PG Credit Advanced Clinical Skills (Short Course)

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Advanced Clinical Assessment

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHAR60232
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


The “Advanced Clinical Skills Course” at MPS consists of 2 x 15 credit units (“Advanced Clinical Assessment” unit and “Emergency Medicine” unit) and introduces pharmacists to the underpinning knowledge and understanding of the assessment and management of patients who are requiring urgent care and who are at risk of becoming acutely unwell, in addition to supporting the development of innovative practice as a specialist Emergency Department Advanced Pharmacist Practitioner.

This Advanced Clinical Assessment Unit develops the necessary practical and assessment skills to be utilised as part of a structured and systematic approach in the assessment and management of the urgent care patient.



Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
Emergency Medicine PHAR60241 Co-Requisite Compulsory


The unit aims to:

Provide pharmacists with advanced practice clinical skills in history taking, examination and diagnosis to complement the existing Emergency Department team.

Produce Pharmacist Practitioners who have advanced practice clinical skills, to be able to manage their case-load in line with a professional registration and refer upward to senior and responsible Consultant Emergency Physicians as necessary.


Teaching and learning methods

The programme will use a blended learning model.  Colleagues in the MPS have used the blended model with other programmes (Clinical and Health Services Pharmacy programme) successfully after extensive work was undertaken with e-learning colleagues to teach the staff the use of e-learning tools to maximise the use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Blackboard™.

The blended learning approach will allow the students to continue to work in the NHS and study at a time that is convenient for them (self-directed learning). 

There will be on-campus study days planned to allow for face-to-contact, teaching in groups, interaction with the other students and practical skills demonstrations.  This will include the use of an advanced anatomy visualization system (Anatomage table) to teach anatomy.

Students will have the opportunity to learn and practice clinical assessment skills in a safe environment by the use of simulated teaching with the SimMen at Manchester Pharmacy School.

The model will use tools from Blackboard including:

o   Quizzes to assess prior knowledge and subsequent knowledge gained.

o   Self-directed learning via prepared reading lists.

o   Engagement with e-lectures recorded by clinical and academic experts.

o   Interactive electronic clinical case studies which allow students to apply their knowledge in practice-based scenarios.

o   Webinars which maximise the time with clinical experts, and which allow unit leads to interact directly with students (recorded and placed on Blackboard for revision)

o   Interaction with discussion boards to promote a community of practice and interaction

o   Groups of students will work on wikis built in Blackboard which allow networking and form social groups, focusing on clinical or research topics

o   Videos from other organisations will be embedded or linked to appropriate skills-based subjects i.e. suturing, vaccination techniques

o   Study day sessions will be recorded and made available to students on Blackboard for revision purposes.

o   Students will be prepared for the use of Blackboard™ during their tutorials on study days and guidance videos located in Blackboard™.

The student’s experience is enhanced by the constant interaction with materials and experts via electronic resources each week, and a community of practice is achieved by collaborative tasks using Blackboard™ tools.

The programme lead can maximise the clinical expert’s face-to-face sessions during study days to interact and challenge the students more effectively as the pre-session work has been completed prior to the study day. This is then followed up by post-study day tasks and feedback.

The programme lead will continue to explore novel ways of interacting with students and preparing materials for online learning, and the use of Data Traveller™ equipment to record podcasts and lectures at home will promote the ease of preparing materials and transmitting them to the e-learning team.  The Programme Director attends a Curriculum Innovation group within the School.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand anatomy and physiology, signs and symptoms and treatment of pathophysiology of the emergency patient.

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the format of the classical history and an appreciation of the importance of each of the elements.
  • Demonstrate understanding that history influences the rest of the consultation including examination, formulation of differential diagnoses and rational testing
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key risk factors associated with diseases that pose a significant threat to life or long term health. (so called “Red-flag” symptoms)
  • Demonstrate increased awareness and knowledge of child protection and safeguarding
  • Demonstrate knowledge of normal values for adults and an appreciation of how these are different both in childhood and in older age.
  • Recognise physiological deterioration and know when to refer to a senior emergency medical team.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply history taking skills in difficult groups, for example paediatrics, mental health and patients with learning difficulties.
  • Demonstrate the ability to record accurately the history taken.
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilise the Summary Care Record (SCR) in the ED, as part of the Medicines Reconciliation process.
  • Demonstrate the ability to measure vital signs by commonly available methods (both high- and low- tech).
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise abnormal physiology (by vital signs), understand the causes of this and measures to correct these.
  • Understand the need for, the performance of and demonstrate the ability to undertake an appropriate clinical examination for a range of body systems that include cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, abdominal, musculoskeletal and ENT.
  • Demonstrate the ability to record accurately findings from physical examination.
  • Demonstrate the basic ability in eliciting and interpreting clinical signs.
  • Understand the basis for both positive and negative clinical signs
  • Recognise own limitations and to refer/discuss appropriately.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise the potential signs of abuse in vulnerable patients and know what to do with this suspicion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise the signs of infection in patients, particularly sepsis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognise when adjunctive tests (eg PEFR, fundoscopy etc) are needed and to either perform these or refer to colleagues.
  • Demonstrate the ability to propose a basic differential diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to suggest tests to refine differential diagnosis.
  • Recognise where to find and how to use expert advice, clinical guidelines and medical evidence.
  • Demonstrate the ability to suggest preference in treatment based on best available medical evidence.
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand the appropriate use of and interpretation of basic statistical tests, eg Chest X-rays, ECGs and ABGs.
  • Understand the principles of Venepuncture and apply safely when managing patients eg for taking blood samples for clinical samples and blood cultures.
  • Understand the principles of Immunisation for commonly used vaccines in the Emergency Department and be able to administer these vaccines safely.
  • Advise in the preparation of commonly used parenteral medicines in the Emergency Department, including physically reconstituting if required.
  • Administer Basic Life Support.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Identify individual learning needs and develop strategies to meet those needs.
  • Learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development and in a wider context throughout their career.
  • Evaluate own academic and personal progression.
  • Critically reflect on practice and how it can be enhanced and developed through learning by experience.
  • Manage change effectively and respond to changing demands.

Assessment methods

OSCE examination

Length: 90 minutes

How and when feedback is provided: Feedback will be given within 15 days as per University policy



1 x Reflective Case (as part of Advanced Clinical Skills Practice Portfolio relating to time in practice)

Length: 1 x 2000 word reflective case, as part of Advanced Clinical Skills Practice Portfolio

How and when feedback is provided: Written feedback will be given within 15 days after submission as per University policy

Weighting: Pass/Fail


“Sign off” by ED or Acute Medicine consultant to confirm satisfactory completion of total 60 hours of practice based learning as part of the reflective portfolio relating to time in practice.

(If undertaking the Advanced Clinical Skills Course this is part of the 113 hours of practice-based learning as part of Advanced Clinical Skills reflective portfolio relating to time in practice).

Weighting: Pass/Fail

Feedback methods

Feedback will be given after the exam board.

Written feedback will be given within on assignments 15 days after submission as per University policy.

Recommended reading

Thomas J and Monaghan T editors. Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills. 2nd ed. (2014) Oxford: Oxford University Press

Rawles Z, Griffiths B and Alexander T editors. Physical examination procedures for advanced Nurses and Independent Prescribers: Evidence and Rational. (2009) London: CRC Press

Markovchick VJ, Pons PT and Bakes KM editors. Emergency Medicine Secrets. 5th ed. (2011) St Louis: Elsevier Mosby

Parrillo JE, Dellinger R editors. Critical care medicine principles of diagnosis and management in the adult 3rd ed. (2014) Philadelphia PA: Mosby Elsevier

Vincent JL, Brimiouille S editors. Critical care medicine. (2009) Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 50
Practical classes & workshops 30
Work based learning 60
Independent study hours
Independent study 10

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jillian Simpson Unit coordinator

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