NURSING 7129 - Emergency Nursing III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course will provide a blend of theory and practice within the emergency department. Specific emergency presentations will be discussed, as well as the broader concepts of care coordination throughout the emergency department, and self and staff support. The current clinical issues that face emergency nurses will be explored, encouraging the student to develop strategies for dealing with issues in a dynamic and busy environment. The second part of the semester will broadly focus on developing the students confidence in leading teams, identifying and addressing psychosocial issues experienced by patients, relatives/ significant others and staff, and addressing issues that are unique to the emergency context.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code NURSING 7129
    Course Emergency Nursing III
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Nursing School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Assumed Knowledge Human anatomy and physiology, Homeostatic systems within the human body
    Restrictions Available to M.NursSc students only
    Assessment Poster, structured clinical assessment, skills book
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Mr Iain Everett

    Course Coordinator: Mr Iain Everett
    Phone: +61 8 831 34308
    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 Demonstrate the provision of patient focussed culturally competent and integrated holistic care across a range of emergency department patient presentations.
    2 Integrate advanced theoretical and clinical knowledge required for the coordination of care delivery across throughout the emergency department environment.
    3 Demonstrate the ability to work as leaders/ role models in advanced practice roles within a collaborative multidisciplinary team – including triage.
    4 Evaluate and integrates the use of analytical enquiry and critical reflection into nursing practice, through contemporary issues, i.e. current evidence based guidelines, and consensus statements, in emergency nursing.
    5 Integrate advanced theoretical and clinical knowledge in order to undertake assessment and implement nursing care for specific patient presentations with consideration to ethical and legal constraints– for example: violent crime, sexual assault, drug and alcohol, mental health presentations and child protection.
    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 4 & 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 4 & 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1 & 3
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3 & 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1 & 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 3 & 5
  • 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 2016, 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. (See note*)
    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

    *NOTE: If you have a current human anatomy and physiology text that should be sufficient, please read the appropriate chapters.

    The readings for this course are available electronically via MyUni.
    Additional resource material will be made available online or in the classroom.
    Please note: it is your responsibility to organise printing should you prefer a hard copy of the reader.

    Recommended Resources

    Thomson, K, Tey, D & Marks, M (eds) 2009, Paediatric Handbook 8th Edition, 8th edn, BMJ Books, Hoboken.

    Recommended Texts
    Slota, M 2006, Core Curriculum for Pediatric Critical Care Nursing, 2nd edition, WB Saunders/ Elsevier, Philadelphia
    McQuillan, KA, RL, Flynn-Makic, MB & Whalen, E 2009, Trauma nursing from resuscitation through rehabilitation, 4th edn, Saunders/Elsevier, Philadelphia.
    Bryant, B, Knights, K 2011, Pharmacology for health professionals, 2nd edn, Mosby/Elsevier, Sydney
    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 2008, Current emergency diagnosis and treatment, 6th edn, McGraw Hill, New York.
    Tiziani A, 2010, Harvards Nursing Guide To Drugs, 8th edn, Mosby/ Elsevier, Marrickville.

    Anatomy and Physiology texts

    Guyton, A & Hall, J 2006, Textbook of medical physiology, 11th 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.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be presented as a series of weekly four hour sessions. There will be a blend of lectures, tutorials and practical activities. Participation in discussion during lectures, tutorials and practical sessions is encouraged and expected.
    Wednesday of semester 2 from 1100 – 1300.

    The course coordinator may visit your clinical area as requested. This will enable you to discuss issues or seek additional clarification on aspects of emergency assessment and nursing care as presented throughout this course

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

    This course employs on campus delivery of material by a variety of teaching methods to promote learning. A mix of lectures including guest speakers, tutorials, practical skill demonstration and case study review will be incorporated into the sessions. Students will be challenged to develop and demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills.

    Student participation and discussion will be expected in all sessions.

    Lectures/ tutorials
    Course lectures are on Wednesdays 1100 to 1300 on the University of Adelaide or Royal Adelaide Hospital Campus, North Terrace.

    There are several recommended texts for this course and a reading list has been compiled and made available on MyUni. For each lecture, readings have been selected to augment your knowledge on the topic and so that they will continue to be of use to you after you graduate.

    Clinical Practice and Skill Acquisition
    This course supplements theoretical knowledge acquisition with field based learning. Students are required to complete clinical skills and work a minimum of 300 clinical hours in intensive care 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 considers the pathophysiology of patient conditions requiring emergency care, the scientific basis of emergency presentations will be presented in detail.

    The broader aspects of contemporary emergency nursing are presented throughout and numerous practical skills sessions will be presented in order to develop skills associated with these advanced skills. These include simulations, practical skills sessions and interactive sessions with experts in the emergency nursing field.

    The practical application of this knowledge will also be presented thereby enabling the student to assess; plan , prioritorise and implement care and assess the outcomes of the care delivery.
    Specifically, topics considered are listed below.

    This course will take a uniform approach addressing specific emergency presentations and emergency situations. I

    Specifically, the course 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, those presenting as a result of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) use.
         • Skill acquisition for: suturing and orthopaedics and triage assessment and priority setting.

    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.

    Assessment, Care and Treatment Evaluation and the practice environment

    Having understood how, why, and in what way people present with acute problems. The student will learn the processes of assessment and care of the emergently ill person. In order to do this appropriately the learner will be instructed in the skills of evaluating treatment.
    Students will also come to appreciate the wider dimensions of the emergency department. They will also learn to assess and care for those whose problems are not so urgent.


    Assessment will be taught in a systematic and logical fashion. It will follow the processes outlined in the recommended texts. More particularly the student will be expected to achieve comprehensive assessment skills that utilise the primary, secondary and focussed assessments.


    Many authors see patient care as central to the nurse's role, and emergency nurses are no exception. Within this course both medical and nursing care will be addressed, in order for nurses to grasp the roles and to be able to coordinate care. It is recognised that nurses in the emergency discipline are part of a team that is working together in order to achieve optimal patient care. Thus this course will teach care as a part of a team response as well as the nurse's individual responsibilities. Furthermore it will be the aim of this course to bring to the students attention the most recent advances, and best clinical practice currently available.


    In order to achieve optimal patient care the student will be informed of methods that will enable him or her to evaluate the care that is given. This will include the evaluation of both medical and nursing care, for as previously outlined, patients are managed by a team approach, and therefore it is imperative that nurses be responsible for evaluating all treatment that is performed. Taking a wider view of nursing competency, it is important that nurses evaluate care in order to contribute to research that directs best clinical practice.

    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.

    Specific topics covered
         • Principles of trauma assessment and management
         • Wound care – the management of acute and chronic wounds
         • Person centred care – the patient experience of an emergency department
         • Discharging patients from the emergency department
         • Paediatric emergencies
         • Mass casualty management
         • Grief and bereavement
         • Suturing and advanced wound closure
         • Mental health emergency presentations
         • Advanced neurological assessment
         • Orthopaedic and miscellaneous injury workshop
         • Sexual assault
         • Coordination of care in the emergency department
         • Triage practical sessions.

    Specific Course Requirements
    Successful completion of 7149 Emergency Nursing Care I is a pre-requisite of entry into this course.
  • 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
    Poster outline Formative Pass/fail 1, 3
    Poster presentation Summative 50% 1-5
    Structured Clinical Assessment Summative 50% 1-5
    Clinical Skills Workbook Pass/fail 2-4
    Assessment Related Requirements
    To pass Emergency Nursing Care III, you are required to complete and pass all summative assessments as well as the mandatory skills associated with the course. These skills are identified in the clinical skills record.

    Part one of the poster assignment is a formative assessment and will not contribute to the overall grade
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1:
    Part 1: Poster outline and plan
    The development of a poster as a teaching aid for the clinical area. Students will present a brief concept outline, describing the content of their poster and justifying the selection of the poster topic.

    Part 2
    Poster–Students will be required to identify from the course topics presented a deficit in the knowledge within their own area, this will be done in consultation with the senior clinical staff within their practice setting. The aim is to produce a poster that is a visual teaching aid or imparts information for either emergency clinicians or emergency patients.

    Assessment 2
    Structured Clinical Assessment: This practically based structured clinical assessment (SCA) will test the student's ability to apply knowledge to practice, through a series of simulated clinical scenarios. Students will be tested on the skills and knowledge learnt. .
    This assessment will take place in the students’ place of work, the duration of the assessment will be no longer than 30 minutes.

    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 through Assignments in MyUni via 'TURN IT In', 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.

    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
    If you have difficulty submitting your assignment, you can call the MyUni helpdesk from 8am to 6pm 08 8303 3335.
    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.

    Marking Guide - Poster
    Structure and Presentation 30%
    • The poster fits onto an A1 sheet of cardboard.

    • The poster is clear and legible from a distance.

    • The chosen font is easy to read and a reasonable size.

    • The title of poster is clear.

    • Name of the student and the University of Adelaide, study plan and course name appear on the first slide.

    • The poster is presented using a logical sequence.

    • The material is presented in a concise, clear and uncluttered manner.

    • The poster has visual impact.

    • The spelling and grammar used in the poster is correct.
    Content 60%
    • The purpose / aims of the poster are clearly presented.

    • Diagrams and or pictures are used effectively to present material and are referenced.

    • The information is current, accurate and evidence based.

    • The information presented on the poster gives a concise overview of the chosen topic.
    Referencing 10%
    • The Vancouver system of referencing is to be used throughout the poster and it should be congruent with the School’s Student Handbook and Style Guide.

    • The reference list is accurate (i.e. no missing page numbers, volumes, correct title etc), complete (i.e. no references in the body of the paper are missing from the reference list) and consistent with the School’s Student Handbook and Style Guide.

    • The references cited are contemporary (i.e. less than 10 years old unless seminal papers).

    • Primary references are used predominantly (i.e. the original reference has been cited rather than a secondary source).

    • There is evidence in the poster that the student has searched widely for information related to the topic/issue.

    • The student has acknowledged all sources of information and all diagrams and photos are referenced.

    • Direct quotations are only used to make crucial points or to support the discussion/argument.

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

    Extension request for assessment items
    This is a New University Policy

    ‘Modified Arrangements for Coursework Assessment Policy’

    •May apply for an extension of the assessment if they are experiencing difficulty.

    •The grounds for granting an extension include - medical, compassionate or extenuating
    of these are given on the relevant
    application form.

    Access the form-

    Late submission of work
    All assessments should be submitted by the specified due date.
    Late submission without an approved extension will be penalised as per the guidlines for each day after the due date. Work submitted more than ten days after the due date may be returned unmarked. This action will be taken to prevent students who do get their work in on time being disadvantaged.

    Word limit

    You are advised to comply with word limits. You are, of course, not expected to achieve exactly the required length and a 10% leeway on either side is acceptable. However, a penalty of 5% of available marks will apply for word limit in excess of the 10% leeway.


    Your written work must comply with the formatting and referencing indicated in the Student handbook and style guide. Marks will be lost for failing to do so.

    Requesting a re-mark

    Any student who, after discussion of the result with the course coordinator, is still dissatisfied with the final grade awarded for a course, and who has specific grounds for objecting to the grade, may lodge a written request for a review of the result or an independent second assessment with the Head of School within 10 University business days from the date of notification of the result. Such a written request must contain details of the grounds on which the objection is based. Requests must include a summary of the reasons the student believes his or her assessment work deserves a higher grade. These reasons must be directly related to the academic quality of the work. Re-marks, for example, will not be granted where the grounds are that the student has paid tuition fees or incurred liability under HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP, or needs one or two additional marks to get a higher overall grade for the course. The Head of Learning and Teaching may seek the advice of the Postgraduate Learning and Teaching Sub-Committee, and will make a determination on review or second assessment, and inform the student of his or her decision in writing.
    The grade awarded to a piece of work following review or second assessment as provided for in this policy or as a consequence of appeal to the Student Appeals Committee will usually stand as the final grade for the work, regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the grade originally awarded.

    Further guidelines and policies regarding examinations may be found on the examinations web site

    Resubmitting failed assessments

    In accordance with University Policy, the guidelines on and conditions regarding resubmission are stated below. It should be noted that these guidelines concern work that has been assessed as ‘FAIL’.

    Course coordinators, in consultation with Head of Learning & Teaching and/or the Postgraduate Learning and Teaching Sub-Committee Chairperson, are responsible for determining the circumstances in which students may resubmit assessment tasks. In determining these circumstances, the following are considered.
         a) Students may only resubmit their work when:
             i) It will allow them to demonstrate that they have understood feedback on their work; and/or
             ii) They might otherwise be at risk of failing the program.
         b) In granting a resubmission, the deadline will be negotiated.
         c) The resubmitted work will be awarded no more than the minimum pass mark (i.e. 50%).
         d) If the resubmitted work does not achieve a pass, it cannot be submitted a third time, and a fail will be recorded.
         e) Students who accept an offer of resubmission must take into account the possible implications, such as eligibility for graduation should the reassessment not be able to be completed in time for their preferred ceremony.

    Unsatisfactory Academic Progress

    Students whose academic progress is considered to be unsatisfactory may be precluded from taking further studies in the program for which they are enrolled; or further enrolment in that program may not be permitted for one academic year; or they may be permitted to re-enrol, but with a restricted program of study. More information is available at
  • 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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