Acute and Critical Care module (PN50124)

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Module code


SCQF Level: 11 (Masters Degree)
SCQF Credits: 30
Total student effort: 300 hours

Available: May

Target audience

This module encourages you to adopt a critical, analytical and reflective approach toyour practice. It is suitable for health professionals who are extending their skills and knowledge in acute and critical care practice and are involved in the care of acutely/critically ill patients. This module can be undertaken as a stand-alone module or as part of the MSc Nursing or MSc Health Studies.

Delivery details

This module will be delivered through online distance learning. Some optional face to face workshops will be available at the main campus in Dundee. These workshops will be recorded and available to all students online via My Dundee. The workshops include topics such as arterial blood gas analysis and ECG interpretation. You will access all study materials and discussion boards through My Dundee, and whilst the module is running, tutor support is given on an as-required basis through email, discussion boards, telephone and other interactive methods.

Module aims

The module aims to enable you to enhance your knowledge and skills in the assessment, care and management of acutely / critically ill adults.

Module overview

Intended learning outcomes

Following further study, participation and engagement in the module, students will be able to:

  • critically review current perspectives of acute and critical care practice including contemporary issues relating to the quality of care such as care and compassion and person-centeredness
  • demonstrate and apply a thorough knowledge of the physiology and relevant pathophysiology underlying the assessment of acutely/ critically ill adults
  • critically review and utilise appropriate tools to undertake a systematic and comprehensive assessment of acutely/ critically ill adults, and recognise and respond to alterations in individuals’ clinical conditions
  • critically appraise and demonstrate effective teamwork and communication strategies necessary for ensuring safe care and practice
  • critically apply and demonstrate effective decision-making, clinical judgment and problem solving skills to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate therapeutic interventions in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team
  • recognise, explore and justify the appropriate actions required in relation some of the wider contemporary issues of practice including patient safety, care and compassion, and the legal, ethical and professional issues that have implications within acute and critical care practice

Indicative content:

  • systematic clinical assessments; monitoring and interpretation of assessment findings
  • acute cardiac care and rhythm interpretation
  • acute respiratory care and blood gas analysis
  • fluid and electrolyte balance, hydration and nutritional support
  • sepsis and shock
  • neurological assessment
  • pain assessment and management
  • acute medical emergencies
  • clinical decision making; Risk, patient safety
  • delirium
  • recovery from acute and critical illness
  • professional, legal and ethical issues
  • Quality of care; person-centeredness; compassionate care

Module requirements

You should have a relevant healthcare qualification e.g. registered/licensed nurse, midwife, and paramedic. You will need access to a computer with internet access. The module is not appropriate for students who have previously undertaken/gained credit for the Principles of Acute and Critical Care module which was discontinued in 2012. Students who have not undertaken academic writing recently are encouraged to undertake Developing Academic Skills for Practice.

Module contact

For further information, please contact the School of Health Sciences
Telephone: +44(0)1382 388534