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The University of Southampton

HLTH6157 A Foundation for Respiratory Care of the Newborn (Online)

Module Overview

The module is designed to provide you with the theoretical basis you need for senior decision-making roles in neonatal clinical practice. The module will include clinical problem-based elements and will afford you the opportunity of considering different approaches and perspectives to the management of clinical problems by engagement and involvement in online case-based discussions.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate your understanding of the detailed specialist knowledge and understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the developing respiratory system
  • develop a critical understanding of realistic expectations of function, with or without interventions, of the neonatal respiratory system at different post-conceptional ages
  • increase your detailed knowledge and understanding of therapeutic interventions which are available to manage neonatal respiratory conditions
  • critically apply your knowledge and understanding to complex clinical situations
  • demonstrate insight into the processes and considerations required for collaborative ethical complex clinical decision-making


The following topic areas will be included: • Anatomy and physiology of the neonatal respiratory system • Respiratory gas exchange • Central nervous system control of spontaneous breathing • Structural development of the lung • Lung mechanics • Concepts of conventional pressure-controlled and volume-controlled ventilation • Respiratory gas conditioning • Physiology of continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) • The role CPAP in the management of preterm infants • Special modes of mechanical ventilation, including: patient-triggered, volume guaranteed and pressure support • Pharmacotherapy and physiotherapy as adjuncts to mechanical ventilation

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will take a broad-based learner centred approach to teaching and learning methods, intending to promote deeper learning whilst meeting a range of learning styles. The core theoretical material will be delivered as online text “lectures” within a “Virtual Learning Environment” (VLE) and you will be allocated to discussion groups (“Discussion Forums”) which will be tasked with reflecting on, and discussing within the VLE, clinical scenarios which relate to the theoretical material. The groups will each include about 10 participants and discussions will be directed and modulated by experienced tutors – two per group. While most of the discussions will be asynchronous – by leaving comments within the Discussion Forums - each group will also hold synchronous discussions, possibly once every two or three weeks, when they will “meet” together either online or using media such as Skype. Where appropriate, “Plenary Sessions” will be included, which will allow you to share in discussions on specific topics. In addition, you will be required to participate in collaborative projects, the outcome of which will be the production of, for example, a clinical guideline or operational policy relating to the theoretical material. A range of resource material, including links to relevant online sites, will be made available on the VLE. These methods will facilitate learning from text-based material, from participation in discussion and reflection with peers working in a range of different cultural environments, from background reading, and from the negotiating processes required to produce a collaborative document.

Follow-up work20
Completion of assessment task30
Wider reading or practice50
Preparation for scheduled sessions80
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Physiology podcasts.

Assisted ventilation of the newborn. Bellettato M..

Donn SM, Sinha S (2012). Manual of Neonatal Respiratory Care (e-book). 

Been, J. V. and L. J. Zimmermann (2007). What’s new in surfactant? A clinical view on recent developments in neonatology and paediatrics.. Eur J Pediatr. ,166 , pp. 889–899.

A comprehensive online library will be available which provides access to generic resources (e.g. basic sciences, physiology, pharmacology, genetics, evidence based medicine) and specific neonatology resources.. 

Overview of lung development Acta Pharmacologica Sinica Oct; 23 Suppl 4-7.

Neonatal Resuscitation. emedicine.

Neonatal ventilation strategies.

Warburton, D. and M. K. Lee (1999). Current concepts on lung development. Curr Opin Pediatr. ,11 , pp. 188–192.

Rennie JM (2011). Rennie & Roberton's Textbook of Neonatology: Expert Consult: Online and Print. 


Assessment Strategy

This tri-partite approach to assessment is designed to enable you to demonstrate your depth and breadth of respiratory knowledge as well as your ability to demonstrate your ability to use higher cognitive skills. All assessment guidance will be available in your module handbook where you will also find information on referencing and plagiarism. As all assignments will be submitted electronically Turnitin may be used to confirm originality of your work. Method of repeat year: Repeat the referred element of the assessment internally. The examination and the written assignment can be taken as a standard second attempt however as it is not possible to have a second attempt at the discussions this element of the assessment strategy will be substituted with an alternative method of assessment. For this second attempt you will be required to submit an analytical reflective review (1,500 words) of the international differences that need to be considered with regard to ethical decision-making and respiratory management.


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question  (2 hours) 60%
Qualitative evaluation 20%
Written assignment  (1500 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative assessments 100%
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