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The University of Southampton

PSIO3041 Preparing for on call

Module Overview

The module will draw on the theory of normal respiratory, cardiac and renal physiology and will consider the pathophysiology of certain conditions. The ABCDE resuscitation council (UK) assessment process will be utilised alongside current national early warning scores that are used by Trusts to monitor patients in a variety of ward settings. The module incorporates simulated practice, so that you can rehearse and practice the skills required to develop confidence to assess and manage an acutely unwell respiratory patient anywhere in a hospital setting working independently and as part of the MDT. Human factors and issues about communication skills are incorporated into the simulated sessions and by using debriefing for reflection after the simulation, the situation is explored in depth and from all perspectives: patient, physiotherapist and MDT. The simulated practice will be informed by real-life case studies of on-call scenarios from local Hospital Trusts and consist of a deteriorating surgical, medical, critical care and orthopaedic patient. The assessment and management of these case studies will be discussed and wherever possible, opportunities to practice the clinical skills will be given. The simulated practice will enable you to rehearse the assessment of a deteriorating patient via using a human computerised mankin SiMMan 3G to develop problem solving and also expert simulated patients so as to develop communication skills with the patient and MDT in the context of an on-call scenario. A debriefing session will be used afterwards so as to identify any issues that you may have encountered and facilitate reflection after action, this will also identify any further teaching that is required. Practical teaching sessions will allow you the opportunity to explore some of the more advanced intervention strategies such as the cough assist, and nasal intermittent ventilation NIV, manual hyperinflation and suctioning

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of key respiratory care concepts used for the management of patients with acute respiratory problems.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Critically analyse and reflect on a respiratory assessment in a situational simulated context.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Undertake a systematic respiratory assessment of simulated complex patients to identify their problems and select, justify and evaluate the physiotherapy management required.
  • Communicate findings from the assessment to the Multidisciplinary team using the Situation, Background, Analysis and Recommendation SBAR method.


The module will cover different aspects of physiotherapy respiratory management such as: Understanding the multidimensional nature of physiological deterioration A-E assessment and physiological measurement using early warning scores The management of common respiratory presentations: loss of lung volume, sputum retention and increased work of breathing conditions. The use of adjuncts such as the cough assist, Nasal intermittent ventilation NIV, Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB Management of a ventilated patient, e.g. manual hyperinflation and closed suctioning and care of a tracheostomy

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will use a blended learning approach consisting of seminars, and practical sessions for learning clinical and communication skills. By using simulation, you will have the opportunity to rehearse how to assess and manage an on-call patient with an acute respiratory deterioration.

Wider reading or practice124
Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Follow-up work20
Total study time188

Resources & Reading list

Harden, B (2004). An on-call survival guide Emergency Physiotherapy, Churchill Livingstone. 

Main E (2016). Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy: Adults and Paediatrics: formerly Physiotherapy for Respiratory and Cardiac Problems, (Physiotherapy Essentials). 

Hough  (2018). Hough’s Cardio respiratory Care An evidence based, problem solving approach . 


Assessment Strategy

The practical on call scenario and the reflective essay must be successfully completed. The practical assessment will carry 80% and the reflective essay 20%. The marks will be combined and must be passed at 40% (grade D). If the assessment is failed, it must be re-taken.




MethodPercentage contribution
Individual written reflection  (1500 words) 20%
Simulation 80%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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