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Professional Development

Tel: +44 (0)117 32 81043, Option 1 for PD
followed by option: 1 for CHSS, 2 for CBAL or 3 for CATE

You can view, apply for and review your professional development courses here.

Acute Medical Assessment: Theory and Practice

Course Details

Course/Module Code





23-24 Non-Accredited 20 credits



23-24 Accredited 20 credits



Course Dates

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An online portfolio with a variety of evidence measured against a competency framework developed by the Society for Acute Medicine for healthcare professionals working in acute assessment units.

Opportunities for formative assessment will take place in classroom and online settings during the module delivery.


The module syllabus covers:

  • common acute medical emergencies and presentations including chest pain, breathlessness, sepsis, gastro, hepatology disease, and neurological conditions such as stroke.
  • a systems based approach to explore the normal and abnormal physiology underlying the most common signs and symptoms
  • developing clinical decision making skills and holistic assessment skills in this speciality
  • advanced communication skills (difficult conversations, breaking bad news)
  • associated pharmacology and the application in clinical practice
  • interpretation of clinical signs and symptoms in the context of abnormal pathophysiology.

Course Director

Dr Rebecca Hoskins


The Acute Medical Assessment: Theory and Practice is a 20 credit level 7 (Masters level) module, co-delivered with University Hospitals Bristol & Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The module content is delivered online and on-site in the simulation centre at UHBW.

The overall aim of this module is to provide Band 5 nurses working in an acute medical assessment unit (AMU) the knowledge, skills and behaviours to provide initial assessment and management of patients in an acute medical assessment unit setting.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically appraise the aetiological factors and relevant risk factors which contribute to processes of disease
  • construct a rationale for diagnostic reasoning, using knowledge of the pathophysiological basis of the signs and symptoms associated with a range of disease processes
  • critically apprise ethical and legal issues which impact on diagnostic reasoning and the inter-professional team
  • critically apply the knowledge and skills in the acute medical assessment clinical setting to devise a clear initial management plan and evaluate this against pre determined parameters
  • demonstrate the ability to consider appropriate theoretical principles as part of the decision making process
  • critically reflect on and use an evidenced based approach to clinical practice
  • critically appraise own learning needs and demonstrate the ability to develop a development plan.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods include problem-based learning approaches, simulation interactive lectures, self-directed learning and peer assessment.

Study facilities

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+44 (0)117 32 81158

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20 credit level 7 module

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