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

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Clinical Assessment and Decision-Making: essential skills (online) (NUST11110)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Health in Social Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course aims to offer non-medical health professionals an opportunity to acquire and hone new skills and knowledge, relating to advanced clinical assessment, diagnostic skills and decision-making. The course sets out to explore cognitive theories and the use of critical thinking to analyse complex and varied clinical presentations.

This online course blends simulated scenarios, with current evidence and emerging theories of clinical decision making to help learners to assimilate knowledge and refine advanced clinical skills in history taking and examination. Students will review and reflect on recordings of clinical signs and symptoms, accurate reporting of assessment procedures and documentation of care outcomes that support continuity of care.

The course will also explore the attributes that relate to the practitioner developing their diagnostic skills and support students to refine their role as clinical leaders.
Course description This course aims to provide a safe and conducive environment which enables students to acquire and hone new skills and knowledge, relating to advanced clinical assessment, diagnostic skills and decision-making and to enhance and build on core practice values and skills within a clinical context.

The dynamic content of the course is responsive to the ever changing healthcare landscape and seeks to align with national consensus on the subject of advanced clinical practice for the non-medical health care practitioner.

The course is delivered entirely online but students are expected to interact and support learning of others through the use of digital tools including discussion boards and padlets. These tools will enable asynchronous interaction between students who may be based in a range of care environments from across the globe. Both peer and staff feedback will be given during the various online activities. Engagement with the online tools is essential and forms part of the assessment for the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Online Activities 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Observed online clinical consultation (70%)

Active participation to the shared learning via discussion boards/padlets and other online activities (30%)
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to have formal staff feedback on a 10-minute section of peer-peer online consultation
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically reflect on the theory and principles which relate to advanced assessment and clinical decision making.
  2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge and application of anatomy and pathophysiology to safely undertake person-centred advanced assessment.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to make an informed differential diagnosis using advanced decision making and problem solving skills.
  4. Critically review their own practice and refine skills that enable a plan of appropriate investigations and subsequent treatment options for a range of clinical presentations.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to be a self-directed problem solving and autonomous learner in a dynamic eLearning environment.
Reading List
Innes, A; Dover, A; Fairhurst, K (2018) Macleod¿s Clinical Examination. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Japp, A; Robertson, C; Wright, R; Reed, M; Robson, A (2018) Macleod¿s Clinical Diagnosis. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

King, R. et al. (2021) Shortcuts in knowledge mobilization: An ethnographic study of advanced nurse practitioner discharge decision¿making in the emergency department. Journal of advanced nursing. [Online] 77 (7), 3156¿3167.

Ralston, S; Penman, I; Strachan, M; Hobson, R. (2018). Davidson¿s principles and practice of medicine. 23rd edition, Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Smyth, O. & McCabe, C. (2017) Think and think again! Clinical decision making by advanced nurse practitioners in the Emergency Department. International emergency nursing. [Online] 3172¿74.

Tortora, G. J. & Derrickson, B. (2017) Principles of anatomy and physiology / Gerard J. Tortora, Bryan Derrickson. Fifteenth edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will support non-medical health professionals to develop advanced clinical history taking skills and provides the foundations to equip those with the knowledge to perform a variety of common clinical examinations. Having engaged with the academic literature around clinical judgement and decision-making theories, students should feel empowered to act critically when developing skill and competence as an Advanced Practitioner during individual patient consultation.
Course organiserMr Paul Creighton
Tel: (0131 6)50 3888
Course secretaryMr David Morris
Tel: (0131 6)51 3969
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