Paediatric Critical Care GradCert

Paediatric Critical Care GradCert

The School of Health, in collaboration with Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, provides the Graduate and Postgraduate certificates in paediatric critical care. The course is available part-time and will be delivered at the main University Campus site in Preston and at Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust. The course aims to facilitate the student to develop their clinical skills required to safely and effectively manage the care of neonates, children and/or young people in a paediatric intensive care unit.

Entry and Admissions



STUDY MODE: Part time


COURSE LENGTH: Part-time: Eight months

SCHOOL: School of Nursing

PARTNER COLLEGES: No Partner College

CAMPUS: Preston

START DATE: September

Entry Requirements:

Students must be working within the paediatric intensive care environment at the point of applying for the course. There are specific requirements relating to paediatric experience. The following are eligible to apply:

  • Those nurses who have been qualified for 18 months and over and have worked for the last year of practice in paediatric intensive care
  • Those nurses qualified for 18 months and have been within paediatric intensive care for this time

Students undertaking the Graduate Certificate must also have ability to study at Level 6 (usually demonstrated by successful completion of a Level 6 module prior to application). Students undertaking Postgraduate certificate, must hold a recognised UK Honours degree.
Students must have completed Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (Paediatric Intensive Care Society, 2010) orientation competencies prior to application.

Students are responsible for identifying an appropriate mentor and gaining the support of their manager.

DBS Checks:

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Course Content

The course is composed of 2 modules. Assessing and Responding to the Critically Ill Child, is a 40 credit module and must be completed first. On successful completion of this module, you will commence to Paediatric Intensive Care: Advances in Care Management, which is a 20 credit module. Students successfully completing both modules will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Paediatric Critical Care if undertaken at Level 6, or a Postgraduate Certificate at Level 7.

Module 1
Underpinning knowledge and evidence base required when caring for the critically ill child, including:
Anatomy and Physiology, Aetiology and pathophysiology
Continuing care of the critically ill child, including:

  •  ABC approach to clinical assessment
  • Basic and advanced airway management including high flow oxygen management and non-invasive ventilation
  • Blood gas analysis, pulse oximetry and oxygen therapy
  • Haemodynamic monitoring: heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, capillary refill, urine output
  • Recognition and management of Respiratory and Cardiac Arrest
  • Use of ‘AVPU’ and the modified Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), Pupil reactions (PERL)
  • Temperature control
  • Fluid management; circulatory access (IV/IO infusion), types of resuscitation fluids available
  • Using established recognition and response systems (PEWS) and escalate care effectively using SBAR
  • Interpretation of common diagnostic tests for the critically ill child (blood results, chest x-rays)
  • Assessment and management of pain
  • Revision and update of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in children
  • Administration of commonly prescribed medicines for critically ill children
  • Stabilising a child for transfer and ventilation strategies

Module 2
Topics related directly to PICU, including:

  • Advanced airway management and difficult airway
  • Ventilation strategies for the difficult and complex patient
  • Nurse led ventilation weaning and extubation
  • Post-operative management and care of the cardiac child and advanced interpretation of ECGs
  • ECMO, respiratory and Cardiac
  • Inotropic support for the critically ill child
  • Management and care of the child with raised ICP, EVD and ICP monitoring, brain stem death and organ donation
  • Renal replacement therapies: Hemofiltration and Peritoneal Dialysis
  • Surgical management and post op care of the neonate.
  • Sepsis, trauma and burns, management, care and therapeutic interventions
  • Retrieval of the critically ill child
  • Oncology emergencies seen in PICU, transplant complications

Professional issues, including:

  • Applied communication, caring and support skills –history taking from the child and family, consent, retrieval to tertiary centre, breaking bad news, bereavement and end of life care
  • Strategies to enable and empower children and their families to become partners in their care
  • Accountability, legal and ethical issues in relation to professional boundaries and clinical competencies and Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) working
  • Critical appraisal of research and evidence relating to the critically ill child
    Leadership of innovation in paediatric intensive care
    Psychological effects of PICU on the child and the family

Learning Environment & Assessment

The course team utilise a range of assessment strategies to enable you to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes. Due to the skills based nature of the course, many of the assessment strategies will specifically assess clinical skills and the related evidence base. eg OSCE, oral care presentations and written exam.

A variety of teaching methods will be used to enable you to meet your learning outcomes of the module. These will include keynote lectures, practical workshops, tutorials, skills based teaching, practice based clinical simulation, group discussions, e-learning and access to Adobe Connect.

Many sessions will be delivered in a face-to-face format, whilst some will be delivered using a software package called Adobe Connect®. This web-based software allows for live delivery and participation in the sessions no matter where you are based. With the archiving feature of Adobe Connect®, you will be able to re-watch sessions as part of your revision strategy. UCLan’s Blackboard server will be the portal for this software and you will be given guidance on its use at the start of the course.

Industry links & professional accreditation

Paediatric Critical Care Society

Graduate Careers

The course is specifically designed to enable nurses working in a paediatric intensive care unit to safely and effectively manage evidence based care, as part of a multi-professional team.

Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

How to Apply

Applicants from Alder Hey must apply via Sam Ellis (Lecturer/practitioner in paediatric care)

All other applications should be made to NHS contract unit, School of Health, 01772 893836

About UCLan

Course Enquiries

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400