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Information and credits
Who is this learning for?
This learning area has been primarily developed for student nurses, registered nurses, registered midwives and health care assistants who may be routinely dealing with patients at risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE). Student and registered nurses will also find this learning opportunity relevant for updating their own awareness of VTE, how it develops and how it can be prevented. Registered nurses and midwives may also wish to use this material to raise the awareness of colleagues for whom they have responsibility.
This learning opportunity is based on the NICE guideline, 'Venous thromboembolism: reducing the risk' and focuses primarily on understanding and preventing VTE, identifying patients at risk and includes an in-depth look at VTE risk assessments.
The RCN wishes to acknowledge and thank the Department of Health's e-Learning for Healthcare for granting permission to reproduce the videos in this learning resource.
After completing all the sections in this learning area, the learner should be able to:
- understand what the acronym 'VTE' stands for
- describe the basic anatomy and physiology of VTE formation
- identify at least three kinds of 'typical’ patient at risk of developing VTE
- understand when and how, to carry out a VTE risk assessment
- explain the difference between 'pharmacological' and 'mechanical' prophylaxis, and when to use which one
- describe the key points when fitting patients for anti-embolism stockings
- describe the key points when fitting patients for other anti-thromboembolic mechanical devices including intermittent pneumatic compression devices and footpumps
- describe the key points when talking to patients/carers about VTE risk and prevention.
Principles of Nursing Practice
The eight Principles of Nursing Practice can be applied to this learning resource however, the principles that feature most predominantly are:
- Principle C - being vigilant about risk.
- Principle F - having up-to-date knowledge and skills.
These principles provide a useful framework for writing a reflective record of your learning. You may also think of ways you can draw on the remaining principles based on your own clinical experience and observations.
Relevant KSF dimensions
- Core dimension 1 - Communication
- Core dimension 2 - Personal and People Development
- Core dimension 3 - Health Safety and Security
- Core dimension 5 - Quality
- Health and wellbeing dimension 1 - Promotion of Health and Wellbeing and Prevention of Adverse Effects on Health and Wellbeing
- Health and wellbeing dimension 2 - Assessment and Care Planning to Meet Health and Wellbeing Needs
- Health and wellbeing dimension 3 - Protection of Health and Wellbeing
- General dimension 1 - Learning and Development.
This learning area was developed by Marisa McGreevy
The interactions and animations were created by John Heseltine BA(Hons)
Thanks to the following people for their review of the materials in this learning area:
- Prof Beverley Hunt, Medical Director - Lifeblood (Thrombosis Charity)
- James Tyrrell, Director - Insight Public Affairs in association with Lifeblood (Thrombosis Charity)
- Dr Anita Thomas OBE, National Clinical Director VTE, Dept of Health
- Timothy Brown, National VTE Programme Lead, Dept of Health
- Lynda Bonner, Consultant Nurse, King's College Hospital
- Rosie Brown, RN MMid FdA (Bus) PGC (D&OE)
- Alan Dobson, RCN Nursing Advisor, Acute Care
- Sue Harkness, HCA, St Anthonys Health Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne
- Claire Evans, Student Nurse
- Stuart Young, Student Nurse, Student Member of RCN Council
- Vivienne Evans, Communication Officer, Royal College of Nursing
Published: October 2010
Last review date: May 2013
Next review due: December 2014