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The University of Southampton

MEDI4023 Acute Care

Module Overview

This module focuses on the Acute Care knowledge and understanding, practitioner and professional skills required of an F1 doctor, and the assessments within this module will focus on these areas. The BM programmes are however highly contextualised and integrated programmes in which the application of knowledge and understanding, clinical skills and professional practice applicable to medicine are learned through a range of modules none of which are stand alone modules and therefore this module should be recognised by teachers and students alike as part of the whole year and programme. The Acute Care Module in year 4 of the BM programmes is studied along with 4 other clinical teaching modules in Psychiatry, Specialty Weeks, Obstetrics & Gynaecology/GUM and Child Health; a year long Clinical Ethics & Law (CEL) module; and a Year 4 assessment module. The emphasis of the assessments for each of the modules aligns with the focus of learning for that module, however the integrated nature of the course means that there will undoubtedly be overlap and aspects of the assessment in each module will draw upon learning from modules studied in earlier years as well as modules studied in that year. In addition, the CEL module and Year 4 assessment modules have been purposely designed to assess learning outcomes covered in any of the 5 clinical modules from the year. The module will normally take the format of a 4 week placement in one or more of our University of Southampton partner trusts. The timing will vary for different student groups and the teaching staff will vary for different trusts and student groups. As is the nature of clinical placements, the exact learning experiences of each student will be variable however all students will receive the same broad opportunities sufficient to achieve the learning outcomes of the module and it is expected that students will take responsibility for making the most of the opportunities provided and being pro-active in securing experiences in areas in which they feel they have weaknesses and/or they have had fewest learning experiences.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply knowledge of basic sciences to reach diagnoses and to the understanding of management planning
  • Establish a relationship with a patient to help them to make decisions on their immediate and longer-term care
  • Use medicines safely and effectively (under supervision) including giving a clear explanation to patients
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the safety procedures involved in prescribing controlled drugs
  • Keep accurate and clear clinical records that can be understood by colleagues.
  • Demonstrate the safe performance of core clinical and procedural skills
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of the principles and practice of infection control to reduce the risk of cross-infection
  • Take responsibility for your own learning and your continuing professional development
  • Describe and reflect on the importance of multi-professional team-working to successful patient outcomes in acute care; and, under appropriate supervision, begin to contribute to the multi-professional team.
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognise and start management of acutely ill patients under supervision, including variety of situations where a patient requires resuscitation
  • Demonstrate performance in obtaining an appropriate and relevant history and identifying the main findings
  • Demonstrate competence in appropriate physical and mental health examinations
  • Show the application of knowledge and recognition of relevant factors including physical, psychological and social factors to identify possible differential diagnoses.
  • Justify, request and interpret the results of appropriate investigations to confirm clinical findings in a timely manner
  • Show ability to establish a differential diagnosis where possible and in considering what might change this.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of treatment options and the limits of evidence supporting them
  • Demonstrate asking for patients’ informed consent (under supervision) in accordance with GMC guidance


In order to meet the learning outcomes, the syllabus will contain teaching in the following areas: • Basic resuscitation and life support. • Professional issues in acute care. • Ethical issues such as organ donation and end of life care. • The generic treatment approach to the management of the critically ill patient, focussing on the team centred approach. • Therapeutics. • Students will be encouraged to gain exposure to a wide range of medical conditions/ procedures during the 3 week clinical component and will be provided with a list of those that are most important to them, as follows: • Airway obstruction. • Respiratory failure. • Infective pneumonia / aspiration. • Pulmonary oedema. • Shock – haemorrhagic & septic. • Orthopaedic trauma. • Intra - abdominal catastrophe: Peritonitis, bowel obstruction, pancreatitis. • Urinary tract infection/urinary obstruction. • Drug overdose/self-harm. • Complications of obesity, alcohol and drug dependency (at least one of). • Intracerebral haemorrhage. • Myocardial infarct/arrhythmia. • Metabolic derangements: Hypo/hyperglycaemia, hypo/hyperkalaemia & hypo/hypernatremia (at least one of).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught through a range of learning and teaching strategies which will include: • Tutor led tutorials/workshops • Practical sessions (clinical skills) • Portfolios • eLearning • Patient based learning (ward and clinic work) • Lectures Students will learn in a variety of clinical settings such as: • Pre hospital care • Emergency departments/ major trauma centres • Acute Medical Units • Intensive care • Surgical High care unit • Coronary care unit • Neonatal intensive care unit • Respiratory high care unit • Outreach services • Operating theatres/ anaesthetics departments Students will be assigned a clinical supervisor at the start of the module who will be responsible for reviewing the student’s log book and signing off on their attendance and also completing their end of attachment form. Students are likely to have a number of lecture sessions and will be expected to undertake case studies and practical sessions in a simulation suite. Following the first week of the course, students will spend 3 weeks in a variety of clinical settings. Doctors work in shift patterns and rotas throughout much of their working lives and to prepare you for such working once you graduate, throughout your programme you will be expected to undertake placements in the evenings, at nights and at weekends. This will not be an onerous requirement and will be negotiated well in advance so that students with carers’ requirements will be able to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place for cover. Within this module there may be some core/compulsory activities that will take place in the evenings, nights or weekends therefore students will commitments that will be affected by these should be pro-active in securing details of these activities well in advance of the start of the module. In addition, many non core learning opportunities will be available during these times and students are encouraged to take advantage of them.

Independent Study47.5
Total study time187.5

Resources & Reading list

West J B (2011). Respiratory. Physiology: The Essentials. 

Bowden, G, McNally, M and Thomas, S.R.Y.W. (2010). Oxford Handbook of Orthopaedics and Trauma. 

Blackboard. Resources for this module will be signposted to you through the Blackboard Page for this module. An indicative content is provided below, however the blackboard module and/or log book will provide the most up to date guidance on resources for this module.

Roseveare, C. (2009). Acute Medicine: Clinical Cases Uncovered. 

Wyatt, J.P, Illingworth, R.N and Graham, C.A. (2012). Oxford Handbook of Emergency Medicine.. 


Assessment Strategy

ADDITIONAL ASSESSMENT OF THIS MODULE LEARNING As stated in the overview section the integrated nature of the BM programmes means that material learnt within this module is likely to be assessed in other modules. In particular material from this module are likely to be assessed in the following modules. • Year 4 Written Exams • Clinical Ethics and Law • Finals Assessment Further Details of Module Assessments Compulsory activities/elements include • Review of completed student log book, to include 3 long case histories • Case based discussions in tutorials • Completion of the MCQ in the final week • Submitting a satisfactory end of attachment form.


MethodPercentage contribution
Tutor evaluation 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Supplementary activity 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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