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Introduction to Surgical Care Practice HEA4120


This module is designed to develop qualified practitioners, who are undertaking a Masters qualification in Surgical Care Practice and is linked to the two day Intercollegiate Basic Surgical Skills Workshop, which all students must attend. The aim of this module is to enable students to expand their professional boundaries by focussing on developing knowledge, skills and confidence, which will support their enhanced clinical skills. This module encompasses the skills required to act as the surgeon’s assistant, including legal and ethical boundaries, risk, applied anatomy and physiology and a range of specific clinical skills and techniques relevant to the role.

Module code:HEA4120
Module credits:20
Cost for new students:This module can only be studied as part of the MSc Surgical Care Practice. The full cost of the programme for the 2023/2024 academic year is TBC

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to [email protected].

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

This module can only be studied as part of the MSc Surgical Care Practice.

This module will be valuable to practitioners undertaking the MSc in Surgical Care Practice and who are employed in that role by Surgical Directorates.

What are the key aims of the module?

The strategic direction for the NHS is to compensate for the reduced availability of junior doctors due to the implementation of the European Working Time Directive, whilst dealing with an increased care need due to changes in demographic trends and the emergence of new treatments and healthcare services. One of the national strategies to cope with these changing needs is to enhance the dormant capacity of some healthcare staff by ‘liberating the talents’ of its nursing and Allied Health Professional staff. These drivers require practitioners to develop skills traditionally performed by their medical colleagues. This has resulted in the need to support changes in healthcare practitioners’ roles (Department of Health (DH), 2005). The health practitioner career modernisation agenda also evolved out of recognition that traditional role boundaries often impeded the development of patient centred services.

The introduction of Surgical First Assistants and advanced roles within the perioperative workforce has reduced the impact of changes to junior medical staff training and the European Working Time Directive. This has resulted in many theatre practitioners being trained to surgically assist for procedures when medical staff have been unavailable.

How will I study?

This module is normally studied over two trimesters. The module overall takes 33 weeks.

What will I study?

  • Surgical assistance to the surgeon.
  • Pre and Post-operative visiting.
  • Management of a range of specific surgical skills and techniques relevant to the role.
  • Male and female urinary catheterisation.
  • Professional role development incorporating multi-disciplinary team working, scope of practice, codes of practice and roles transition.
  • Legal, ethical and professional boundaries of practitioners working in an autonomous role.
  • Applied anatomy and physiology in relation to operative procedures, including laparoscopic roles.
  • Disease signs and symptoms associated with common pathophysiology.
  • Health and safety issues to include risk assessment, infection control, local and national incident reporting procedures.
  • Principles of safe wound infiltration and local anaesthetics.
  • Suture materials and needle selection.
  • Superficial and deep wound closure and securing wound drains.
  • Learning through reflection, models of reflection and reflective writing.

How will I be assessed?

This module will be assessed through the production of an integrated portfolio, that combines consideration of the theoretical components, with actual practical engagement in their developing basic surgical and assisting skills. Opportunities for formative assessment will occur naturally within the clinical environment, which will aid them in generating a portfolio.

Clinical simulation of skills will be part of the teaching process, to ensure students can develop these skills safely for example artificial skin preparation and suturing.

On successful completion you will:

  • Critically apply knowledge of anatomy and pathophysiology to maintain and ensure the safety of patients undergoing surgical procedures.
  • Practice at an advanced level, critically examining risk assessment, accountability, responsibility, and role limitations across professional boundaries of advanced practice.
  • Critically evaluate the effectiveness of clinical practice in relation to the boundaries of the role, to ensure competent practice and high standards of patient care.
  • Synthesise the application of extended knowledge and skills and clinical decision-making in all aspects of the role.

Study dates and venues

Venue: Manchester

Starts: Friday 9 September 2022

Session times:

  • Friday 9 September 2022, 9am-4pm, attendance
  • Tuesday 13 September 2022, 9am-4pm, attendance
  • Tuesday 19 September 2022, 9am-4pm, attendance

How to apply

Module availability varies from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Due to the popularity of some modules it may be that the module is fully booked when your application is received. We will include your details on a waiting list and allocate you a place on the next available intake.

For details of how to apply, please visit the apply page.

Contact us

For further module information, please contact the Module Coordinator, Sally Stuart on 01695 657934 or email [email protected].

For any other queries, you can contact the school office email [email protected].


This module can only be studied as part of: MSc Surgical Care Practice