SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Identify and manage acute physical and psychiatric illnesses 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252159  Identify and manage acute physical and psychiatric illnesses 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Curative Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 7  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L7  32 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This qualification will enable the nurse to function as a clinically focused, service orientated, independent registered professional nurse, who is able to render comprehensive care across all spheres of health, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework. The qualifying learner will apply evidence-based research to enhance nursing practice.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge and skills required to identify and participate in the management of common acute physical and psychiatric illnesses as a member of the multidisciplinary team, addressing conditions affecting all human body systems, age groups and life stages.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Critically analyse commonly occurring acute physical illnesses in a population or an individual.
  • Critically analyse commonly occurring acute psychiatric illnesses in a population or an individual.
  • Manage patients being treated by means of surgery and/or surgical techniques.
  • Manage patients being treated by means of pharmacotherapy.
  • Implement evidence-based nursing interventions to manage special patient groups. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Anatomy and physiology of all human body systems related to the maintenance of homeostasis.
  • Assessment of client.
  • Management of activities of living.
  • Interpersonal and communication skills. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • The Nurse functions within the scope of practice of a professional nurse as formulated by the SANC. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Critically analyse commonly occurring acute physical illnesses in a population or an individual. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Classification of physical illnesses is consistent with generally accepted classification systems in the field. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Classification systems include:
  • WHO disease classification systems (ICD10 - index classification of disease); standard medical and surgical nursing textbooks.

    Classification includes:
  • Presentation; specific diagnostic procedures and criteria; pathophysiology; prognosis; management (drug and non-drug); prevention and rehabilitation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The analysis of a range commonly occurring acute physical illness in particular populations is based on relevant epidemiological records for the area and population. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The analysis accurately determines the physical illness from presented signs and symptoms as well as underlying processes, in accordance with epidemiological understanding and accepted classification systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Selected nursing interventions are appropriate responses in terms of the analysis and established protocols. Patient responses to the intervention are confirmed to be in line with projected recovery rates, expected comfort rates, and average timeframes. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Critically analyse commonly occurring acute psychiatric illnesses in a population or an individual. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Classification of psychiatric illnesses is consistent with generally accepted classification systems in the field. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Classification systems include:
  • Standard psychiatric classification systems (DSM-V or equivalent classification system); standard psychiatric nursing textbooks.

    Classification includes:
  • Presentation; specific diagnostic procedures and criteria; pathophysiology; prognosis; management (drug and non-drug); prevention and rehabilitation.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The analysis of a range commonly occurring acute physical illness in particular populations is based on relevant epidemiological records for the area and population. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The analysis accurately determines the psychiatric illness from presented signs and symptoms as well as underlying processes, in accordance with epidemiological understanding and accepted classification systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Selected nursing interventions are appropriate responses in terms of the analysis and established protocols. Patient responses to the intervention are confirmed to be in line with projected recovery rates, expected comfort rates, and average timeframes. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Manage patients being treated by means of surgery and/or surgical techniques. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Information conveyed to patients before interventions or surgical procedures is accurate, relevant and at an appropriate language and conceptual level. Information provides a basis for patient decision making and consent, and is delivered in a supportive manner. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Consent is secured according to legal requirements. Once consent is secured, the patient is physically prepared for the intervention or procedure, in accordance with established procedures and protocols. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Preparation includes:
  • Cutting, shaving, washing; removal of artificial limbs/parts, identification of the patient (name tags)/operation area; allergies; secure personal belongings; clothing check; prescribed pre-med.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Intra-operative assistance is provided as required by the surgical team in the operating environment, according to established procedures and protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Immediate post-operative care is planned and implemented according to established procedures and protocols to ensure that the patient is stable. Patient condition is closely monitored and recorded as required. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Care includes:
  • Monitoring vital signs; monitoring input and output; pain management; observations for bleeding and other complications; prevention of pressure; positioning of the patient (lie, sit, side).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Aseptic techniques are applied during wound care, and wounds are monitored for normal healing and/or complications, in accordance with established procedures. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Care includes:
  • Basic care; sutures; drains; skin care; monitoring/guarding against infection.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Post-operative patients are nursed in a manner that promotes recovery and prevents complications, according to standard practice guidelines. Pain is managed to promote optimum patient comfort within established procedures and protocols. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Patients include:
  • Orthopedic patients (wearing casts and devices; traction; IVs infusions; central venous infusions).
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Diets are ensured to be suitable for the particular patient condition, and in place in line with best dietary practice. Information shared with the patient provides the rationale for the diet and the benefits of compliance. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Manage patients being treated by means of pharmacotherapy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Information provided to patients on various treatment regimes is accurate in terms of its purpose, action and possible side-effects where applicable. The consequences of non-compliance are explained with reference to longer terms effects on patient health and effectiveness of treatment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Treatment regimes include:
  • Antibiotics, psychiatric drugs, ARVs, TB.

    Routes of administration include:
  • Intravenous; sub-cutaneous; oral; inhalation; topical.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Prescriptions received from doctors are analysed and ensured to be correct. Medication is administered in accordance with specific instructions and institutional procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Identification and selection of drugs is accurate in terms of the particular application, the essential drug lists, and institutional protocols. Generic substitutions, where applicable, are correct and do not compromise the therapy or health of the patient. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Drug therapy for managing pain, and providing pain relief is administered in accordance with prescribed schedules. Complications and/or side effects are identified and actions, including referrals, are prompt and appropriate to the specific circumstances. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Implement evidence-based nursing interventions to manage special patient groups. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Policies and procedures to manage special groups are ensured to be in place and consistent with current legislation and health department guidelines. Policies are developed where there a none in place. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Groups include:
  • Victims of rape, pregnant women, elderly and obese patients.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Nursing measures applied to prevent complications in the acutely ill patient are appropriate to the particular patient and condition, and are applied in accordance with established procedures and protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Evidence-based nursing interventions are implemented at appropriate stages in accordance with accepted procedures, to manage complications and/or special patient groups. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Resuscitation of patients and utilization of an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and defibrillator in extreme cases is appropriate to the circumstances, in accordance with established procedures and protocols, and effective in restoring homeostasis. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    Accreditation Options:
  • Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.

    Moderation Option:
  • The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard. 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: Essential to understanding and solving problems related to physical and psychiatric illnesses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: Health care provision is team-based. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: Critical in working with physical and psychiatric illnesses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: Critical to effective learning towards this standard; as well as developing appropriate responses to physical and psychiatric illnesses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: Communication is an essential component of learning about and understanding physical and psychiatric illnesses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: An important part of research and data processing. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: Understanding physical and psychiatric illnesses and what causes them, requires systemic thinking; as does developing appropriate responses. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:
  • Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.