Acute illness nursing course first of its kind

Wednesday 28 November 2012
The University of Salford has been awarded £170,000 to develop a unique nursing course for the care of acutely ill patients which will be taught across Europe.

The early recognition of an acute deterioration in patients is crucial if they are to receive the best quality care and timely admission to critical care areas. The award from the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme will be used to provide student nurses with the knowledge, skills and experience to recognise and respond appropriately when a patient’s vital signs indicate that they are becoming acutely unwell.

Students from partner universities in Finland, Germany, Spain, Cyprus, Slovakia and Winona in the USA will attend the course, and each country’s academics will participate in teaching on the course as it moves around Europe on an annual basis.

The programme being held at Salford engages Greater Manchester Critical Care Skills Institute to teach the management of acute illness, North West Ambulance Service for an exploration of the emergency services and the RAF for the treatment of military personnel in conflict zones.

Students will participate in clinical scenarios in the University’s hi-tech Simulation Laboratory which contains computer-controlled mannequins in a hospital ward environment. The simulation of human patients means that students can develop their skills in a realistic environment before coming into contact with real people.

They will also examine pertinent issues such as the use of physical or chemical restraining methods in rapidly deteriorating patients.

Senior Nursing lecturer Melanie Stephens, project co-ordinator and a member of the international team which designed the course, said: “The project gives staff and students the opportunity to get to know each other’s healthcare systems and approaches to nursing education while improving their clinical skills to enhance patient care and outcomes.”

The course starts in February 2013. For more information contact Melanie Stephens on

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