NURSING 7128 - Emergency Nursing Care II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course contains the theory that supports emergency nursing care. This course is designed to provide the emergency nursing student with a sound understanding of the principles of trauma management, with specific attention paid to significant body systems affected by physical trauma. The semester also branches out into common non-traumatic emergency presentations. Reference will be made to variations across the age continuum as required. This course will build on the knowledge gained from first semester, with the overall aim to provide the student with recent and comprehensive clinical and theoretical information on emergency medical and nursing care.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 7128
    Course Emergency Nursing Care II
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week
    Restrictions Available to M.NursSc students only
    Course Description This course contains the theory that supports emergency nursing care. This course is designed to provide the emergency nursing student with a sound understanding of the principles of trauma management, with specific attention paid to significant body systems affected by physical trauma. The semester also branches out into common non-traumatic emergency presentations. Reference will be made to variations across the age continuum as required. This course will build on the knowledge gained from first semester, with the overall aim to provide the student with recent and comprehensive clinical and theoretical information on emergency medical and nursing care.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ms Janice Elliott

    Course Coordinator: Janice Elliott
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3640
    Location: School of Nursing, University of Adelaide

    Post-Graduate Support Officer
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3595
    Location: Eleanor Harrald Building, RAH campus
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Analyse and plan nursing practice specific to the emergency department environment in relation to specific disorders.
    2 Design implement and appraise assessments appropriate for emergency department patient presentations across the age span
    3 Actively, assertively implement and/or coordinate appropriate advanced emergency assessment and emergency care as a member and/or leader of the multidisciplinary care team
    4 Identify and articulate the clinical concepts that make emergency nursing unique
    5 Evaluate care with consideration given to revision of the care plan in response to the observed or measured alterations in the patient’s physiological/ psychological/ emotional status
    6 Identify and integrate information from current evidence based guidelines and consensus statements in order to ensure the delivery of advanced emergency nursing care
    7 Select and perform with confidence and competence the necessary clinical skills required for specific emergency patient presentations or emergency situations.
    8 Appraise, select and utilise health care and information technologies to ensure the delivery of advanced emergency assessment, emergency care delivery and communication throughout the health care setting.
    9 Evaluate the current clinical issues in emergency nursing and consider the implications for the local, national and international context
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4, 7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4, 6, 8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 5, 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 8
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 3
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    This course will require the following texts and other resources:

    Bryant, B & Knight, K, 2011 Pharmacology for Health Professionals, 3rd edition Elsevier, Sydney
    Curtis, K, & Ramsden, C 2011, Emergency and trauma care for nurses and paramedics, Mosby/Elsevier, Sydney.
    Marieb, EN & Hoehn, K 2012, Human anatomy and physiology, 9th edn, Pearson International/Benjamin Cummings, US.
    Talley, NJ & O’Connor, S 2014, Clinical examination: a systematic guide to physical diagnosis, 7th edn, Churchill/Livingstone, Elsevier, Sydney.
    Proehl, JA (ed.) 2009, Emergency nursing procedures, 4th edn, WB Saunders Co, Philadelphia

    There are copies of most books on reserve in the library,

    The University of Adelaide
    Adelaide SA 5005
    Phone: +61 8 8125 5160

    Encompass Bookshop
    Shop 20, Renaissance Arcade
    128 Rundle Mall
    Adelaide SA 5000
    Phone: 08 8224 0886
    Fax: 08 8223 3570
    Recommended Resources
    McQuillan, KA, RL, Flynn-Makic, MB & Whalen, E 2009, Trauma nursing from resuscitation through rehabilitation, 4th edn, Saunders/Elsevier, Philadelphia.
    Cameron, P, Jelinek, G, Kelly, AM, Murray, L & Brown A, J 2009, Textbook of adult emergency medicine, 3rd edn, Churchill Livingston, Edinburgh.
    Stone, CK & Humphries, RL 2011, Current emergency diagnosis and treatment, 7th edn, McGraw Hill, New York.

    Anatomy and Physiology texts
    Guyton, A & Hall, J 2010, Textbook of medical physiology, 12th edn, Elsevier/Saunders, Philadelphia

    Note: You are not required to buy recommended texts. However, they provide valuable supplementary reading on various aspects of the material covered within this course and you are encouraged to have a look at them.
    Online Learning
    All students enrolled in a postgraduate coursework nursing program have access to the School of Nursing – Postgraduate Coursework Student Centre on MyUni. If you would like the opportunity to network with other students, you can use the Communication features in the site. This site will also feature information about the latest news and events at the School of Nursing.

    UNIFIED is your one-stop shop for email, calendar, MyUni and Access Adelaide. It even allows you to search the Library.
    UNIFIED is available to all active students; with a single login you can access your student systems and personal information through a central website. Login with your Student ID ("a1234567") and Password.

    For more information, including easy to follow instructions visit

    Library Resources
    Help for Nursing Students
    The University of Adelaide Library has a website to help nursing students use the library and its resource (

    Remote student library service
    The University of Adelaide Library provides a document delivery and loans service to non-metropolitan students who do not visit a University of Adelaide campus to attend classes (

    Please note, you will be required to submit most assignments unless specified otherwise via TURNITIN, however as a student you can also use TURNITIN to support your learning with regard to academic writing and referencing.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be presented as a series of weekly two hour sessions – each Wednesday of semester I from 0800 – 1030. The sessions will be presented as a blend of lectures, tutorials and practical activities that relate to the weekly topics.
    A significant number of nursing and other health care experts will present sessions throughout this course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lectures/ Tutorials
    The student is expected to attend Course lectures every Wednesday morning from 8:00 am to 1030 on the University of Adelaide or Royal Adelaide Hospital Campus, North Terrace.
    Student participation and discussion will be expected in all sessions.


    A reading list has been compiled for this course and will be made available through MyUni. Lecture and readings have been carefully chosen. All of these are required and have been selected to optimise your knowledge on the topic and so that they will continue to be of use after you graduate.

    Clinical Practice and Skills Acquisition
    This course supplements theoretical knowledge with field based learning. Students are required to complete clinical skills and work a minimum of 300 clinical skills in the emergency department during this semester
    It is expected that you will need to invest about 12 hours per week of study to successfully complete this course. This includes study activities, attendance at lectures readings and assessment. Thus some weeks it will be more and others less. It is recommended that you plan your time commitment to the course at the beginning of the semester.
    Learning Activities Summary
    This course will cover the practical issues that face emergency nurses on a daily basis. Content will expand upon Emergency Nursing I, however the emphasis will shift from patient assessment to psychomotor skills. (Note that patient assessment will continue to be important within this course.)
    This course will take a uniform approach to the teaching of the handling of specific emergency presentations.

    The course content will include the following:
    Students will be expected to be prepared to read widely, take new knowledge to the clinical area and critique their clinical practice and suggest alternative approaches to the emergency patient presentation. Emergency Nursing Care II will assist you to focus on the application of this knowledge in your emergency nursing practice.
    Triage will be discussed throughout the course; however a specific topic focussing on triage will be presented in the final weeks of the course. Specifically, the unit content addresses:
    signs symptoms and presenting complaints
    how to formulate a history of the problem and the compilation of a past medical history
    examining patients using the skills of inspection, and palpation, auscultation and percussion (where appropriate)
    planning appropriate care, and evaluating expected outcomes
    assessment, care and evaluation of treatment: of children with emergency presentations, people with psychiatric emergencies, and psychological crises
    skill acquisition for: suturing and orthopaedics and triage assessment and priority setting.
    understand the process of triage and be able to prioritise care

    Content covered
    This course considers the pathophysiology of patient conditions requiring emergency care, as well as assessment, and treatment. For each topic discussed consideration will be given to variances in aetiology, mechanism of injury, pathophysiology, assessment and management of older people and children.

    Signs Symptoms and Presenting Complaints

    The transition from knowledge of pathology and mechanisms of injury, to how the patient presents, and what signs and symptoms they have; will contribute a major portion of this course. It will be a natural progression to move from knowledge of the processes that cause morbidity to an understanding of the signs and symptoms that occur concurrently with that disorder. Without this intermediate step the emergency RN will be unable to make the necessary step to a comprehensive assessment, imperative to sound nursing care in the emergency area. Students will be expected to understand why patients have the signs and symptoms they do, and their significance.

    Current Issues, Trends and Research in Emergency Nursing
    Every endeavour will be made to present material that reflects current knowledge. In addition reference will be made to current research in topics that are being addressed. The overall aim will be to provide knowledge on what is currently believed to be best clinical practice in the international world of emergency nursing care.

    Specifically topics considered will be:

    1. Thoracic Trauma
    2. Abdominal Trauma
    3. Non-traumatic abdominal emergencies
    4. Orthopaedic Injuries
    5. Spinal Injuries
    6. Neurological Trauma
    7. Non traumatic neurological emergencies
    8. Burns
    9. Shock assessment and management
    10. Massive blood transfusion
    11. Electrolyte disturbances and emergency presentation/ management
    12. Endocrine & Renal emergencies
    13. Vascular emergencies
    14. Poisoning/ Toxicological emergencies
    15. Envenomation/ Toxinological emergencies
    16. Haematology Emergencies
    17. Infectious Disorders
    18. Eyes, ENT, Dental emergencies
    19. Triage theory
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Assessment 1 part 1. Case study Formative 0% Pass/fail 4-7
    Assessment 1 part 2. Case study paper Summative 50% 1, 4, 6, 9
    Assessment 2 Exam Summative 50% 1-6
    Course skills book/checklist Summative Non-graded pass/fail 1-3, 7-8
    Assessment Detail
    Students will be required to pass all summative components of the course in order to be assessed as having passed. Specific clinical skills associated with this course are identified in the clinical skills record.

    Assessment 1:
    The student will present a clinical patient scenario related to one of the topics covered in the course content. The aim is critically analyse and critique the assessment and care provided throughout the patients stay in the emergency department. The clinical case may be an example of inadequate assessment or care or an example of excellent assessment and care.

    Assessment 1 Part 1: Case Study Rationale, essay plan, literature search strategy and provisional reference list
    A brief outline of the intended topic of discussion and rationale for the topic selection will be provided. A literature search strategy will be described and the preliminary outcomes of the search will be summarised.

    Assessment 1 Part 2: Case study

    The case study should summarise the nursing and medical treatment the patient received and then critiqued in light of the knowledge gained from the reading undertaken.

    Assessment 2: Written examination
    Students will be expected to be able to analyse patient situations.
    The examination will be 2 hours and 10 minutes in duration.
    Theory and clinical knowledge taught in Emergency Nursing Care II will be examined,

    Assessment 3 – Clinical Skills Record

    This assessment will be continual throughout the semester and will depend upon students seeking out clinicians to assess the skills that have been set for them to attain. Thus, suitably experienced colleagues who are clinical titleholders will assess students. A series of skills associated with this course are identified within the skills record, a number of them are considered essential for emergency nurses and therefore must be successfully completed prior to completion of the course.
    Assessments, unless otherwise stated in your Study guide, are to be submitted electronically via Assignments in MyUni on the due date identified in this Study guide. Instructions for assignment submission are available for all students under Tutorials at

    An assessment submitted via MyUni must be submitted as a .doc, .docx or .rtf file. If submitting a PowerPoint presentation for marking, the .ppt or .pptx must be submitted as .pdf file. It is also important to submit your file under your name, such as surname.firstname. MyUni stamps all the other details against your filename once you submit your assessment.

    An Assignment Coversheet must be submitted with each assessment. The coversheet should be the first page of your assessment. A word version of the Assignment Coversheet is available to download at The Plagiarism Statement must be signed and dated for your assessment to be marked (please note the details stated on the Assignment Coversheet). More information on avoiding Plagiarism is available at
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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