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The University of Southampton

HLTH6117 Foundations in Intensive Care

Module Overview

This is a clinically focussed module addressing the underpinning knowledge and evidence base for practice in Intensive Care. To undertake this module you must be working in a level 3 Critical care unit.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module will equip Intensive Care nurses with the knowledge and skills to critically analyse and deliver high quality, evidence based care to patients in critical care environments.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate application of deep and systematic understanding of anatomy, physiology and pathology to the techniques employed when caring for patients with critical care needs.
  • Critically evaluate the roles and responsibilities of bedside practitioners in the delivery of health care interventions to a broad range of critical care patients.
  • Demonstrate competence in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the care of critically ill patients
  • Critically discuss contemporary issues and developments within the speciality.
  • Flexibly and creatively evaluate the evidence underpinning intensive care practice
  • Undertake comprehensive analysis of complex ethical dilemmas and issues in critical care.
  • Identify, evaluate and maintain capabilities to effectively communicate, with patients, their families and the health care team in complex and specialised contexts
  • Critically analyse the psychological effects of intensive care on patients and their relatives
  • Meaningfully reflect on patient care in an intensive care setting.


The syllabus reflects the broad nature of Intensive care practice. The content is continually updated to reflect contemporary practice in the field and the published evidence base. This evidence is primarily, but not exclusively, based on research in to critical care practices and is diverse, international and multi professional. With respect to critical care patient’s, and using an holistic systems based approach:- Assessment } Diagnostics } Interventions } respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, neurological, Acute conditions } gastro-intestinal/endocrine Chronic conditions } End of life care specific to critical care New critical care treatments and current research trials Psychosocial implications and management/communication strategies Ethical dilemmas in critical care Unit management – local and national perspectives Clinical decision making skills

Special Features

The completion of the competency document for this module requires the student to be working in an Intensive care Unit to be able to experience an appropriate range of practice.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The learning and teaching methods are underpinned by experiential learning theory ( Eraut, 1994; Boud ,1993), utilising lectures, Medium Fidelity Simulation scenarios, case studies, group work, seminars and tutorials. The range of methods is designed to facilitate learning of knowledge, skills and attitudes by students with a range of different learning styles. A number of specialist clinical experts, including researchers, contribute to the module teaching. There is a strong theme throughout the module focussing on the impact of critical care interventions on the patient experience. The module is supported with electronic resources (including subject specific reading lists and eLearning packages) via the Blackboard VLE . References Boud D. Cohen R., Walker D., (eds) (1993) Using Experience for Learning. Open University Press. Eraut M. (1994) Developing Professional Knowledge and Competence. Falmer Press. London

Wider reading or practice115
Clinical Practice250
Preparation for scheduled sessions50
Completion of assessment task50
Total study time500

Resources & Reading list

Core standards for intensive care units ed 1.

McGloin S. McLeoud L. (2010). Advanced practice in critical care: a case study approach. 

Acutely ill patients in hospital: Recognition of and response to acute illness in adults in hospital.

Intensive and Critical Care Nursing. 

Nursing in Critical Care. 

Core standards for intensive care units ed 1.

Journal of Advanced Nursing. 

Most recent relevant National Governance Papers in the field. 

Marieb E. (2016). Human anatomy & physiology. 

Critical Care Medicine. 

Bernsten A (2013). Oh's Intensive Care Manual: Expert Consult. 



Competency document


MethodPercentage contribution
Competency document %
Essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Competency document %
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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