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Acute & Complex Adult Care - HEA00099H

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  • Department: Health Sciences
  • Module co-ordinator: Miss Sarah O'Reilly
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

The aim of the module is to explore the needs of adult clients with complex health needs across the lifespan. It will examine the needs of clients in the acute phase, including coping with long term illness and disability. Students will be expected to explore care delivery for individuals and groups of clients, understanding and employing the skills of decision making and delegation within a team or organisation.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate a critical understanding of the physical, psychological and social needs of clients in the acute phase of complex illness or injury, including different coping strategies.
  2. Apply a problem-solving approach to the nursing management of clients with complex healthcare needs in a range of healthcare settings during the acute phase of illness or injury.
  3. Critique the assessment frameworks utilised by practitioners to identify, manage and treat those clients with acute and complex healthcare needs.
  4. Integrate knowledge and understanding of pathophysiological changes during the acute phase of illness or injury.
  5. Critically explore the specific needs of relatives and carers following a sudden and/or unexpected event, including issues of diversity, preference and choice, based on current legal requirements and local guidance.
  6. Identify and apply the principles of Multi-Practitioner Team working and delegation with appropriate referral to facilitate effective healthcare delivery in acute phases of the client's journey.

Transferable skills will be included within the module outcomes and met by students through individual reflection, group discussion, preparing for presentations, literature searching and seminar work.


Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Acute & Complex Adult Care
3 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
24 hour open exam
Acute & Complex Adult Care
3 hours 100

Module feedback

  • Formative feedback from the facilitator and peers within practical work which may contribute to the summative assessment.
  • Students are provided with collective exam feedback relating to their cohort, within the timescale specified in the programme handbook.

Indicative reading

  • Armstrong, M. (2011). How to be an even better manager: a complete A-Z of proven techniques and essential skills. 8th edn. London: Kogan Page.
  • Baillie, L. (2009). Developing practical adult nursing skills. 3rd edn. London: Hodder Arnold.
  • Caulfield, H. (2005). Vital notes for nursing: accountability. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Ellis, J.R. (2009). Managing and coordinating nursing care. 5th edn. London: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.
  • Dougherty, L. and Lister, S. (Eds.). (2011). The Royal Marsden Hospital manual of clinical nursing procedures. 8th edn. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Grohar Murray, M.E. (2010). Leadership and management in nursing. 4th edn. London: Prentice-Hall.
  • Royal College of Nursing (2006). Supervision, accountability and delegation of activities to support workers: a guide for registered practitioners and support workers. [Online]. Available at:
  • Sheppard, M. and Wright, M. (2005). Principles and practice of high dependency nursing. 2nd edn. Elsevier.
  • Thompson, C. and Dowding, D. (Eds.). (2009). Essential decision making and clinical judgement for nurses. Edinburgh: Churchill-Livingstone.
  • Walsh, M. (2007). Watson's clinical nursing and related sciences. 7th edn. London: Elsevier Bailliere Tindall.

Students should also refer to the core text for anatomy and physiology.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

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