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Postgraduate Certificate in Non-Medical Prescribing - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This module is designed to enable you to gain the knowledge and skills required to consolidate safe, appropriate and effective prescribing practice. If you are a healthcare professional, it will provide suitable training for to enhance your role and effectively use your skills and competencies to improve patient care in a range of settings.

Learning will equip you, as a practitioner, to become competent an independent prescriber ready to be responsible and accountable for the assessment of patients with diagnosed and undiagnosed conditions, together with decision making regarding the clinical management required, including prescribing.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this postgraduate certificate, you will have:

  • a critical understanding of pharmacology, including the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic effects of medicines and devices when making prescribing decisions
  • an understanding of the implications of side-effects, contra-indications and adverse drugs reactions of medicines within their prescribing practice focused on person-centred care
  • an understanding of the legislation and ethical frameworks related to prescribing decisions, including the prescriber’s role and responsibility and accountability, confidentiality, remote prescribing, record keeping and governance
  • an understanding of the psychological and physical impact of prescribing decisions on people.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this postgraduate certificate, you will have:

  • an ability to recognise diversity and the values and beliefs of people when making prescribing decisions and the prescriber’s role and responsibilities, together with others, in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults
  • an ability to critically evaluate current research and evidence base together with public health initiatives, health economics, local, regional and national guidelines and policies as related to healthcare and apply to prescribing decisions
  • comprehensive understanding of the principles (including legal and ethical) and systems for clinical governance when prescribing, for your own practice and for that of others, including prescribers who are also in a position to supply or administer; to know how and when to refer
  • an ability to critically reflect and manage personal continuing professional development.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this postgraduate certificate, you will be able to:

  • use appropriate history-taking techniques to obtain necessary information when making informed decisions about a variety of people with simple and complex conditions; work with patients/carers/patient representatives to make informed choices that respect patients’ preferences and implement appropriate communication techniques to elicit information from individuals who are unaware or non-complicit about their circumstances
  • apply a critical understanding of your own role, the role of others as prescribers and how multi-professional team-working facilitates person-centred care; to develop constructive work arrangements with other healthcare professionals, understanding their roles in the prescribing process and recognise when to refer to or seek guidance from another member of the healthcare team, specialist or appropriate authority
  • apply evidence-based decision making in all aspects of prescribing, de-prescribing and non-pharmacological interventions, to take personal responsibility in ensuring prescribing is safe, efficient and effective and adhere to the principles of accurate record keeping, effective monitoring, governance and management to improve patient outcomes
  • work autonomously as required; to take the initiative and personal responsibility to engage with clinical developments and to develop strategies for advancing your practical and professional skills.

Key skills

On completion of this postgraduate certificate, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • an ability to critically evaluate appropriate investigations, results and data, use appropriate systems of prescribing, and demonstrate clinical and diagnostic skills in clinical settings appropriate to your training
  • an understanding of the role of the prescriber in making decisions about people who may not be able to make fully informed decisions about their health needs
  • an ability to accurately and effectively communicate complex information, to patients/carers/patient representatives, and other professionals.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Tuition includes intensive clinical training in lectures and seminars utilising video-conferencing facilities (online) and blended learning (utilising online forums, wikis and interactive activities). Continuous assessment is via TMAs, exam-style assessment conducted during learning events, and video submissions of practice sessions with feedback on performance at each assessment point. The examinable component is a written exam.

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