. When the senior doctors are not present, Denise overhears one of the nurses making rude comments about her appearance to the rest of the medical team. The nurse also tells the team that Denise is not a competent doctor and that the nursing staff will have to deal with the outcomes of all the mistakes she is likely to make. Denise feels hurt and offended at the comments.

How appropriate are each of the following responses by Denise in this situation?

Discuss with the nurse later that day why her comments made her feel hurt

A) A very appropriate thing to do
B) Appropriate, but not ideal
C) Inappropriate, but not awful
D) A very inappropriate thing to do

Answer: A) a very appropriate thing to do.
This is the most appropriate course of action because it aims to find a non-confrontational and local resolution to the problem. The nurse should be approached in private as approaching the nurse in front of other team members could be seen as confrontational.

Scenario 3

A senior doctor, Dr Welsh, is examining a patient and is being observed by a junior doctor, Dr Kozianski. During the examination of a patient, Dr Welsh uses condescending and racist language towards the patient. The patient seems surprised but does not say anything in response to Dr Welsh's language.

How appropriate are each of the following responses by Dr Kozianski in this situation?

Tell Dr Welsh in front of the patient that his language is inappropriate

A) A very appropriate thing to do
B) Appropriate, but not ideal
C) Inappropriate, but not awful
D) A very inappropriate thing to do

Answer: D) a very inappropriate thing to do.
Discussing working practice in front of the patient is inappropriate. This should be discussed at a later time.

Tell Dr Welsh that his language is inappropriate after he has finished examining the patient and the patient can no longer hear their conversation

A) A very appropriate thing to do
B) Appropriate, but not ideal
C) Inappropriate, but not awful

D) A very inappropriate thing to do

Answer: A) a very appropriate thing to do.
It is entirely appropriate to wait until after patient examination before raising the issue with Dr Welsh.

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