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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain

Undergraduate Course: The Nervous System Under Stress (ACCP10007)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Nervous System Under Stress is part of the intercalated B.Med.Sci honours programme in Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. The aim of this course is to encourage students to explore the responses of the nervous system to a variety of physiological and pathological states. Students will gain insight into the anatomy, physiology and relevant pharmacology of the central and peripheral nervous systems. These concepts will be explored in detail by focussing on three key clinical conditions: delirium, traumatic brain injury and neuropathic pain.
Course description Teaching will be delivered in small, interactive groups. Students will attend a total of nine tutorial sessions, each lasting 2 hours, during the module (1 session per week). These tutorials will be comprised of seminars delivered by senior clinicians introducing each respective clinical condition, state-of-the-art expert tutorials delivered by internationally-recognised clinician-researchers highlighting the role of research in developing our understanding of the pathology and treatment of these conditions, and case-based, student-led collaborative learning tutorials, where students will be expected to work together to solve high level problems set by the Course Organisers. Students will be directed towards core reading resources in advance of these sessions, and the course tutors will assume that this content has been reviewed.

Tutorials will focus on exploring a limited number of conditions in depth, with the aim being for students to develop a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles for each respective condition studied. (SCQF Level 10, Characteristic 1) There will be a particular focus on how our understanding of these conditions has been developed by the results of research work in each respective field.

The tutorial programme will be supplemented by Clinical Learning Experiences (CLEs) ┐ opportunities for students to observe and engage with clinicians managing the relevant conditions in a real-world clinical setting. Students will be encouraged to become familiar with the principal professional skills, techniques and practices used in the clinical environment. (SCQF Level 10, Characteristic 2) Students will be expected to demonstrate a degree of autonomy and responsibility to organise their own CLEs in such a way as to gain maximum benefit from these sessions. (SCQF Level 10, Characteristic 5) Students will be supported in organising their CLEs by a nominated clinician for each subject area, and will be expected to spend 3 hours per week in the clinical environment.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is available to 3rd Year Intercalated MBChB students only
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 12, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 27, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 148 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are two in-course assessments for this course:

Written assignment (80%): A 3000 word individual written assignment. Students will be expected to report on a clinical case based around one of the main themes of the module and demonstrate an ability to bring together basic research derived theory, basic evidence, and clinical evidence, to make recommendations for patient management.

Presentation (20%): Students will be asked to make an oral presentation of 20 minutes (followed by 10 minutes of questions) of their written assignments. Presentations will be given to faculty members, and peers. Students will be assessed on knowledge of subject matter, presentation, IT skills, critical thinking, and ability to participate in scientific discussion.
Feedback Students will receive individual feedback from tutors, reflecting performance in tutorials, engagement with course materials, and completion of assignments. Informal and formal feedback from supervising clinicians will also be expected.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the importance of delirium as a clinical entity, its pathophysiology and treatment, and the role of screening in identifying patients at risk of this condition
  2. Understand the pathophysiology and the principles of management of raised intracranial pressure
  3. Be able to assess a patient with neuropathic pain and design an appropriate treatment plan
  4. Demonstrate an ability to critically appraise a research paper relevant to the clinical concepts studied
Reading List
A comprehensive reading list for each condition will be provided as each topic is considered.


Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Improving the care for older people: Delirium toolkit available at:

Neuropathic Pain:

EFIC PAIN EDUCATION ┐Neuropathic Pain┐ eLearning module available at:

Traumatic Brain Injury:

Brain Trauma Foundation Guidelines for the Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury 3rd Edition available at:
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills SCQF level 10 course
Category 1: Knowledge and understanding
- Graduates will develop an in-depth understanding (including up-to-date clinical perspectives) of three key, clinical conditions, and the context of the specialised knowledge that contributes to our current understanding of these conditions. Students will also become familiar with the terminology and conventions used in everyday clinical practice.
- Graduates will be expected to build on their learning in Semester 1 to demonstrate an ability to critically appraise the evidence used to guide an aspect of current (or future) management of these conditions.

Category 2: Practice Applied knowledge, skills & understanding
- By focussing on a small number of key clinical conditions, graduates should demonstrate an understanding of how advanced specialist skills are applied in clinical settings.
- Knowledge and experience gained from the clinical setting should prepare students for professional practice in this setting.

Category 3: Generic cognitive skills
- Graduates will have demonstrated an ability to critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex clinical problems. Case-based tutorials will encourage students to demonstrate these skills.
- Graduates will be expected to critically review their knowledge, skills and thinking on the material covered, and apply this to evidence from the literature.

Category 4: Communication, ICT & numeracy skills
- Students will be expected to communicate professionally with peers, senior colleagues and specialists.
- Students may be asked to present (formally or informally) information about specialised topics to informed audiences, using appropriate ICT applications for this purpose.
- Graduates will demonstrate an ability to interpret, use and evaluate numerical and graphical data in their appraisal of the clinical environment and evidence from the literature.

Category 5: Autonomy, accountability & working with others
- Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate autonomy and initiative by planning their Clinical Learning Experiences to ensure appropriate clinical exposure.
- Students will need to practice in a manner that shows awareness of their own & others' roles and responsibilities in the clinical environment.
- Students will need to work in a peer relationship with specialist practitioners in the clinical environment.
- Graduates will manage complex ethical & professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes of practice. This module has ample scope for students to explore ethical dilemmas associated with the key clinical conditions.
- Students may come to recognise the limits of professional and/or ethical codes, and will need to seek appropriate guidance.
KeywordsAnaesthesia,Critical Care,Pain Medicine
Course organiserDr Mort Kelleher
Course secretaryMs Kimberley Bruce
Tel: (0131 6)51 4075
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