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92617 Early Interventions in Acute Care Nursing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks


This subject focuses on three key areas. Firstly, students consolidate their understanding of how to ensure optimal person-centred care for the acutely ill patient and their family. Secondly, students think critically about current systems and processes used to assess risk and prioritise the care of patients during episodes of acute deterioration. Lastly, students explore, rehearse and reflect on the role and accountability of the nurse in leading, communicating and collaborating with the multidisciplinary team to manage situations which require rapid patient assessment and response.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Examine the current systems and processes used to identify, prioritise and manage patients at high risk of acute changes in their clinical condition
B. Appraise the nurse’s role and responsibilities in providing best evidence based care for patients who are acutely unwell
C. Analyse the philosophy of patient centred care as it relates to the full episode of acute illness
D. Critically reflect upon the importance of effective communication and collaboration in stressful situations with the multi-disciplinary team and distressed patients/families
E. Evaluate the contribution of accountability and leadership during situations which require rapid patient assessment and response

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Are reflective critical thinkers who contribute to practice, policy and research to enhance health care and health outcomes (1.0)
  • Locate and apply research knowledge and skills to critically evaluate the available evidence for optimal healthcare delivery (1.1)
  • Examine local, national and international networks to enhance translation of latest evidence into acute care nursing practice (1.2)
  • Are effective, collaborative and responsive leaders (2.0)
  • Communicate appropriately and consistently in diverse situations (4.0)
  • Embody the professional qualities appropriate to the scope of their role (5.0)
  • Explore knowledge and skills within their context of acute care practice to enable best practice (5.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students will participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to assist them to recognise and respond appropriately to clinical deterioration in acute health care settings.

These strategies include:

1. Preparatory activities for study days e.g., recommended readings, viewing online material, discussion forum participation. These activities will be integrated into in-class learning; and

2. Face-to-face study days which will be delivered in a variety of formats e.g., mini-lectures and workshops, small and large group discussion, problem-based learning activities, team-based practical simulation activities in the clinical laboratories.

The focus for teaching and learning strategies in this subject is collaborative learning and engagement, which reflects the best practice of acute care clinicians today.

Content (topics)

The content of the subject will focus on

  • ensuring patient centred care for acutely ill patients and their family
  • critically analysing current systems and processes that are used to assess risk and prioritise care
  • the role and accountability of the nurse as a leader
  • effective communication and collaboration with the multidisciplinary team
  • rapid patient assessment and response through simulation based learning.


Assessment task 1: Review and recommendations


This assessment will increase students' awareness of recommended practices in recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in acute healthcare. Furthermore, it will enable students to review individual and systems level practices, and to critically reflect on quality assurance and quality improvement mechanisms for the workplace.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Weight: 30%

1500 Words

Assessment task 2: Online reading/resources and reflective discussion activities (ORaRDA)


This assessment will encourage students to link knowledge and skills learned in on-campus workshops to their individual work settings. Through three separate and sequential online reading and reflective activity forums, students will be asked to read and reflect upon the concepts of: (i) leadership and patient safety; (ii) interprofessional collaboration/teamwork and patient safety; and (iii) clinical supervision for situations of acute deterioration. Participation in these forums will support students’ development as advanced practitioners in recognising and responding to clinical deterioration in acute health care settings, and will also prepare them for the simulation scenario and reflective activity that comprises Assessment 3.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 5.0 and 5.1

Weight: 30%

3 separate initial posts (1 post per concept), 400 words each; 3 separate responses to others’ posts (1 post per concept), 100 words each. Total 1500 words.

Assessment task 3: Reflection on individual and team performance in the simulation encounter


This assessment supports students to observe and reflect on their individual and team responses to a case scenario which requires timely assessment and management of an acutely unwell patient.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Weight: 40%

2500 words

Required texts

There are no required texts for this subject. Students are encouraged to draw upon the latest research in peer-reviewed journals and evidence-based reviews.

Recommended texts

Recommended readings will be listed in UTS online.


Please refer to reference sites listed on UTSOnline to aid in your study of this subject.

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.