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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Clinical Sciences : Critical Care

Postgraduate Course: Fundamentals of Organ Failure (CRCA11024)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Clinical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is the introductory course of the programme and aims to introduce critical illness in a structured and organ specific fashion to students.

It promotes an objective, evidence-based approach to the recognition, assessment and stabilisation of the critically unwell adult. By understanding the application of validated clinical tools and methods to the identification of the severely ill, students will learn to target immediate lifesaving management, and to perform effective speciality referral and handover to critical care services. The course is designed to develop the student's critical decision making and communication skills.
Course description 1) Academic Description

There is increasing recognition of the importance of the integration of the early identification and rescue of the severely ill patient, with the underpinning clinical scientific principles of diagnosis and definitive treatment. Three aspects of learning in the management of the critically unwell patient are crucial to improving care for individuals, and for populations of patients, and form the core learning aims for this course. The first of these is prompt identification of physiological markers of severity of illness, and implementation of rapid corrective responses. Second is the creation of a credible differential diagnosis and the initiation of specific disease modifying treatment. Third is the assimilation of information and data supporting the performance of effective referral to, and communication with, critical care.

2) Outline Content

The students will be introduced to the specialty of critical care and its relevance to patients around the hospital and the community. The approach to the rescue of the critically ill adult through the application of the Airway-Breathing-Circulation-Disability-Exposure process will be taught in detail, including elaboration of the underpinning physiology and pharmacology. Early warning scoring and illness severity assessment will be posited within this acute framework. Anaphylaxis will be used as a common, important exemplar condition. The initial assessment and immediate management of patients with respiratory failure, shock, coma and acute kidney injury will be expounded. The principles of effective patient referral to critical care will be surfaced, and the practicalities of excellent patient handover will be demonstrated. There will be discussion of the application of realistic decision-making involving end of life care, and the ethical issues involved.

3) Student Learning Experience

Students will learn from subject matter experts in resuscitation and critical care. Students will participate in asynchronous subject matter expert-led discussion boards, where they will each bring an authentic case from clinical practice. These cases will be revisited in weekly live tutorials, and developed through the board discussions. The cases will form the focus of the development of their assessed structured referral and handover to critical care at the end of the course. There will be weekly online quizzes and the students will also engage with recorded tutorials and lectures. Classic papers will be reviewed. They will evidence their learning through these, and through the recorded handover and written essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start MVM Online Learning Block 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %

In-course assessment: 100%
Feedback Feedback is defined as information to students which allows them to review what they know, understand and can do in their studies. Feedback is also important to identify areas for improvement, for example course feedback surveys will be an integral component of the programme to allow refinement.

Opportunities for feedback arise during timetabled courses, for example during live session tutorials, interactive discussion boards, emails. Feedback can be provided on coursework assignments but also activities which are not formally assessed, for example class discussion on the discussion board, group exercises, problem-solving such as weekly quizzes and developing project plans and proposals. A formative task is provided in each course which provides feedforward prior to the student submitting their first piece of summative assessed course work.

All assignments will be marked, and feedback is provided within a period of fifteen working days (where possible) following the submission date (excluding holidays periods whereby the University is closed, e.g. over the Christmas period).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the fundamental components of the recognition, assessment and immediate management of the critically ill or injured patient.
  2. Integrate knowledge, skills and understanding to recognise, assess, and to provide appropriate immediate patient-centred treatment for critically unwell or injured patients.
  3. Assimilate and communicate complex, clinical information in the presence of uncertainty relating to critically ill or injured patients for the purposes of effective handover and specialist referral.
  4. Demonstrate the importance of making a preliminary diagnosis, and of providing definitive treatment on the basis of continuous reassessment.
  5. Exercise autonomy within the limits of their professional practice and competence and be able to work effectively in a multi-disciplinary team.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills a) Mindsets:

Enquiry and lifelong learning:
Graduates of this course will be encouraged to pursue their own curiosity and to learn and develop in the field of critical care, to strive for excellence in their own professional practice, and to strive to improve care for patients as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Aspiration and personal development
Students will be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to identify areas in which they wish to grow and develop acknowledging that different students will have different priorities and aspirations.

Outlook and engagement
Students will be asked to bring to the course experiences from their own practice, often specifically relating to their own geographical or cultural context, that can be used to explore learning, engage with individuals from other international communities on the programme.

b) Skills:

Research and enquiry
Students will use and further develop newly acquired expertise in accessing the literature and critical appraisal, to incorporate the findings of primary research in their arguments, discussions, and assessments.

Personal and intellectual autonomy
Students will be encouraged to use their own personal and intellectual autonomy through their active participation in self-directed learning, discussion boards and collaborative activities to critically evaluate ideas evidence and experiences from an open-minded perspective.

Personal effectiveness
Success on the course will require students to be effective and proactive learners. Using the resources of the course, tutors, and the university learning and information environment, students will be encouraged and supported to contribute to their own learning, as well as that of others.

Excellence in critical care is dependent on excellent communication, and the structure of the interactive (discussion boards and collaborative activities) and assessment elements incorporate constant reinforcement and development of this skill.
KeywordsIntensive Care,organ specific,Critical Care,HDU,ICU,critically ill injured patient,ABCDE
Course organiserDr Gilly Fleming
Course secretaryMrs Kimberley Jamieson
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