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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Health in Social Science : Nursing Studies

Undergraduate Course: Clinical Decision Making: Life Sciences and Nursing Care 4 (NUST10057)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is a core component of the BN/MN programmes and is not open to students from other programmes.

This is a core course in the Bachelor of Nursing with Honours (Adult) programme and sits in the final year. Drawing on learning from across the programme, and specifically the core courses in Year 3, this course shifts the focus to the theoretical and experiential reality of clinical decision making and professional judgement. The principles underpinning this complex subject include, governance, accountability, human factors and ethical issues. Gaining a better understanding of their decision making processes has important benefits for nurses' leadership and accountability, organisational effectiveness and health outcomes. The course allows for lecture based learning, experiential learning and research enquiry to be explored.
Course description This course provides students with opportunities to consider the theoretical perspectives on, and practical reality of, making judgements and decisions in the safe and best interests of patients and clients. Theoretical input will be supported by case study exploration and reflection. The aim of this course is to explore the centrality and the complexity of clinical decision making and judgement within the health care context of the 21st century. The place of the theoretical basis to decision making is explored as is the understanding of leadership, risk and informatics and clinical decision making in the production of safe, high quality care. The nature and primacy of clinical judgements and decisions.

Indicative content will include:
Theoretical approaches to clinical decision making and professional judgement
Using knowledge and experience from and in practice to inform decision making
Expert decision making and leadership within the multi-disciplinary team and by the advanced practitioner
Intuition explored in clinical decision making
Case studies and scenarios in clinical decision making

Approaches to learning will include a combination of lectures, and group discussion. Students are also required to undertake the reading associated with the course and reflect upon, and bring for discussion, illustrations and examples of clinical decisions and professional judgements, both clear and complex. Some sessions will require preparatory work/engagement in line with the flipped classroom.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, 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 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (100%) confined within 3-3500 words.
Feedback A short formative piece of work is required to be able to give early feedback and feed forward for the summative assessment.

Length confined to within 400-450 words to be submitted on LEARN/Turnitin in Week 4
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have a critical appreciation of what is meant theoretically by clinical decision making and professional judgement and how this relates to practice.
  2. Be knowledgeable about the influences on clinical decision making in the real world of care.
  3. Be able to debate the complexity and uncertainty within which clinical judgements and decisions are made.
  4. Be able to critically appraise decisions made whilst working through reality based clinical scenarios.
  5. Demonstrate with discernment how decision-making skills and associated leadership might be acquired, and better utilized, in the health care setting.
Reading List
Koehler DJ Harvey N (2007) Blackwell Handbook of Judgement and Decision Making Wiley- Blackwell Oxford
Nielsen A. Stragnell S Jester p (2007) Guide for Reflection Using the Clinical Judgment Model Journal of Nursing Education 46 (11) 513-516
Thompson C, Dowding D (2002) Clinical Decision Making and Judgement in Nursing, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh
Thompson C, Dowding D (2009) Essential Decision Making and Clinical Judgement in Nursing, Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Edinburgh
Standing M (2010) Clinical Judgement and decision making in Nursing and inter-professional care Open University Press Milton Keynes
Standing M (2014) (2nd ed) Clinical Judgement and Decision Making for Nursing Students Sage Publications London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding
Skills and Abilities in Research and Enquiry
Skills and Abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Skills and Abilities in Communication
Skills and Abilities in Personal Effectiveness
Technical / practical skills
KeywordsClinical decision making,professional judgement,accountability,nursing care,ethics
Course organiserProf Tonks Fawcett
Tel: (0131 6)50 3883
Course secretaryMs Lisa Binder
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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