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

Postgraduate Course: Clinical Decision Making and Professional Judgement (NUST11048)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course provides students with opportunities to consider the theoretical perspectives on and practical reality of making judgements and decisions in the best interests of patients and clients. Theoretical input will be supported by case study exploration and reflection.

Course description This course arises from a long standing theoretical and clinical interest in the primacy of decision making in nursing and healthcare. Gaining a better understanding of their decision making processes has important benefits for nurses, organisational effectiveness and health outcomes. The course allows for lecture based learning, experiential learning and research enquiry to be explored. Approaches taken will seek to acknowledge both the local and international backgrounds from which the Masters students may be drawn and the range of knowledge and experiences they will bring to the subject area.

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 and allows students to explore the centrality and the complexity of clinical decision making and judgement within the health care context of the early 21st century.

The course consists of two sessions in each of the first 5 weeks of the semester, each of 2 hours duration. These two hour session will be presented as a combination of lecture content, group work and discussion and case studies. There is a comprehensive reading and resource list to support the sessions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Provide a critical appreciation of the main theoretical approaches to clinical decision making and how they relate to clinical practice.
  2. Critically debate the nature of clinical judgements and decisions looking at potential human error and bias.
  3. Discuss critically the complexity and uncertainty within which judgements and decisions are made.
  4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the potential implications for patients and clients of the clinical decisions made.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of all health care members of the multidisciplinary team in relation to judgments and decisions.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry into the complexity but primacy of clinical decision making and professional judgement.

Students should be able to work independently and sustainably reflecting curiosity and engagement in relation to clinical decision making and a recognition of challenges to be met within the world of patient/client care.

Students build on the primacy of communication and how to use this for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning.

In the context of clinical decision making, students will be critically responsive the situations and environments in which they practice and look to effect enhanced care decisions.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Tonks Fawcett
Tel: (0131 6)50 3883
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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