• University of Glasgow

Introduction to Critical Care Medicine

Learn how to handle complex issues faced in Critical Care Units when other options on the ward have been exhausted.

13,513 enrolled on this course

A patient in a hospital bed, connected to various machines

Introduction to Critical Care Medicine

13,513 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 4 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one yearLearn more

Learn how to manage common presentations seen in Critical Care Units

Critical care is an emerging specialty in hospitals and, with an increasing population living with multiple co-morbidites, the burden on Critical Care Units is rising. In this course, find out about the common presentations seen in a Critical Care Unit and how to manage them effectively.

Learn how to handle pneumonia, how to manage multi-organ failure in trauma, how to recognise and manage sepsis early and how to prioritise the management of a trauma patient who needs resuscitation.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds MICHELLE CLARKSON: Dealing With critically ill patients is understandably a daunting task. They are often some of the sickest patients in the hospital and experience of dealing with such cases during undergraduate education can be limited. The critical care unit is where patients come when they’ve reached the limit of treatment that can be provided on a ward. Extraordinary treatments such as invasive ventilation and [INAUDIBLE] to support respiratory and cardiovascular failure are commonly used. And patients here in the UK are nursed on a one to one basis. So being as well-prepared as possible to work in this environment is essential. Hello. I’m Michelle, a clinical teaching fellow in critical care at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds We’ve developed a unique course to explain what we mean by critical illness and critical care. Through videos, polls, and quizzes, you’ll look at case studies from our own unit and learn from them. You’ll follow patients with conditions that would commonly present to the critical care unit and hopefully develop confidence in working critical care units such as high dependency and intensive care. This course will set you apart from your colleagues, providing you with extra knowledge of managing critically ill patients. The time spent completing this course can also be used as evidence for continued professional development. So join us now on this introductory journey to critical care.


  • Week 1

    The Concept of Critical Care, Respiratory Failure and its Management

    • The Concept of Critical Care

      What is Critical Care and how does it differ from being in a normal ward? Find out in this module.

    • Respiratory Failure - Meet Mr Brown

      This week you will meet Mr Brown. Join him on his hospital journey to learn more about how we manage acute respiratory failure in Critical Care.

    • High Flow Nasal Oxygen (HFNO) and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

      Both high flow nasal oxygen and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can be used to treat acute respiratory failure. Continue to work through the case to see how and when this is used in this case.

  • Week 2

    Trauma, Major Haemorrhage and Acute Kidney Injury

    • Trauma and Triage

      In this step you will be introduced to a trauma scenario and learn how to triage multiple injured patients. You will then have the opportunity to put this into practice!

    • Major Haemorrhage and its Management - Meet Mr Smith

      Meet Mr Smith. He's the patient who you'll follow this week whilst learning about major haemorrhage and how we manage it here. This might be different from how you would manage it, which will be discussed during this week.

    • Acute Kidney Injury and Renal Replacement Therapy

      Now we move on to look at the effect the trauma has had on Mr Smiths kidneys and how we support them during this time.

  • Week 3

    Sepsis, its Initial Management and the Role of Critical Care

    • Introduction to Sepsis

      This week you will be introduced to another new patient, who has sepsis. To begin you'll discuss what you think sepsis is before moving on to discussing the new changes in its definition.

    • Initial Management of Sepsis-Meet Mr Jones

      Mr Jones is our third and final patient of the course. You will discuss which first steps to take in managing his sepsis, before discovering what our own expert would do.

    • Management of Sepsis in Critical Care

      Here we discuss how we manage sepsis in Critical Care and question why mortality is still high despite our best efforts. You will also hear from one of our previous patients, about their experience in an Intensive Care Unit.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the meaning of Critical Care Unit and how support is different to that provided in the ward
  • Discuss which patients should be managed in Critical Care
  • Summarise the management of respiratory failure in critically ill patients in the High Dependency Unit and Intensive Care Unit
  • Debate appropriate triage of multiple patients involved in trauma
  • Discuss the management of polytrauma patients including the management of major haemorrhage
  • Summarise the initial management of a patient with sepsis

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at medical students, medical trainees, consultants and other health professionals with an interest in critical care. Learners need no prior experience or qualifications.

Who will you learn with?

I am a consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow. I lead Critical Care Research and am Principal Investigator on several clinical trials.


My name is Michelle and I'm the Clinical Teaching Fellow in Critical Care at the Queen Elizabeth University in Glasgow. I intend to pursue a career in Anaesthetics in the future.

Consultant in Anaesthesia & Critical Care at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Interests are in Training & Education. Co-Programme Director for the MSc Critical Care at University of Glasgow

Who developed the course?

The University of Glasgow

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. It is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of leading UK research universities.

  • Established

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 70Source: QS World University Rankings 2020

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$99/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 17 Oct 2023

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 31 October 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 31 October 2023 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

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