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Course content

The Postgraduate Certificate in Acute and Critical Care addresses the complex care required by critically ill patients. Patients can become acutely or critically ill at any time and the more ill the patient becomes, the more likely they are to be vulnerable, physiologically unstable and require complex care.

Acutely or critically ill patients exist throughout many settings in hospitals and beyond and there is a need to ensure the quality of care is delivered by knowledgeable health care practitioners.

This one-year Acute and Critical Care course is suitable if you work in ICU, CCU, HDU, A&E, theatres, medical/surgical assessment units (MAU/SAU), pre-hospital care and general acute wards.

What you will study

Applied Physiology of Acute and Critical Illness - 20 credits

This module looks at critically analysing the impact of pathophysiology on acute and critically ill adult patients and to understand altered physiology. You will explore the consequences of acute and critical illness on homeostasis using a wide knowledge base of normal and altered physiology to understand key treatments. The module will also focus on cardio-respiratory physiology, neurological control and acute medical conditions.

Care and Management of the Acute and Critically Ill - 20 credits

You will critically evaluate the complexity of care issues in relation to acutely and critically ill adult patients and analyse the context of that care. The effectiveness of care implementation across a range of patient presentations will be analysed with consideration given to the processes of assessment, monitoring and intervention.

Legal and Professional Issues in Caring for the Acute and Critically Ill - 20 credits

In this module you will undertake a critical evaluation of service delivery systems from legal and professional perspectives. This includes the right to health care; upholding human rights; duty and standards of care; professional negligence and the application of these to professional practice in acute and critical care contexts. Topics such as life and death, euthanasia, legal definitions of death, organ and tissue donation are also considered in terms of the implications on practitioners caring for acute and critically ill patients.

Teaching

You will study through a mixture of lectures,group work, patient scenarios, interactive tutorials and seminar presentations. You will need to attend University one day a week, currently our students are taught on Fridays at 9am-5pm.

Assessment

Modules are assessed through multiple-choice questions, viva voce (oral examination), assignments, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and written evidence of personal and professional development. The OSCEs will take place in May each year and be completed as part of the Care and Management of the Acute and Critically Ill module and involve undertaking a comprehensive patient history, examining a particular bodily system, and identifying a management and treatment plan for the individual.and involve undertaking a comprehensive patient history, examining a particular bodily system, and identifying a management and treatment plan for the individual.

Applied physiology of the critically ill 

One-hour MCQ (March)

Two-hour short answer paper (April)

Legal and professional issues in caring for the critically ill 

Viva based on assignment (May)

OSCEs (Objective, Structured Clinical Examination)

10-minute primary assessment

25-minute clinical assessment specific to your role (May)

Plus, a 3,000 word assignment for each of the above modules (May)

Careers

You will develop personally and professionally within your specialist clinical area. The Postgraduate Certificate Acute and Critical Care course will also enable you to develop a high level of skill in transferring complex theoretical knowledge into comprehensive, patient-centred and focused clinical practice.


Visit the PGCert Acute and Critical Care page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

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