NURS3001 Psychosocial Care for Health Complexity

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The individual Critical Essay assessment is an opportunity to demonstrate how you are an evidence-based practitioner and can achieve standard 1 of the Registered Nurses Standards for Practice (RNSFP) by critically evaluating relevant literature and research findings. It's also an opportunity to demonstrate how your exploration of the literature assists you provide "comprehensive safe, quality practice to achieve agreed goals and outcomes that are responsive to the nursing needs of people" (standard 6.1 of the RNSFP, p. 5) by specifically informing your practice.

In Modules 1 and 2, we've discussed post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) and post-intensive care syndrome-family (PICS-F). PICS/PICS-F encompasses varied physical, cognitive, and psychological/emotional/psychosocial impairments that often begin during admission and persist post discharge. In this assessment, you'll explore the psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F and psychosocial interventions used to prevent and treat PICS/PICS-F in more detail.

Your essay requires the following content. Please note, these are not headings for your sections. You will need to provide your own headings for your paper's specific themes and content discussed:

An introduction paragraph. In APA 6th and 7th ed. formatting, the introduction paragraph is never labelled or given a heading. Your introduction should start with a hook sentence, then broadly introduce your paper's main topic/theme and provide the context for the rest of the paper. The paragraph should conclude by outlining the specific topics/ideas your paper will discuss (e.g. "This paper first discusses... then examines..." etc.) so that your reader has a clear map and signposts to navigate their way through your paper. This helps the reader know what to expect.

Discuss the psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F in adults. In this section, do not try and discuss every psychosocial element of PICS/PICS-F. Only focus on one to two psychosocial elements. Do not focus on the physical elements of PICS/PICS-F (e.g. fatigue, muscle weakness, mobility problems etc.) or cognitive elements (e.g. poor memory, delirium, concentration difficulties, executive dysfunction etc.). Focus on psychosocial elements such as anxiety, depression, stress, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief, and social strain. Provide your reader with an understanding of how people experience your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F. You do not need to discuss PICS and PICS-F separately in this section. Most of the psychosocial elements you're likely to discuss in this section cross over both syndromes so you can be discussing both PICS/PICS-F simultaneously while focussing on your chosen psychosocial elements.

  • Critical evaluation of psychosocial interventions for your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F in adults. This section is broken into two subsections:

Critically evaluate preventative-focussed psychosocial interventions for your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F. Preventative intervention strategies are those that would be deployed during a person's admission in order to try and prevent PICS/PICS-F from occurring.

Critically evaluate treatment-focussed psychosocial interventions for your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F. Treatment intervention strategies are those that would be deployed after a person was discharged from the ICU and PICS/PICS-F has already occurred.

Please ensure that the psychosocial interventions you choose to discuss could involve nurses — do not choose interventions where the entirety of the intervention could only be delivered by other health professionals and fall outside of a nursing scope of practice. Transdisciplinary psychosocial interventions that include nurses as part of a larger intervention team are fine to use here, as are nursing-led interventions and interventions traditionally led by other health professionals but could potentially fall within a nursing scope of practice. For these subsections, you will need to discuss and critically evaluate the research evidence base for the psychosocial interventions' efficacy/effectiveness in preventing/treating your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F. In order to critically evaluate your

evidence base, it is very important to critically appraise the evidence sources you are discussing. Critical appraisal involves determining the trustworthiness of research and whether it is a good source of evidence on which to base our clinical decisions. In your subsections, you'll need to compare and contrast different interventions and determine what the most effective prevention and treatment psychosocial interventions appear to be for your chosen psychosocial elements of PICS/PICS-F.

Once you have completed your evaluation and determined your most effective prevention and treatment interventions, you will then need to specifically explain how you will translate and apply the results of your critical evaluation discussed in your paper to your own practice to ensure you are providing good quality care to people in your current and future practice. This section is about you — not other nurses or students in general. You should use first person language in this section (i.e. "I..."). You must talk about yourself in this section. Your application needs to go well beyond telling us that you'll be aware or have knowledge about something — what specific things will you do to actively put your new awareness and knowledge into action and translate this knowledge into your own practice behaviours? Your application needs to be linked to the specific lessons learnt by engaging in your critical evaluation of the specific concepts you discussed in your paper. This is not a random application section where you just tell the reader how you are going to be a good and compassionate nurse when caring for people. Your application content must be specifically related to concepts and ideas you have previously discussed in your paper and how your own practice and behaviours will be specifically impacted to improve health outcomes. Even if you're not planning to work in this area of care in future, consider how you might translate what you've learnt into other areas of care.


For NURS3001, the word limit refers only to the content and headings within the paper. It does not include the in-text citations, reference list, or title of your paper. We will stop reading at 1650 words.

The overall title of your paper (above your first paragraph) should reflect the main themes and content of your paper and not just be "NURS3001 Assignment" or "Critical Essay" etc.

  • Headings for your paper should reflect the main conceptual themes and content of that section and not just be the rubric or assessment instruction headings. Using headings is strongly encouraged as this assists the reader navigate your paper. The majority of your paper's headings should be Level 1

The minimum number of sources you must use for this assessment is 10 relevant peer-reviewed journal articles

(preferably research studies) independently sourced by you (not inclusive of the unit's essential or recommended readings/sources - you may use these but they do not count towards this requirement). We strongly advise against using internet sources as evidence for your claims in this assessment unless you explicitly provide a credibility evaluation of the source as part of your claim.

Using only the minimum number of sources would earn you in the "Requires Development" category. As a guide for scoring well in this criterion, we would expect upwards of 15 high-quality relevant peer-reviewed journal research study sources sourced by you to be included.


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