Module code: NURM104

Module provider

School of Health Sciences

Module Leader

BROWN A Dr (Health Sci.)

Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Year long

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 150

Lecture Hours: 25

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Pass/Fail competencies PORTFOLIO Pass/Fail
Coursework CASE STUDY 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Assess the physiological adaptation of each system in the fetus-neonate and relate these to a competent examination of the newborn and critically evaluate the relevant research studies to underpin best practice in the care of the newborn and demonstrate systematic newborn assessment and physical examinations within clinical settings.
Critically evaluate the evidence and research base of new approaches to judgement and decision-making in relation to risk factors in the care of the newborn, applying skills of systematic and holistic assessment of undifferentiated newborn problems to make accurate differential diagnoses, develop safe management plans and appropriate referrals.
 Analyse and evaluate contemporary issues in the field of neonatology using appropriate evidence to determine the involvement of the multidisciplinary team, through referral to a paediatrician and the need for any urgent intervention through locally agreed channels.
Consider critically the ethical, legal and moral dilemmas parents may encounter when faced with a deviation from the normal in the newborn and to improve skills of the midwife in breaking bad news using effective communication skills.
Critically examine clinical judgement by identifying clinical phenomena that manifest in the newborn, examining clinical data that refer to clinical phenomena (including assessment data & current assessment frameworks ), considering the outcome of assessment (the condition, clinical or health state), and exploring the diagnostic reasoning process whilst acting autonomously, using skills acquired, within guidelines of supervision
Demonstrate systematic newborn assessment and physical examinations within clinical settings P
Apply complex skills of systematic and holistic assessment of undifferentiated newborn problems to make accurate differential diagnoses, safe management plans and appropriate referrals P
Act autonomously, using skills acquired, within guidelines of supervision. P

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Part 1:

Assessment: Principles, definitions, purposes. Clinical Judgement / clinical reasoning (includes identification of clinical phenomena, types of clinical data, identifying the clinical condition, the clinical reasoning process and differential diagnosis).
The Health History: Communication skills and interviewing techniques in health assessment. Legal and ethical aspects of the newborn assessment. Review of body systems, application of communication skills, and documentation of findings.
Advanced clinical assessment: Development of skills for complex assessment of altered health states for the main body systems. These systems would include the central nervous system, respiratory system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, genitourinary system, skin, musculoskeletal system and the special senses: (eyes/ vision, ears/ auditory, vestibular/ equilibrium). 
Differential diagnosis: Analysis of clinical cases to develop differential diagnosis skills focusing on undifferentiated health problems for the above body systems.
Evaluation: Critical analysis of current frameworks for assessment.  Critical analysis and reflection on the practitioner’s role and evidence of contribution to the development of the role. Evidence of autonomous and advanced practice and critical analysis of the evidence for practice.


Part 2:

Theoretical input of:

embryology and fetal development of a specific system
adaptation of this system to extra-uterine life
the abnormalities that can be detected on examination in relation to this system
the common problems in relation to the well neonate for this system
the explanations and information that is given to parents
the information from maternal history that is required to relate findings to management
choice of a specific problem related to this system and outline the management and the short and long term care and prognosis for that neonate
exploration of the processes involved in integrating parental and professional model of care

Repeated as above for each of the systems indicated below:

Cardiovascular system




Urogenital/ chromosomal sexual differentiation


Sensory organs – including skin

Metabolic and Endocrine system

Immune system – infection

Genetics/Embryogenesis- dysmorphology

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Delivery of the module:

Study Days

7 study days in theory on the following:  assessment strategy, history taking, and peer evaluation, accountability in advanced practice, clinical reasoning and diagnosis in certain conditions of a number of body systems as applicable to the newborn eg heart sounds, hip assessment and respiratory conditions

Teaching will be by interactive lectures/discussions/seminar presentations and practical experience.

Students will be enrolled through VLE Surrey learn for blended learning using e-learning technology. Academic component of the assignment will be submitted on line. Practice component of the assignment will be submitted as paper copies.

For legal and professional implications, it is important that all examinations of the new born undertaken throughout this module should also be examined by a suitably qualified practitioner (paediatrician or midwife with the qualification of examination of the newborn). A practice assessment document should be used to record all findings on each examination. For those examinations which midwives will undertake without supervision it may be useful to compare notes with the results of the examinations of the same babies conducted by the paediatrician?  This will give them “practical” feedback regarding the adequacy of their own examination and interpretations of the findings. It is the midwife’s responsibility to seek further experience if certain routine conditions have not been encountered by the completion of the required number of examinations.


Self-directed study

Self directed study will be the primary process of learning with students taking responsibility for their own educational development. Students are expected to develop skills in reflection and negotiate appropriate clinical experience to achieve specific skills required to expand this role. A workbook is provided to complement the theoretical component.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

development of skills in the examination of the newborn underpinned by a sound knowledge base to support clinical practice. Skills development is within the context of holistic care and therefore the emphasis is on recognition of the theory and practice to develop and expand these new skills, which are based on evidence based practice.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:



Forty (40) newborn clinical assessments in placements


CASE STUDY which will focus on the following elements and will require:

Critical analyses of the full physical examination of the newborn, including history and findings relating this to evidence based practice
Parent education as a teaching activity throughout the examination
Identification of professional implications for this extended role in midwifery practice
Advanced assessment underpinned by an identified assessment tool/s or framework/s and differential diagnosis devised to develop management plans and make appropriate referral
Theoretical marking grid at level M

A workbook is provided to complement the theoretical component. Each student is expected to work through a series of questions in the workbook, designed to facilitate active learning. The midwife will develop appropriate levels of understanding in relation to both normal and abnormal physiology
5 Reading Logs expected and these must be well structured and adequately demonstrate how the content is relevant to practice. Good analysis must be demonstrated, identifying methodological issues etc.
Reflections must be sensitive, analytic and integrated to current practice. One or two are sufficient to demonstrate progression from the first examination of the newborn to the final assessment carried out. Identifying a reflective model on which to base the structure of this section must be included.

The above are submitted as part of the final portfolio and are awarded a Pass/Fail



Through Surrey/ Learn 

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.