Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Essential Core Competences

LEVEL 04 - Years 4, 5 in Modular UG or PG Cert Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION This study-unit is composed of four main areas:

1. Communication Skills Assessment

2. (a) Emergency Scenarios (Medicine) – Cases of chest pain, acute shortness of breath and loss of consciousness
(b) Emergency Scenarios (Surgery)

3. Data Analysis:
(a) Data (Medicine and Surgery)
(b) X Rays (Medicine and Surgery)
(c) ECG

4. Clinical skills including Mini Cex and DOPS (assessed through the Record of Clinical Skills in Medicine and Surgery which is compiled between MD3 and MD5).

- Most of these skills will be acquired during clinical attachment, tutorials and simulation sessions.
- Within these scenarios prescribing skills will be assessed in order to ensure that the core prescribing competencies have been achieved by all graduates. This will cover a series of different skills such as prescribing, prescription chart review, planning management, communicating important information to patients, drug calculation skills, adverse drug reactions, monitoring therapy and data interpretation.

Study-unit Aims:

- To assess how the student can take a good clinical history, inform the patient and colleagues of probable diagnosis and management plan.

Emergency Medicine:
- To assess how the student can manage acute medical situations based on information he can acquire through history, clinical examination and investigations.

Data Analysis Medicine:
- To assess how student can get to a proper management plan of patient’s care through common data sets presented to him/her.

Data Analysis Surgery:
- To develop the students’ knowledge of the role of haematological and biochemical investigations in the diagnosis and management of clinical cases;
- To develop students’ interpretation of haematological and biochemical investigations;
- To develop students’ knowledge of the role of various modalities of medical imaging including CT scans and other radiological investigations in the diagnosis of pathology;
- To develop students’ knowledge of the benefits and risks of various medical imaging modalities to patients and the general public;
- To develop students’ skills in the interpretation of commonly used radiological investigations.

- To assess knowledge of student in interpreting X-Rays of quite common medical pathologies.

- To assess interpretation of common ECG’s and any action that is deemed appropriate on diagnoses reached.

Prescribing Skills:
- To ensure that final year medical students demonstrate that they are safe and competent prescribers, with the necessary skills of deduction and problem-solving.

Accident & Emergency Surgery:
- To develop the knowledge base and extend the practice and competence in Pre-hospital Emergency Medicine with regards to the care of the Trauma victim allowing improved seamless transfer for in hospital definitive care and management;
- To provide a description of the epidemiology of trauma and the mechanism of injury;
- To provide an understanding of the primary assessment of the trauma victim;
- To refine the student’s examination and diagnostic skills with regards to trauma management and specific interventional skills;
- To provide an introduction to management of the mass casualty situation;
- To help students grasp a method of dealing with acutely ill patients.

Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Acquire a good history;
- Inform the patient of probable diagnosis and treatment.

Emergency Medicine:
- Assess patient’s condition in an emergency scenario;
- Decide on treatment according to investigations and clinical findings.

Data Analysis Medicine:
- Analyze results of data-sets and reach an appropriate differential diagnosis and treatment plan.

Data Analysis Surgery:
- Understand the role of haematological and biochemical investigations;
- Recognise when and which investigations are indicated in particular clinical conditions;
- Understand the different medical imaging modalities such as CT scans, Nuclear medicine investigations and their role in diagnosis;
- Recognise the risks of the various imaging modalities particularly those using radiation as well as the risks of use of contrast agents.

X-Rays Medicine:
- Interpret normal and abnormal findings of commonly found pathologies through X-ray findings.

- Interpret normal and abnormal findings of commonly found pathologies through ECG findings.

Prescribing Skills:
- Decide on the most appropriate prescription (drug, dose, route and frequency) to write based on the clinical circumstances and supplementary information in the individual patient;
- Demonstrate their competencies in relation to the safe and effective use of medicines.

Accident & Emergency Surgery:
- Assess and manage the trauma patient in the pre-hospital environment thus allowing for seamless continuity of medical care within the Emergency Department;
- Understand the mechanism of trauma involved in injury and affect an initial plan of trauma management;
- To understand and carry out leadership skills in trauma team dynamics through effective communication and coordination with the other members of the trauma team;
- To understand the principles of command and control and patient triage in multiple casualty incidents;
- To describe the theory of treatment of Septic shock, Anaphylaxis + h’agic shock, Opiate OD, Hypoglycaemia and Hypothermia;
- To explain the methodology of the ABCDE system of assessing and examination of the acutely ill patient in a scenario-based session;
- To explain the theory of how to do basic life support;
- To discuss the knowledge required to use the equipment required during a cardiac arrest safely.

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Acquire important clinical and historical information from patient and decide on differential diagnosis according to facts acquired from patient;
- Inform patient and clinical colleagues of facts acquired from history-taking.

Emergency Medicine:
- Assess patients in emergency scenarios;
- Act and treat according to clinical findings and investigations.

Data Analysis Medicine:
- Analyze results found in data sets both in out-patient and emergency situations;
- Act and treat patient according to results.

Data Analysis Surgery:
- Interpret common investigations such as haematological and biochemical investigations;
- Identify abnormal results and interpret their implications in the context of clinical pathology;
- Identify the different types of medical imaging;
- Interpret common radiological investigations;
- Interpret the results of common investigations in the clinical context.

X-Rays Medicine:
- Interpret common, normal and abnormal X-ray findings;
- Reach differential diagnosis and plan treatment.

- Interpret common, normal and abnormal ECG findings;
- Reach differential diagnosis and plan treatment.

Prescribing Skills:
- Understand the complex task of prescribing which requires knowledge of medicines and the diseases they are used to treat;
- Assess the risks and benefits of drug treatment, with the necessary attention to detail;
- Integrate this knowledge in order to be able to prescribe safely and effectively and review prescriptions, calculate doses, monitor drug therapy, and understand adverse drug interactions.

Accident & Emergency Surgery:
- Refine knowledge and practical skills in the primary assessment and management of the trauma victim;
- Develop on scene decision making skills with regards to scene safety and trauma patient assessment and management;
- Use of Pre-Hospital emergency medicine equipment in situations of spinal immobilization, hemorrhage control and fluid management;
- Develop trauma management skills through trauma scenario training;
- Assess and treat the deteriorating patient;
- Provide basic life support;
- Provide safe defibrillation for a patient in cardiac arrest.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- BMJ and RPSGB. British National Formulary (on-line) RCPCH publications.
- British Pharmacological Society and Medical Schools Council. Prescribing Skills Assessment. (2013)
- British Pharmacological Society and Medical Schools Council. PSA Practice Paper on the PSA pilot website (2013)
- Helen Bradbury, Barry Strickland Hodge. Practical Prescribing for Medical Students Sept 2013. Learning Matters Series. Sage ISBN:9781446296332
- Will Brown, Kevin Loudon, James Fisher, Laura Marsland. Pass the PSA. Pub date: Feb 14, 2014 Elsevier ISBN: 978-0-7020-5518-8

ADDITIONAL NOTES The Record of Clinical Skills in Medicine and Surgery is collected at the end of MD3 and at the end of MD4, and is assessed at the end of MD5. Academic members of staff will give feedback to the students after MD3 and after MD4.

Please note that a pass in the Clinical Assessment component is obligatory for an overall pass mark to be awarded.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Blended Learning

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Clinical Competencies SEM2 Yes 5%
Clinical Assessment [See Add. Notes] SEM2 Yes 95%

LECTURER/S Oscar Aquilina
Therese Bellia Degiorgio
Jeffrey Bonnici
Alison Brincat
Svetlana Doris Brincat
Gerald C. Buhagiar
Andrew Cassar
Robert Chircop
Joseph Cordina
Kelvin Cortis
Melanie Cutajar
Melvin D'Anastasi
Daniel Debattista
Stephen Fava
Peter Fsadni
Claudia Fsadni
Doriella Galea
Miriam Giordano Imbroll
Josef Micallef
Kristian Micallef
Ian Mifsud
Janet Mifsud
Ian Said Huntingford
Warren Scicluna
Ruth Theuma
Malcolm Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.