Key Facts

Module Title: NUR-30155: Recognition and Response to Acute Care
Mode of Study:Trimester 2/January
Contact Details:Contact School of Nursing and Midwifery - 01782 679559
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Fees: Click for details

Building on previous positive evaluations, this exciting module has been developed to meet the need for health care professionals working in non-acute settings to recognise adult patients who are acutely unwell or have a deteriorating clinical condition: described by the Department of Health (DH) as the 'recogniser' role. The module will equip these professionals to recognise and monitor the patient's condition, interpret designated measurements, observations and information, and adjust the frequency of observations and level of monitoring.

The module content, delivery and assessment will enhance the confidence of non-acute health care professionals to interpret clinical data and make appropriate and timely referrals to other health care professionals. The module uses current best evidence to underpin the student's ability to make informed clinical decisions. Using a blend of face-to-face discussions, workshops, lectures along with skills simulations and on-line learning activities, the module will adopt a facilitative coaching approach to ensure all students develop their professional practice as a result of participating in this module.

This module is available as an elective module within BSc (Hons) Clinical Practice, and as a free standing elective.


The module aims to critically develop the clinician's recognition and response to acutely ill or deteriorating patients in a non-acute health care setting. This will be achieved by enhancing the theoretical knowledge of non-acute health care professionals in response to acute illness

Normally hold a professional registration with an appropriate body and be working within a non acute care setting relevant to the module

The principles of Acute Care to include the identification, assessment, observation and management of patients stepping up to Level 1 care:

•Awareness and critical evaluation of the evidence base and current research supporting the management of acutely ill patients requiring Acute Care; to include NICE guideline 50 competencies, NPSA reports, NCEPOD, Department of Health publications (10 Key roles) and other sources of evidence.

•Recognition and initial response to acute illness or clinical deterioration of adults; to include understanding of track and trigger systems such as Modified Early Warning Score (MEWS) or Patient at Risk Tools (PART) tools

•Assessment frameworks (e.g. ABCDE, GCS, PQRST)

•Understanding the significance of timely physiological observations and observation of trends

•Focused History taking

•Decision making and prioritisation of response (Triage)
•Pathophysiology related to acute illness:
- shock 
- acute respiratory problems
- cardiovascular 
- neurological
- renal
- infection

•Therapeutic interventions: 
- basic airway management
- initiating oxygen therapy
- pulse oximetry
- suctioning 
- oral and IV fluid management
- basic 3 lead ECG interpretation

•Safe timely and accurate documentation:
- Use of both objective and subjective data(e.g. SOAPE)
- Interpretation of data ( e.g. fluid balance, blood results)
- Recording of assessment, initial management plan, delivery of interventions and evaluation of response

•Professional issues:
- professional accountability
- responsibility
- record keeping

- Communication strategies
- Timely and effective referral across the multi-disciplinary team
- Effective and timely communication with patients and families
- Effective and timely communication across the primary and secondary care interface
- Role boundaries

•Educational Approaches
- Work shop activities (e.g. ABCDE approach, decision making, clinical priorities)
- Role play (e.g. effective referral, safe transportation) with formative peer review
- KLE pre session preparation
- KLE post session activities
- Lead lectures
- Preparation for MCQ and short answer papers
- Skills Lab activities - basic airway management, clinical scenario activity
- Web based research
- Individual tutorial time to explore how undertaking the module will improve confidence in acute care and positively impact in student's own clinical area

Assessment Type: Exam
  Assessment Marking Scheme: Assessment rule 40%
  Brief Description: Two hour, two part exam - MCQ and Short answer paper
  Contribution to the module mark: 100% Qualifying Mark: 40%
  Apply For Exemption from Anonymous Assessment: No
  Optional Detailed Description of Assessment: Both parts of the exam have to be passed at 40%, no compensation.
Part one - an MCQ paper to test core information required to recognise and safely respond to people developing acute illness.
(e.g. normal physiological values, red flags for interventions)
Part two - a range of short answer responses required.
e.g. a structured patient assessment from a paper based simulated scenario using an ABCDE approach.
Creating a referral message from a range of data.
Prioritising a range of clinical scenarios.
Planning a safe patient transfer to an alternative care setting
Initiating a clinical management plan from a set of data

Course Duration: 15 Weeks

Attendance: 15 x 3 hour sessions