Module Acute Care: Assessment and Management of the Acutely Ill Adult

Course details

Direct Entry

January 2017

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The module will enhance your ability to recognise and manage the health care needs of acutely ill adults.

Classroom-based induction days are usually scheduled for the first week of each term prior to the module start date. If you have not studied at the University of Cumbria in the past two years, attendance at an induction day is advised. Alternatively, a web-based induction programme is available for distance learning students.

This module covers topics such as:

  • Health assessment strategies, primary and secondary survey models and tools used to recognise the acutely ill adult
  • Physical and psychological needs of the acutely ill adult, physiological track and trigger systems to monitor the acutely ill adult
  • The 'acute abdomen' presentation e.g. peritonitis, intestinal obstruction; neurological signs e.g stroke, raised intracranial pressure, seizures, respiratory distress & cardiovascular compromise (e.g. asthma, heart failure, myocardial infarction)
  • ENT disorders (e.g. epiglottitis)
  • Burns, scalds and poisoning
  • Overwhelming sepsis
  • Trauma and accidental injury

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Develop an in depth knowledge and understanding of acute presentations in adults including a critical understanding of red flag diagnoses and red flag symptoms
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding and in depth knowledge of the skills required to perform a primary and secondary health assessment on the acutely ill adult
  • Critically evaluate appropriate early warning tools and investigations which will assist the diagnostic process
  • Critically review the management of acutely ill or emergency cases in adulthood
  • Critically reflect upon the application of the knowledge and understanding gained to practice

Indicative core bibliography

  • Harrison, R. and Daly, L. (2006) Acute Medical Emergencies. London: Churchill Livingston.
  • Wood, I. and Garner M (2012) Initial management of acute medical patents: a guide for nurses and healthcare professionals. Wiley-Blackwell
  • National Patient Safety Agency (2007) The fifth report from the patient safety observatory. Safer care for the acutely ill patient: learning from serious incidents. London: NPSA.
  • NICE (2007) CG50 Acutely ill patients in hospital. [Online]. Available at:
Programme specification (PDF)

Evidence of prior successful study at underpinning level.

Selection criteria

Only qualified health care professionals will be eligible to study this module. Students must have been working in an acute care environment for at least 6 months prior to commencing the module.

Prior to studying this module, students must have studied the core module HLLG7001 Acute and Critical Care Foundations for Practice, or demonstrate achievement of the ILOs through APL.

The closing date for applications is 5 working days prior to the module start date or, if this is your first module, 5 working days prior to the induction date.

Please note that the direct entry application system will not recognise your current Student IT Network login. Please select the New User option from the Apply Now button.

This module can be studied as part of the PgC in Practice Development: Acute and Critical Care or drawn into the MSc Practice Development award.

We are amongst the UK's leading health departments and are proud of the high level of support we are able to offer to our students.

We provide a wide range of high-quality courses supported by expert academic and clinical practice staff. If you join us you will enjoy great facilities and learn alongside caring, committed and experienced professionals. Our employment record is excellent.