Early Recognition Using The ABCDE Approach

This highly interactive programme has been aligned with year three of the Adult Nursing Degree and is compliant with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. By using and completing this programme, it is expected that learners will be able to:

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  • Analyse knowledge and understanding in the early recognition and detection of disordered physiology and altered pathology related to acute care

  • Identify and demonstrate a structured and prioritised system of patient assessment in acute care using a systematic approach

  • Apply effective interprofessional communication skills using recognised local and national frameworks

  • Effectively employ clinical decision making skills in practice to develop and implement an appropriate management plan

  • Identify and analyse routine investigations/diagnostics appropriate to the individual patient


The programme consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: Systematic Approach to Assessment

    Objectives, Causes & Prevention, Importance of Early Recognition of the Critically Ill Patient, Causes of Cardio-Respiratory Arrest in Adults, Overview of the ‘ABCDE’ Approach, End Test

  • Module 2: Airway

    Objectives, Assessment/Signs of Airway Compromise, Airway Opening Manoeuvres, Airway Adjuncts, Oxygen Saturation, End Test.

  • Module 3: Breathing

    Objectives, Importance of Respiratory Rate, Correct Recording of Respiratory Rate, The Work of Breathing, End Test.

  • Module 4: Circulation

    Objectives, Anatomy & Physiology of the Heart, Anatomy & Physiology of the Blood Vessels & Circulating Volume, Importance of Heart Rate, Blood Pressure Including Causes of Hypotension, Shock; Definition, Causes, Types and Management, End Test.

  • Module 5: Disability

    Objectives, Observations, Alert, Voice, Pain, Unresponsive (AVPU), Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), End Test.

  • Module 6: Everything Else

    Objectives, Exposure, Systematic Examination, Alternative Positions, Consent and Confidentiality, Communication in Acute Care, End Test.


The programme consists of the following E-Practical scenarios:

  • Scenario 1

    Assess an ischaemich stroke patient using the ABCDE approach and implement appropriate care.

  • Scenario 2

    Assess a confused patient with flu like symptoms using the ABCDE approach and implement appropriate care.

  • Scenario 3

    Assess an unconscious patient with type 2 diabetes using the ABCDE approach and implement appropriate care.


Each scenario the user is required to:

  • Prepare yourself for physical care of the patient
  • Gather information from the patient
  • Assess Airway
  • Assess Breathing
  • Assess Circulation
  • Assess Disability
  • Assess Everything Else
  • Record Results on EWS Chart


Minimum Specifications:

  • PC only - Windows XP, Vista, 7
  • Internet Explorer 7 (or above)
  • Single 2GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 1024 x 768 pixel screen resolution
  • 24 Bit screen colour depth
  • CD/DVD Drive
  • Sound card and speakers


Screenshots taken from the programme.
Click image for larger version.

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