Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

NQCG3120 Foundations of High Dependency Care (Adult)

Module Overview

The module is designed for any health and social care professional who wishes to increase their knowledge and understanding of the complex needs of the highly dependent patient (level 2). It is particularly appropriate for those caring for highly dependent patients in a variety of settings such as; Emergency Department, Anaesthetic and Recovery areas or high acuity and/or acute care wards/units.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

Comprehensive Critical Care (DH, 2000) is focused on ensuring all patients receive the required level of care relating to the severity of their illness irrespective of their geographical location. This has lead to many high dependency (level 2) patients being cared for in a variety of clinical areas rather than more traditionally high dependency units. The aim of this module is to enable health care professionals to develop upon their existing knowledge and skills in order to effectively assess, plan and manage the care of high dependency patients.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify factors involved in the assessment of a highly dependent patient and critically consider potential alterations in normal values with reference to disordered physiology and compensatory mechanisms.
  • Critically analyse a range of health care problems experienced by the highly dependent patient and their management.
  • Evaluate the potential impact on the patient and/or their family of cultural, spiritual and psycho-social factors.
  • Explore the ethical, legal and professional issues related to care.
  • Demonstrate achievement of ten core and five specific competencies.


Having successfully completed this programme you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: • What is High Dependency – levels of critical care • Holistic assessment and monitoring (non-invasive/invasive) • Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) • Respiratory Support • Inotropic Support • Infection • Communication and psychological factors (interprofessionals ,patients and significant others) • Sensory Deprivation • Euthanasia and withdrawal (ethical, legal and professional aspects) • G.I Service user involvement is a valuable and important component taken into account in relevant sessions and summative assessment of this module (DH, 2005; NMC, 2010).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and learning methods that will be used to help you achieve the learning outcomes of this module are designed to facilitate a contextual exploration of your clinical experience in relation to the integration of theory and research in order to provide quality care for high dependency patients. Adult learning (Knowles, 1990) is embedded throughout this module enabling students to participate collaboratively and independently by engaging in a variety of learning methods. Learning methods in this module will include: 1. Interpersonal learning - through group discussions (verbal) and through discussion of findings with peers. 2. Team and Group learning – through group activities, problem solving and by discussion. 3. Individual learning - through reading, reviewing literature, reflection. 4. Cognitive learning – development of critical reflection, critical analysis and synthesis of information based on a range of knowledge/evidence. 5. Electronic learning - through literature searching and utilisation of databases to retrieve information. 6. Creative learning - Using research/evidence/knowledge to demonstrate comprehension in a specific practice area through the student’s written assignment. Module structure The five day module will be delivered over a five week period and a written assignment will be submitted upon completion of the taught component of the module within an eight week period.

Follow-up work40
Completion of assessment task40
Wider reading or practice70
Practical classes and workshops15
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Total study time200

Resources & Reading list

Department of Health (2000). Comprehensive critical care. 

Guidelines for Emergency Oxygen Use in Adult Patients.


Assessment Strategy

You must achieve a minimum of 40% for the assignment and you will need to pass both parts (assignment and clinical competencies) in order to pass the module overall.


Group Professional Conversation


MethodPercentage contribution
Clinical Portfolio 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Clinical Competence 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.