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NU6171 Principles in Intensive care Nursing UCC Assignment Sample Ireland

NU6171 Principles in Intensive Care Nursing is a course offered by the University College Cork (UCC). This course is designed to equip nurses with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality care to critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). The ICU is a complex and challenging environment that requires nurses to possess a unique set of competencies. This course will cover a wide range of topics, including the assessment and management of critically ill patients, mechanical ventilation, hemodynamic monitoring, and pharmacology.

Throughout this course, students will also learn about ethical considerations in critical care nursing, such as end-of-life care and organ donation. In addition, students will develop their critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills to effectively manage and collaborate with the interdisciplinary team.

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In this section, we will provide some assignment activities. These are:

Assignment Activity 1: Critically analyse the impact of pathophysiology on acute and critically ill adult patients and to understand altered physiology.

Pathophysiology refers to the study of how normal bodily functions are disrupted during the course of disease. In the context of acute and critically ill adult patients, pathophysiology plays a significant role in understanding the underlying mechanisms of their illness and how to manage it effectively. Altered physiology in these patients can occur due to a range of factors, including infection, trauma, or chronic disease.

One of the primary impacts of pathophysiology on acute and critically ill adult patients is the disruption of normal cellular metabolism. For example, in sepsis, the release of cytokines can cause an inflammatory response that leads to tissue damage and organ dysfunction. Similarly, in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), lung injury can impair gas exchange and reduce oxygenation levels, leading to hypoxemia and respiratory failure.

Another important aspect of pathophysiology in these patients is the impact on the cardiovascular system. For example, in septic shock, the release of inflammatory mediators can cause vasodilation and a decrease in systemic vascular resistance, leading to hypotension and inadequate tissue perfusion. In cardiac arrest, the cessation of blood flow can lead to ischemia and subsequent cellular damage.

In addition to these effects, pathophysiology can also impact the neurological system in acute and critically ill adult patients. For example, in traumatic brain injury (TBI), the mechanical forces of the injury can cause structural damage to brain tissue, leading to impaired cognitive and motor function. In stroke, the interruption of blood flow to the brain can cause neuronal damage and subsequent neurological deficits.

Understanding the pathophysiology of these conditions is crucial for the management of acute and critically ill adult patients. Treatment approaches often focus on addressing the underlying mechanisms of the illness, such as administering antibiotics to treat infections or providing mechanical ventilation to support respiratory function. Additionally, interventions aimed at improving cardiovascular function, such as fluid resuscitation or vasopressor therapy, may be necessary to address hemodynamic instability.

Assignment Activity 2: Critically evaluate the complexity of care issues in relation to acutely and critically ill patients.

The care of acutely and critically ill patients is a complex and multi-dimensional issue that involves a range of factors and considerations. Some of the key factors that contribute to the complexity of care for these patients include the severity and complexity of their medical conditions, the need for rapid and effective intervention, and the need for close monitoring and ongoing assessment.

One of the primary challenges in caring for acutely and critically ill patients is the need for rapid and effective intervention. These patients may have life-threatening medical conditions that require immediate treatment, and failure to provide timely and appropriate care can result in serious harm or even death. This requires a high degree of skill and expertise from healthcare providers, as well as a well-coordinated and integrated care team.

Another factor that contributes to the complexity of care for acutely and critically ill patients is the need for close monitoring and ongoing assessment. These patients may experience rapid changes in their medical condition that require prompt attention and intervention. This requires healthcare providers to be highly attentive and vigilant, and to have the ability to quickly recognize and respond to changes in a patient’s condition.

In addition to these clinical factors, there are also a number of ethical and social issues that can complicate the care of acutely and critically ill patients. For example, patients and their families may have different goals and expectations for care, and there may be disagreements or conflicts over treatment decisions. There may also be concerns about resource allocation and the allocation of scarce resources, such as ICU beds or ventilators, which can create difficult ethical dilemmas for healthcare providers.

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Assignment Activity 3: Analyse and interpret diagnostic tests and monitoring used to assess the critically ill patient.

Diagnostic tests and monitoring are essential tools used in the assessment of critically ill patients. They provide important information that guides the management and treatment of critically ill patients. Below are some of the commonly used diagnostic tests and monitoring techniques in critical care:

  1. Blood tests: Blood tests are used to monitor various parameters such as electrolyte balance, kidney and liver function, glucose levels, and blood counts. Blood tests are critical in monitoring the response to treatment and identifying potential complications.
  2. Electrocardiogram (ECG): ECG is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that measures the electrical activity of the heart. ECG is useful in the diagnosis of heart conditions such as arrhythmias, myocardial infarction, and ischemia.
  3. Arterial blood gas (ABG) analysis: ABG analysis is a test that measures the levels of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and pH in the blood. ABG analysis is used to assess the effectiveness of ventilation, oxygenation, and acid-base balance.
  4. Imaging studies: Imaging studies such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to diagnose and monitor various conditions such as pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and traumatic injuries.
  5. Hemodynamic monitoring: Hemodynamic monitoring is used to measure the pressure and flow of blood within the circulatory system. Hemodynamic monitoring helps to assess the cardiac output, fluid status, and tissue perfusion.
  6. Urinary output monitoring: Urinary output monitoring is a simple and non-invasive method used to assess the fluid status of critically ill patients. Decreased urine output is often an early sign of inadequate fluid resuscitation.
  7. Neurological monitoring: Neurological monitoring is used to assess the brain function of critically ill patients. Techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG) and intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring are used to detect neurological abnormalities.

Assignment Activity 4: Critically evaluate and apply available knowledge to guide the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of evidence based nursing care.


The first step in evidence-based nursing care is to assess the patient’s needs and gather information about their medical history, current condition, and any other relevant factors. Nurses must also gather information about the patient’s preferences and values to develop a care plan that is tailored to the patient’s unique needs.


Based on the assessment, nurses can develop a plan of care that is evidence-based and tailored to the patient’s needs. The plan of care should include specific goals, interventions, and expected outcomes.


The next step is to implement the plan of care. This may include administering medications, providing wound care, monitoring vital signs, and providing emotional support to the patient and their family. Nurses should document their interventions and any changes in the patient’s condition.


Finally, nurses must evaluate the effectiveness of the plan of care and make any necessary adjustments. They should monitor the patient’s progress toward the goals established in the plan of care and document any changes in the patient’s condition or response to treatment.

In summary, evidence-based nursing care requires a thorough assessment, the development of a tailored plan of care, careful implementation of interventions, and ongoing evaluation and adjustment of the plan of care as needed. It is essential for nurses to stay up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in order to provide the highest quality care to their patients.

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