Course Overview

The Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Emergency Care) is designed for registered nurses who wish to pursue a specialism in Emergency Nursing.

Students are required to undertake their clinical practice in an approved clinical practice setting within Ireland, normally within the students' own work setting. Students may also be required to undertake additional placement(s) in order to meet the programme’s learning outcomes.

The programme is offered full-time over two calendar years via blended learning which is a combination of on-line learning and face-to-face workshops. On completion of Year 1 students have the option of being awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or (if they have achieved the minimum 60% average mark across these modules) may progress onto the second year to complete the MSc programme.

A blended learning approach is adopted in the delivery of this programme. Students are required to attend face to face workshops for a total of 12 days across the programme. Students are required to complete a minimum of 1,000 clinical hours before completing this programme.

SPECIAL FEATURES

The course has a clinical focus, offering opportunities to develop specialist skills. The programme is offered through a blended learning format—a combination of online and face-to-face learning and teaching. Blended learning is an innovative and flexible approach to learning, making it possible to combine working full-time with studying. This course is currently undergoing approval by The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System

Who Teaches this Course

See full staff list here.

  • Yvonne Conway MSc, BNS, RNT, RGN, Cert. Emergency
  • Deirdre Fitzgerald BNS, RGN, RSCN

Requirements and Assessment

Modules are assessed using a combination of coursework and teaching assessments.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

  1. Be a registered nurse on the General Nurse division of the register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI); 
  2. Have a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience (exclusive of post-registration courses);
  3. Be currently working in the required specialist area, i.e., emergency, and have, as a minimum, six months’ clinical experience in this specialist area;
  4. Have an honours degree or equivalent. Applicants who do not hold an honours degree or Higher Diploma (Level 8) may apply but must clearly demonstrate their capacity to complete a programme at this level. In addition to the other requirements outlined above, these applicants are required to submit a 1,000-word, literature-based essay. This essay must be at the level expected of an honours degree candidate (Level 8).

Top Up: 

Applicants who have completed a specialist nursing PGDip and who have attained at least 60%  in their final mark are eligible to apply for year two of our specialist masters programmes via the link below.  Please contact the programme leader directly to discuss your eligibility (additional requirements may apply).


Additional Requirements

Duration

2 years, full-time (option to leave with PDip after 1 year)

Next start date

September 2019

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10

Closing Date

Please refer to the review/closing date website.

NFQ level

Mode of study

Blended learning & workshops.

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

Course code

1MCE1 (full-time)


Course Outline

Students will complete 3 core and 3 specialist modules in the 1st year (60 ECTS). Eligible students will then complete a research dissertation (30 ECTS) in the 2nd year.

Modules

  • Service Improvement (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice (10 credits—core)
  • Advanced Research Methods (10 credits—core) 
  • Clinical Assessment 1
  • Clinical Assessment 2
  • Specialist Module 1 (Medical Emergencies) (10 credits—specialist)
  • Specialist Module 2 (Major Trauma and Surgical Emergencies) (10 credits—specialist) 
  • Specialist Module 3 (Special Patient Populations) ) (10 credits—specialist)

Module details for full-time course
Module details for top-up course 

Curriculum Information

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Module
An examinable portion of a subject or course, for which you attend lectures and/or tutorials and carry out assignments. E.g. Algebra and Calculus could be modules within the subject Mathematics. Each module has a unique module code eg. MA140.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (60 Credits)

Required NU612: Specialist 2 (Major Trauma & Surgical Emergencies)


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The aim of this module is to enable participants to effectively care for and meet the needs of patients who present with an emergency that may require surgery or have sustained injuries as a result of trauma. The principles and practice of trauma nursing shall be adhered to according to International best practice and Evidence Based Guidelines.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop a comprehensive evidence-based approach to the assessment of the patient presenting with an acute surgical condition
  2. Examine the nurse’s role in holistically caring for the emergency patient who requires surgery including family support, reassurance and spiritual care
  3. Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding necessary in the comprehensive assessment and management of care for patients in the first golden hour of trauma care.
  4. Appraise and identify actual and potential problems which may arise when patients have been exposed to traumatic injuries
  5. Identify components of the primary and secondary trauma survey and demonstrate how to conduct a head to toe assessment.
  6. Develop an awareness of the impact of trauma on the individual and their families including the physiologic, psychological, spiritual and socioeconomic perspectives
  7. Understand the importance and potential influence of the Emergency Nurses role in relation to issues of injury prevention and control.
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of the nursing assessment, care and management of patients with the following thoracic injuries: Rib and Sternal Fractures, Flail Chest, Pneumothorax, Haemothorax, Pulmonary Contusion, Ruptured Diaphragm, Tracheobronchial Injury, Myocardial Contusion, Pericardial Tamponade, Aortic Injuries
  9. Demonstrate knowledge of the nursing assessment, care and management of patients with the following selected abdominal injuries: Hepatic injuries, Splenic injuries, Hollow Organ Injury, Renal injuries, Bladder and Urethral Injuries. Discuss the nursing assessment of patients with thoracic and abdominal trauma
  10. Critically examine the application of theory to clinical practice when assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating care of the trauma patient.
  11. Critically examine the role of the nurse in caring for patients with musculo-skeletal and spinal injuries
  12. Critically examine the role of the nurse in preparing the patient for transfer to definitive care Develop a comprehensive evidence based approach to the assessment of patients with neurological disorders
  13. Critically examine the role of the nurse in caring for patients with neurological disorders.
  14. Discuss the principles underpinning the assessment of a patient who presents with abdominal pain to the emergency department.
  15. Demonstrate proficiency in the related clinical skills of inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation of the abdomen
  16. Critically examine the role of the nurse in caring for patients with gastro-intestinal, genitourinary or renal emergencies
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (60%)
  • Continuous Assessment (40%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU612: "Specialist 2 (Major Trauma & Surgical Emergencies)" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU611: Specialist I (Medical Emergencies)


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

The aim of this module is to enable emergency nurses to develop the nursing knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to effectively meet the holistic needs of patients and their families requiring emergency nursing care. This module focuses on the most common acute medical emergencies and the evidence-based nursing assessment and management of these patients. Specific conditions related to the respiratory, cardiac and haematological systems are examined and the assessment, observations and management of them are in line with the latest guidelines, care pathways and care bundles relevant to emergency medicine as advocated in the National Emergency Medicine programme Report (Health Service Executive 2012).
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Develop a comprehensive evidence-based approach to the assessment of the patient presenting with an acute medical condition
  2. Examine the nurse’s role in holistically caring for the medical emergency patient in the emergency setting, including family support, reassurance and spiritual care
  3. Describe and interpret correctly the symptoms of altered respiratory function, and the disease process associated with this
  4. Demonstrate safe, appropriate evidence-based use of all airway adjuncts
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of arterial blood gases, the oxygen dissociation curve and the role of SaO2 monitoring and their implications for patient care
  6. Explain in detail the role of the emergency nurse in assisting with Rapid Sequence Induction Anaesthesia.
  7. Demonstrate safe evidence-based management of the patient with a compromised airway
  8. Demonstrate the ability to analyse and respond effectively to the care of the person with sudden parameter changes in relation to respiratory function
  9. Critically discuss the evidence-based guidelines which determine the management of patients with COPD, Asthma, Pneumonia, and Pulmonary Embolus
  10. Critically examine the role of the nurse in caring for patients with cardiovascular emergencies
  11. Give a detailed description of an evidence-based approach to the care and management of patients with Acute Coronary Syndromes, Angina, and Myocardial infarction
  12. Discuss the principles underpinning the assessment of a patient who presents with chest pain to the emergency department
  13. Discuss the issues involved in the administration of reperfusion therapies to cardiac patients
  14. Explain the significance of, treatment for, and nursing implications of each type of cardiac arrhythmia
  15. Explain how to identify and assess clients presenting with coagulation complications such as deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and disseminated intravascular coagulation
  16. Critically discuss the evidence-based management of patients presenting with an endocrine emergency
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (60%)
  • Continuous Assessment (40%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU611: "Specialist I (Medical Emergencies)" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU6439: Service Improvement


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module will allow the student the opportunity to plan and implement, with their manager, and an academic facilitator, a service improvement initiative. The project will focus on an issue of relevance to client care or service improvement and must be supported by the student’s line manager and/or clinical facilitator. Examples of the types of projects include: completion of a defined literature review supporting some aspect of unit work, preparation of a patient education leaflet (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a patient education pack (supported by an evidence based rationale presented separately), development of a strategy to reduce waiting time, an initiative that will improve patient/staff safety, development/implementation of guidelines/policies, an initiative that improves the quality of patient services or the work environment, an initiative that saves time/money or any issue/problem/change that can be addressed through action. This work must be completed within a calendar year.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically examine a practice issue and contribute to service improvement
  2. Integrate and apply learning from other modules
  3. Work collaboratively with peers and clients
  4. Become an autonomous and independent learner
  5. Develop the skills and knowledge needed to implement a change in clinical practice
  6. Develop their skills of analysis, critical thinking, problem-solving and reflection
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU6439: "Service Improvement" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU921: Clinical Competence 1


Semester 1 | Credits: 0

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU921: "Clinical Competence 1" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU623: Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

Errors are inevitable in healthcare systems (Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, 2008). It is estimated that medical errors would rank 5 in the top 10 causes of death in the United States, ahead of accidents, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, if included on the National Centre for Health Statistics’ list (Joint Commission, 2005 p.7). In Ireland, the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance (2008) acknowledge that healthcare will never be risk free but argue that it is critical that the systems in place are as safe as possible, that the right ‘checks and balances’ are in place and that learning results from mistakes. To ensure this happens it is important that programmes prepare nurses to promote and enhance clinical safety. The module is guided by the National Patient Safety Framework (The Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2005) and the WHO Patient Safety Curriculum Guide for Medical Schools (World Health Organisation, 2009).
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critique the concepts of ‘safety’ and ‘risk’ in context of their practice setting.
  2. Examine the concept of ‘clinical governance’ in the Irish healthcare system
  3. Identify and evaluate the factors that determine the quality and safety of healthcare from the perspective of (i) the nurse or midwife (ii) the client (iii) the multidisciplinary team and (iv) the wider healthcare system
  4. Identify local policies and procedures to improve clinical safety and apply safety principles in practice.
  5. Debate the tensions between ‘managing risk’ and ‘client autonomy
  6. Explore their role in promoting and enhancing safety as a member of the multidisciplinary team
  7. Complete a risk assessment relevant to their practice setting.
  8. Evaluate their contribution to quality improvement in their practice setting
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU623: "Clinical Governance: Supporting Safe Practice" and is valid from 2018 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU502: Advanced Research Methods


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module focuses on developing further students understanding of the theoretical foundations of research, research methodologies and methods of data collection. The module has two major goals. Firstly, to provide students with the required knowledge and skills to interpret and implement research findings in their practice and secondly, to prepare students to undertake a piece of research. Students will be given an opportunity to recap on methodological approaches to quantitative and qualitative research. A key skill in promoting students independence is preparing students to complete their own research project under the supervision of a supervisor. Therefore, this module has a specific focus on providing students with the knowledge and skills of “doing” research.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate that they have an understanding of what ‘evidence’ is and how to ssystematically search for evidence
  2. Discuss theoretical perspectives on research methodology
  3. Explain clearly the origins, underpinning philosophical assumptions, key characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  4. Articulate a research problem and formulate a research question or hypothesis as appropriate to guide the conduct of the study
  5. Justify the use of appropriate data collection, sampling, and data analysis methods for qualitative and quantitative research
  6. Create a plan with clear rationales for data collection, sampling, data analysis and rigour to be used when conducting a qualitative or quantitative study
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU502: "Advanced Research Methods" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU613: Specialist 3 (Specialist Patient Populations)


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This module is wide ranging and it addresses patients with very specific presenting signs and symptoms and specialist needs. This module addresses the unique needs and challenges of caring for paediatric, psychiatric, gynaecologic/ obstetric, and older persons in Emergency Departments. A review of relevant national care pathways, protocols and agreed standards of care aimed at these groups shall be explored. Specific Ear Nose and Throat emergencies along with pain and shock management are discussed in the final units.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically evaluate the nurse’s role in caring for paediatric emergencies and the concept of child and family centred care.
  2. Critically discuss the multidisciplinary approach to the care and management of vulnerable populations in the Emergency Department and compare to evidence based guidelines and recommendations.
  3. Critically analyse and evaluate nursing interventions when caring for specialist client groups.
  4. Critically appraise the multidisciplinary and inter agency supports available to meet the social, psychological and psychiatric needs of patients
  5. Critically evaluate legislation, policies and charters aimed at protecting vulnerable people and those with special needs
  6. Critically discuss the physical and psychological care of the person/child following self-inflicted overdose/intoxication
  7. Critically evaluate the nurse’s role in caring for patients with gynaecological and obstetric emergencies.
  8. Recognise, assess and manage the ill child presenting with common paediatric illnesses
  9. Identify how to dealing with the death of a child in the emergency department
  10. Discuss the treatment and pathophysiology of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy
  11. Recognise the potential causes of bleeding in early and late pregnancy
  12. Consider how the philosophy of family centred care is promoted in emergency departments.
  13. Understand the difference between patients presenting with deliberate self harm as opposed to those presenting with attempted suicide
  14. Have an increased awareness of the levels of suicide within the community and country of Ireland.
  15. Be aware of the need to understand our own personal opinions, attitudes and experiences of mental health issues in order to work therapeutically with patients. Understand the stigma associated with mental health issues.
  16. Understand the referral process and assessment process of patients in mental health crisis within your own specific hospitals.
  17. Assess and recognise the most common ENT conditions that present to the Emergency Department and the nursing interventions necessary.
  18. Knowledge of the assessment, care and stabilization of the patient with actual or potential shock
  19. Critically examine the role of the nurse in analysing and responding to the patient’s experience of pain
  20. Discuss the principles involved in assessing a patient with pain
  21. Explain the pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions used in the provision of effective pain relief.
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU613: "Specialist 3 (Specialist Patient Populations)" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required NU922: Clinical Competence 2


Semester 2 | Credits: 0

Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU922: "Clinical Competence 2" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Year 2 (30 Credits)

Required NU6515: Research Dissertation


Semester 1 and Semester 2 | Credits: 30

Students will be required to undertake a piece of primary research on a topic of relevance to their specialism. Students will be assigned a research supervisor who will support them in undertaking this work
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Developed a research question of significance to their specialist nursing practice.
  2. Identify the appropriate methodology to suit the research question and/or hypothesis
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of ethical requirements within the study
  4. Demonstrate the ability to review and analyse relevant literature
  5. Identify the most appropriate method for data collection to answer the research question
  6. Demonstrate the ability to draw a significant and meaningful conclusion from the data analysis
  7. Prepare a scholarly report, which will demonstrate accurate expression, analysis and synthesis of ideas
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module NU6515: "Research Dissertation" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Graduates have found employment in the health services, and in private hospitals and clinics.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

 

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,500 (Yr 1) & €3,250 (Yr 2) 2018/19

Fees: Tuition

€6,276 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2018/19

Fees: Non EU

EU fees Year 1:  €6,500 and Year 2:  €3,250.

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