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The University of Southampton

NPMH6001 Managing Acute Changes in Health Status (MH field GEN)

Module Overview

In this module you will build on your previous learning so that you can prioritise and respond to the changing levels of support that people require when their health status changes. You will develop your ability to manage and evaluate care across healthcare settings to promote, restore and stabilise health status. You will also have an additional 60 hours of learning specifically devoted to developing your skills in engagement and assessment in Mental Health Recovery

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically discuss the knowledge and skills necessary to undertake a prioritised assessment of people who are experiencing an acute change in health status
  • Analyse how clinical judgement and decision making skills inform the management of nursing care
  • Evaluate the evidence base which supports nursing responses to acute changes in health status
  • Explore how the nurse may identify, prioritise and respond to risk factors that may lead to deterioration in health status
  • Critically discuss the principles, purposes and different types of bio-psycho-social assessment undertaken with people with common mental health disorders.


Content for ALL Fields: Clinical judgement & decision making Responding to mental and emotional distress including agitation, aggression and challenging behaviour Responding to self-harm and or suicidal ideation Recognising and responding to acute deterioration in physical health status (e.g. sepsis) Breaking significant news Sudden and / or traumatic death Ethical and legal issues in acute care: DNACPR, DOLS Managing risks to vulnerable groups with acute health care needs (e.g. Learning Disability) Human Factors: Safety culture, Debriefing Medicines Management: Safe medicine use. (e.g. drug interactions / reactions including anaphylaxis; recreational drugs; using technology to improve medicines safety; forms of prescribing including PGD) ENGAGEMENT AND ASSESSMENT IN MENTAL HEALTH RECOVERY The nature of mental health Explanatory models of mental disorder (ie. biopsychosocial model) Classification of mental disorder Recovery in mental health care Assessment in mental health care (i.e. information gathering) Behavioural change models (i.e. for goal/intervention identification) Use of standardised assessment tools Types of anxiety disorder and mood disorder MANAGING ACUTE HEALTH NEEDS: Mental health and the law Care planning Admission and discharge planning Admission of a person in acute distress Managing risk of self-harm and suicide Managing risk of violence and aggression Engagement and observation of people at risk Psychopharmacology Psychotropic medication in practice The person experiencing psychosis The person with a personality disorder The person with an eating disorder Managing mental health crisis Skills: Taking a structured history Venepuncture and cannulation Physical assessment skills Mental Health assessment Therapeutic communication skills Airway skills and supporting the patient at risk BLS Update Responding to physiological deterioration ECG

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Guided independent study Lectures Seminars

Independent Study179
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

Williamson T & Daw R (2013).  Law, Values and Practice in Mental Health Nursing. 

Jarvis C (2012). Physical examination & health assessment . 

Wycraft N (2015). Assessment and Care Planning in Mental Health . 

Nash M (2014). Physical Health and Well-being in Mental Health Nursing: Clinical Skills for Practice . 

Norman I & Ryrie I (2018). The Art and Science of Mental Health Nursing . 


Assessment Strategy

Both summative components must be passed.


Seminar Participation


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


No additional costs associated with this module

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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