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TM5564 - Acute Care in the Resource Poor Environment

Credit points: 3
Year: 2012
Student Contribution Band: Band 2
Administered by: Sch Public Health,Trop Medicine&Rehabilitation Sc

This subject provides students with an overview of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for the successful provision of acute care in a resource poor environment. The subject would encompass the full spectrum of care provided, from prior program planning and personal preparation through to recognition of problems and alternatives and how difficulties may be avoided, accepted or overcome. The focus for the subject will be on developing a fuller understanding of the difficulties encountered in providing acute care to patients in resource poor environments. It is principally concerned with the provision of care in countries other than Australia, where there are serious limits on the provision of funding for staff, equipment and medicines, such that these limitations directly impact on the provision of care. Comparison will be made with "standard health care" within Australia to provide a frame of reference for students. While the focus is on the international environment other examples used will also include isolated and remote care within Australia and the challenge provided when resources are limited by other means. These examples will include mention of wilderness medicine and those that also encompass actual risk to the care provider such as in extreme physical environments or potentially hostile surrounds. Acute care in major disasters will also be examined as an example of an environment when resources become scarce due to overwhelming demand.

Learning Outcomes

  • provide an overview of the epidemiology of patient care in resource poor environments and how this differs from standard health care within the Australian setting and examine the factors limiting care and the likely consequences in this setting;
  • provide a general overview of the clinical conditions (medical, surgical, obstetric and paediatric) likely to require in-patient management and commonly encountered in the resource poor setting and provide specific training in resuscitation and critical care at a level appropriate for a low resource setting and an introduction to anaesthetic techniques in this environment;
  • illustrate the importance of language and cultural factors in provision of acute care in low resource settings and examine specific ethical issues involved in the provision of care in this environment;
  • examine the inter relationships and mutual benefits of the provision of good acute care on the effectiveness of primary health care in the low resource setting;
  • examine the role of Government funding, non-government funding and the methods for accessing these funds and review the preparation required for those looking to work in the low resource environment.

Graduate Qualities

  • The ability to adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • The ability to think critically, to analyse and evaluate claims, evidence and arguments, and to reason and deploy evidence clearly and logically;
  • The ability to deploy critically evaluated information to practical ends;
  • The ability to find and access information using appropriate media and technologies;
  • The ability to evaluate that information;
  • An understanding of the economic, legal, ethical, social and cultural issues involved in the use of information;
  • The ability to select and organise information and to communicate it accurately, cogently, coherently, creatively and ethically;
  • The acquisition of coherent and disciplined sets of skills, knowledge, values and professional ethics from at least one discipline area;
  • The ability to reflect on and evaluate learning, and to learn independently in a self directed manner;
  • The ability to manage future career and personal development;
  • The ability to read complex and demanding texts accurately, critically and insightfully;
  • The ability to speak and write clearly, coherently and creatively;
  • The ability to generate, calculate, interpret and communicate numerical information in ways appropriate to a given discipline or discourse;
  • The ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  • The ability to lead, manage and contribute effectively to teams;
  • The ability to work with people of different gender, age, ethnicity, culture, religion and political persuasion;
  • The ability to work individually and independently;
  • The ability to select and use appropriate tools and technologies;
  • The ability to use online technologies effectively and ethically.


Townsville, Study Period 5, Block
Census Date 03-May-2012
Non-standard start/end 02-Apr-2012 to 15-Jun-2012
Face to face teaching 02-Apr-2012 to 13-Apr-2012
Coordinator: <Person not found>, <Person not found>, Assoc. Professor David Symmons
Lecturers: <Person not found>, <Person not found>, Assoc. Professor David Symmons, <Person not found>.
Workload expectations:
  • 27 hours lectures
  • 6 hours tutorials
  • 6 hours practicals
  • 15 hours workshops/Seminars
Assessment: end of semester exam (40% - 70%); presentations (30% - 50%); assignments (30%).
Special Assessment Requirements: Students must attend at least 80% of the programmed lectures and the attendance at practical sessions and class presentations is compulsory.
Restrictions: An enrolment quota applies to this offering.

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.