SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMB526026
Module Leader Nadia Northway
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Vision Sciences
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module will cover the key concepts and learning required for allied health professionals planning to use medicines in practice. It will cover pharmokinetics and pharmodynamics as well as legislative and social aspects of using medicines in practice. It will enhance clinical skills necessary to carry out examinations and treatments of patients who an Orthoptist may wish to supply or administer medicines to.


Consultation, decision-making and therapy including referral Models of consultation Accurate assessment, communication and consultation with patients and their carers Concepts of working diagnosis or best formulation Development of a management plan Confirmation of diagnosis - further examination, investigation, referral for diagnosis Use or not to use medicines as opposed to other treatment options or when examining the patient Able to work with patients and clients as partners in treatment Influences on and psychology of use of medicines Patient demand versus patient need External influences, for example companies/colleagues/peers Patient partnership in medicine-taking including awareness of cultural and ethnic needs Use of Medicines in a team context National and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision-support systems and formulae Rationale, adherence to and deviation from Understand the role and functions of other team members Documentation, with particular reference to communication between team members Auditing, monitoring and evaluating use of medicines in practice Interface between different professionals and the management of potential conflict Budget/cost effectiveness Issues relating to dispensing practices Reviews diagnosis and generates treatment options within the clinical management plan Able to refer back to medical practitioner when appropriate Proactively develops dynamic clinical management plans Clinical pharmacology including the effects of co-morbidity Pharmacology, including pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics Anatomy and physiology as applied to use of medicines practice Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed - absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion including adverse drug reactions, interactions and reactions Patient compliance and drug response Impact of physiological state in, for example the elderly, the young, pregnant or breast-feeding women, on drug responses and safety Evidence-based practice and Clinical Governance in relation to use of medicines National and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formulae - rationale, adherence to and deviation from guidelines Continuing professional development - role of self and organisation Management of change Risk assessment and risk management, including safe storage, handling and disposal Clinical supervision Auditing and systems monitoring Identifying and reporting ADRs and near misses Drug calculations Legal, policy and ethical aspects Legal basis, liability and indemnity Legal implications of advice to self-medicate including the use of complementary therapy and 'over the counter' medicines Awareness and reporting of fraud Drug licensing and monitoring Yellow card reporting to the Committee of Safety on Medicines Use of medicines in the policy context Manufacturers' guidance related to literature, licensing and 'off label' Ethical basis of intervention Informed consent, with particular reference to client groups in learning disability, mental health, children, the critically ill and emergency situations Principles of use of medicines for ocular use under exemptions and application to practice Professional accountability Accountability and responsibility for assessment and use of medicines Maintaining professional knowledge and competence in relation to use of medicines Accountability and responsibility to the employer Use of Medicines in the public health context Duty to patients and society Policies regarding the use of antibiotics available for use Inappropriate use of medication including misuse, under- and over-use Access to health care provisions and medicines Orthoptic specific mdeications Ocular pharmaceuticals, their types and ingredients (vehicle, buffers, preservatives, stabilisers, excipients, active ingredients) and properties (pH, osmolality, viscosity) Ophthalmic wash (eyewash) solutions Ophthalmic dyes (fluorescein, fluorexon, Rose Bengal, methylene blue, brilliant blue, lissamine green, indocyanine green) and their uses Topical ocular anaesthetics (proxymetacaine, oxybuprocaine, tetracaine, lidocaine) Mydriatric (tropicamide, phenylephrine) and their uses by Orthoptists Cycloplegics (cyclopentolate, tropicamide, atropine) for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes Antibiotics and bacterial resistance, red eye differential diagnosis (Chloramphenicol/ Fusidic Acid) Non-prescription medicines (medicines which are available over the counter from a shop or pharmacy) are included for supply and administration in the course of professional practice (e.g. phenylephrine 2.5%, fluorescein and ocular lubricants).

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. understand pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacology and therapeutics relevant to medicines use within their professional scope of practice and how these may be altered by certain characteristics 2. understand the legal context relevant to the use of exemptions in legislation for the sale, supply and administration of medicines, as well as current local and national policy and guidance concerning medicines use 3. understand the differences between the sale, supply and administration of medicines using exemptions, other supply / administration mechanisms and prescribing mechanisms 4. understand the various pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to disease management relevant to their practice and the risks and benefits of each option 5. understand the importance of shared decision-making with service users to encourage self-care and adherence with medicines advice 6. make a decision about whether to sell, supply or administer medicines using exemptions, based on a relevant examination, assessment and history taking 7.undertake a thorough, sensitive and detailed patient medical history, including an appropriate medical history8. communicate information about medicines clearly with service users and others involved in their care9. evaluate each potential treatment option with respect to an individual service user, taking into account relevant factors, the service user's circumstances, co-morbidities and other medicines taken10 demonstrate safe use of medicines11. undertake drug calculations accurately12. monitor response to medicines and modify or cease treatment as appropriate within their professional scope of practice, including referral to another professional13. identify adverse medicine reactions, interactions with other medicines and diseases and to take appropriate action14. recognise different types of medication error and respond appropriately15. understand antimicrobial resistance and the roles of infection prevention and control

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered by a mixture of distance learning, face-to-face sessions and practice based learning. The distance learning part will be delivered online. This will be supplemented by 4 days of blended learning (lectures/tutorials), practical skills labs and assessment. Lectures will be followed by question and answer sessions including group discussion and analysis of case examples.? The module also includes practice in a work based setting to complement university learning. Students will be supervised by a suitably qualified mentor and critically reflect upon patient care scenarios, demonstrating in-depth analysis of the use of medicines. To demonstrate learning the student will be required to maintain a portfolio. Successful completion of the portfolio will be used as evidence of supervised practice and must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of medicines included in the exemptions legislation.? Student understanding of the content and application of using medicines along with the associated decision-making skills will be tested by means of a written examination, OSCE and the portfolio. Competency in using medicines during consultation, including those related to communicating with patients and generating treatment options, will be assured through an OSCE.

Indicative Reading

Gilger BC 2014 Ocular Pharmacology and Toxicology Brookes D & Smith A 2007 Non medical prescribing in Health Care Practice. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan Courtney,M & Griffiths,M eds 2010 Independent and Supplementary Prescribing 2nd edition. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press Dawson J. 2002 Crash Course in Pharmacology 2nd ed. Edinburgh. Elsevier Science McGavock, H. 2003 How drugs Work. Oxford. Radcliffe Medical Press Neal, J. 2009 Medical Pharmacology at a Glance 6th edition. Oxford. Blackwell Science

Transferrable Skills

Time management Patient interviewing on medicines use Recognising products Communication Clinical decision making Analytical skills Professionalism

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (PT) 31.00
Independent Learning (PT) 110.00
Assessment (PT) 3.00
Practicals (PT) 6.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 50.00 50% Written examination (MCQ Examination) Online
Course Work 02 n/a 50.00 50% OSCE (Objective structured clinical examination)
Course Work 03 n/a 0.00 50% Portfolio completion to evidence work based learning (1500 words)