Recognising and Responding to the Deteriorating Patient

Course code SNM662
Postgraduate (level 7) 15 credits


Who is it for?

This unit is suitable for any practitioner in any acute ward/clinical area, but particularly for those working in renal areas. This unit forms part of the renal degree pathway.

Overview of content

  • Respiratory physiology
  • Oxygen therapy – including CPAP
  • Respiratory assessment – including arterial blood gas analysis and oximetry
  • Cardiac physiology – including rhythm analysis
  • Fluid management
  • Neurological assessment – levels of consciousness
  • GCS
  • ABCDE assessment
  • Track and trigger assessment tools including NEWS
  • Communication tool - SBAR

What is it about?

The course focuses on normal and abnormal pathophysiology and the subsequent skills and knowledge needed, to recognise and respond to patients who are at risk of deterioration. It explores current policies, guidelines and clinical drivers that impact on rescuing the deteriorating patient in acute practice settings.

How does it enhance practice?

It provides in-depth knowledge and understanding of normal and abnormal physiology in those patients at risk of deterioration in the acute care setting. The course will provide the knowledge and skills needed for practitioners to recognise and respond to patient deterioration in a more timely and effective way. Consideration will also be given to the particular needs of renal patients when identifying and responding to deterioration.

The course explores current assessment approaches used in acute practice settings, including the track and trigger systems, SBAR, ABCDE assessment, and their impact on rescuing patients who are deteriorating.

Mode of Assessment

Assessment is a 3000-word assignment that examines the impact of a particular assessment method on the care and management of seriously ill patients. A critical incident from clinical practice provides the focus for the discussion.

Links to Professional/Academic Award

This unit can be taken as a stand-alone unit or as part of the MMedSci Advanced Nursing Studies (NURT80)

Course Structure

The module is conducted entirely online - distance learning

Start Dates: 27 September 2021, 28 March 2022

Application and Funding

To apply for this course you need to complete an online application form and you can do this by visiting our how to apply page. A fees and funding form will automatically be sent on submission of your application form. Details of funding options can be found on our Funding Page.

If successful in your application for the course you will receive a confirmation email closer to the start date.

Module Lead:

Tracey Moore

Tel: +44 114 222 2056 


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