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Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education


NW6026 [Module]

Respiratory care for the acute setting

Academic Level:

6 (Undergraduate)

15 Credits

This module can contribute to the following programmes

Intake Dates

Start Date 

02 Nov 2023 (Intake Closed)

Apply by: 19 Oct 2023



02 Nov 2023 (On Campus) | 09 Nov 2023 (Online) | 23 Nov 2023 (Online) | 07 Dec 2023 (On Campus) | 14 Dec 2023 (Online)

Course details

This module is suitable for nurses and other registered healthcare professionals working with respiratory patients in an acute setting. It is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to assess and manage patients with acute respiratory presentations.



The module will enhance student’s knowledge of the pathophysiology and its application to the diagnosis and evidence-based management of patients with common acute respiratory presentations. 


What and how you will learn on this module 


How you will learn:

This module is delivered using a blended learning approach which integrates a variety of on-campus and online activities, supported by Canvas, the University’s virtual learning environment. A complementary range of activities are employed to engage you in the critical exploration of key topic areas, and the completion of formative tasks during the module also helps to keep you on track with the learning and gain feedback on your understanding of the content. A sense of community is developed and maintained with frequent opportunities for peer learning, enabling you to share your practice experiences and to learn from each other. Level 6 and level 7 students taking this module may be taught together.

Academic writing and critical thinking skills are developed through ‘The Critical Thinking Skills Toolkit’ and other academic practice activities embedded within the module, that have been designed to nurture the skills needed to facilitate you to become a thoughtful, objective and reasoned thinker. This will help you tackle the assignment(s) confidently, understand marking criteria, use evidence, take a reasoned approach, make structured arguments and engage with other points of view. 


What you will learn:

Respiratory anatomy & physiology

• Structures and function

• Defence mechanisms

• Pulmonary circulation

• Gas exchange

• Control of breathing

• Ventilation and perfusion


Respiratory assessment

• Clinical assessment (to include history taking, inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation)

• Arterial blood gas interpretation

• Pulse oximetry

• Introduction to chest auscultation and chest X-ray interpretation

• Peak flow measurement


Acute disorders & their management

• Acute exacerbation of COPD

• Asthma

• Cardiogenic pulmonary oedema

• Pulmonary embolism

• Oxygen therapy, humidification, nebulisation, drug therapies

• Airway management

• Management of intrapleural chest drains

• Relevant guidelines and recommendations for practice


Tracheostomy care

• Indications for tracheostomy placement

• Types of tracheostomy tube

• Airway management, suction, humidification

• Emergency care of the patient with a tracheostomy


Non-invasive ventilation

• Indications for non-invasive ventilation (BiPAP and CPAP)

• Machines, modes, circuits and interfaces

• Initiating NIV

• Complications of NIV

• Weaning NIV

• Relevant guidelines and recommendations for practice


Academic practice

• Database searching

• Referencing and avoiding plagiarism

• Critical Thinking Skills Toolkit


Course length: 5 teaching days


Case Review (2000 words) and Competency assessment document (CAD)


Learning outcomes

Develop an in-depth knowledge of the applied anatomy and physiology of the respiratory system.

Use a systematic approach to undertake a physical assessment and interpretation of the patient assessment data in relation to the underlying condition of an acutely ill respiratory patient.

Critically evaluate the clinical assessment findings, demonstrating knowledge of key diagnostic criteria, associated underlying pathophysiology and differential diagnoses.

Critically apply contemporary evidence to the recognition of deteriorating patients requiring respiratory support, formulating a management plan in partnership with the multi-disciplinary team.

Course Information


Course Leader



Course delivery

Kingston WFD Admissions Team

Siby Sikhamoni & Suzie Regan

Blended Learning. On-Campus sessions subject to change. If government advice changes, we may need to update our plans. If we do so, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.


Course pre-requisites

Programme entry requirements

Students should be working in an appropriate clinical area caring for patients with acute respiratory needs




Self-funding students will need to make a one-off payment for the module via our secure payment portal before the online enrolment process.


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