National Prescribing Curriculum

NPC logoThe National Prescribing Curriculum (NPC) is a series of interactive case-based modules that encourage confident and rational prescribing. The modules follow a stepwise approach as outlined in the WHO's Guide to Good Prescribing.

Target audience: Undergraduate and postgraduate medical students

Other audiences: Pharmacy, dental, nurse practitioner and other health professional students with an interest in prescribing.

CPD: It is recommended that 1 CPD hour be recorded for each module for the purposes of self-directed CPD.

The NPC modules are computer and mobile device compatible.      Compatible with computer and mobile devices


Modules

Therapeutic Area

Module name

Setting

Start

Antibiotic

Urinary tract infection

General Practice

Start

A child with acute otitis media

Hospital (paediatric)

Start

Endocrinology

Glycaemic control in long-established diabetes

General Practice

Start

Type 2 diabetes – initiating treatment

General Practice

Start

Type 2 diabetes – intensifying treatment

General Practice

Start

Polypharmacy

Hospital

Start

Respiratory

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation

Hospital

Start

Cardiovascular

Acute coronary syndrome

Hospital

Start

Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation

Hospital

Start

Chronic heart failure

Hospital

Start

Hypertension

General Practice

Start

Lipid and CVD risk management

General Practice

Start

Prevention of venous thromboembolism

Hospital

Start

Acute pulmonary oedema

Hospital

Start

Analgesic

Analgesia for low back pain

General Practice

Start

Postoperative pain and vomiting

Hospital

Start

Gastrointestinal

Helicobacter pylori infection

General Practice

Start

Iron deficiency

Hospital

Start

Neurology

Seizure

Hospital

Start

Psychotropic

Acute mania in bipolar disorder

Hospital

Start

Depression in adolescents

General Practice

Start

Delirium in an older person

Hospital

Start

Insomnia

General Practice

Start

Alcohol withdrawal delirium

Hospital

Start

Oral and Dental

Oral Pain

Dental

Start

Toothache

Dental

Start

A non-healing tooth socket

Dental

Start


Learning objectives

Click on the module title below to view its learning objectives

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A child with acute otitis media

In this module you will provide care for Jack, who is brought to the emergency department by his dad.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Determine patient signs and symptoms which suggest the need for antibiotic treatment of acute otitis media, while also being mindful of when antibiotics are not indicated.
  • Where antibiotic treatment is required, choose an appropriate antibiotic to cover the most likely causative organisms.
  • Write a safe and complete prescription using the safety features of the paediatric National Inpatient Medication Chart.
  • Adequately communicate the proposed treatment plan and potential medicine-related adverse effects to the child's parent(s) or carer(s) and the healthcare team.
  • Develop an appropriate plan for monitoring a child's response to therapy, including indications for escalating care.

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Acute mania in bipolar disorder

In this module you will provide care for Claire, a patient brought to the emergency department (ED) by her husband because she has become increasingly irritable and irrational and has stopped eating and drinking.

Learning objectives

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Recommend non-pharmacological management strategies for mania.
  • Identify evidenced-based pharmacological treatment options for acute mania in bipolar I disorder.
  • Recognise the importance of compliance to pharmacological therapy in successfully preventing relapse.
  • Identify information important to communicate with patients and the healthcare team.
  • Select appropriate parameters to monitor treatment response during both acute and maintenance phases of bipolar I disorder.

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Acute pulmonary oedema

In this module you will manage a patient presenting with an episode of acute shortness of breath on a background of chronic heart failure.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify therapeutic goals in the management of acute pulmonary oedema.
  • Identify factors that can precipitate an exacerbation of heart failure.
  • Write a prescription for medicines to manage acute pulmonary oedema.
  • Choose appropriate clinical criteria for monitoring a patient with acute pulmonary oedema.
  • Identify aspects of care that need to be communicated to the patient and the healthcare team.

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Alcohol withdrawal delirium

In this module you will provide care for James, who suffers acute withdrawal from alcohol while in hospital recovering from pneumonia.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Formulate a suitable management plan for a patient suffering alcohol withdrawal.
  • Identify non-pharmacological interventions that may assist with the management of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Prescribe an appropriate medicine to manage acute alcohol withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal delirium.
  • Describe how to monitor the patient’s response to treatment.

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Analgesia for low back pain

In this module you will provide care for Maria, a patient at your general practice who asks for help to manage her acute low back pain.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify therapeutic goals in managing low back pain.
  • Establish non-pharmacological treatment modalities used to manage low back pain.
  • Use a step-wise approach to managing low back pain with medicines.
  • Discuss common adverse effects of medicines used for the management of low back pain.
  • Identify contraindications and drug interactions for medicines used for the treatment of low back pain.

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Anticoagulation in atrial fibrillation

In this module you will prescribe appropriate anticoagulation for a patient with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF).

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Recommend appropriate stroke prophylaxis for a patient with non-valvular AF after considering their risk of stroke and bleeding.
  • Describe the stroke risk reduction provided by anticoagulants and antiplatelets in the setting of non-valvular AF.
  • Understand the bleeding risk associated with the different anticoagulants and antiplatelets in AF.
  • Discuss absolute and relative contraindications to warfarin therapy.
  • Understand the risks and benefits of anticoagulation therapy using direct thrombin inhibitors and factor Xa inhibitors.

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Chronic heart failure

In this module you will provide care for Roberta, a patient with heart failure.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify therapeutic goals in the management of chronic heart failure.
  • Prescribe the standard regimen of medicines used in the management of chronic heart failure in a patient with stable symptoms.
  • Determine medicines that can precipitate an exacerbation of heart failure and that should be avoided.
  • Identify appropriate monitoring parameters for chronic heart failure.

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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation

In this module you will provide care for Mary, a patient brought to the emergency department due to increasing shortness of breath over the past 3 to 4 days.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify two therapeutic goals in treating patients with an acute exacerbation of COPD.
  • Select medicines to add to your personal formulary that are used in the management of acute exacerbations of COPD.
  • Complete all the details on a patient's medication chart so that the medicines which you have prescribed can be administered to the patient in the way that you intended.
  • Select suitable parameters to monitor a patient’s response to treatment during an acute exacerbation and the longer term course of COPD.

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Delirium in an older person

In this module, you will manage confusion arising during an exacerbation of an elderly patient's chronic heart failure.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify common causes of delirium in elderly patients.
  • Formulate an acute management plan for an elderly patient with confusion.
  • Identify appropriate non-pharmacological interventions to manage a patient with delirium.
  • Choose an appropriate short-term pharmacological intervention for managing delirium and write a prescription for the chosen medicine.
  • Describe how to monitor response to treatment in a patient with confusion.
  • Identify key information to be communicated to the patient, their carers and general practitioner (GP) on discharge.

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Dental - A non-healing tooth socket

In this module you will treat a patient with complications after dental extraction.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Describe the factors that can lead to development of medication related osteonecrosis of the jaw ONJ (MRONJ).
  • List the various medications implicated in ONJ
  • Describe prevention measures and management strategies when drugs associated with ONJ are identified on a patient’s medical history
  • Identify at least two therapeutic goals in treating patients with complications arising from dental extraction
  • Make the correct diagnosis and identify therapeutic objectives for treating the patient
  • Identify non-pharmacological interventions that will assist the patient
  • Identify the classes of medicines used to manage post extraction infections
  • Choose your Preferred drugs for treating infection and pain
  • Write a prescription and a pharmacy note for over-the-counter (OTC) items

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Dental – Oral pain

In this module you will provide dental care for patient with a complex range of oral symptoms.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Make the correct diagnosis and identify therapeutic objectives for providing care for the patient.
  • Recognise that more than one pathological state may co-exist.
  • Identify non-pharmacological treatments that may assist the patient.
  • Identify the classes of medicines used to manage acute pain and ulcers.
  • Choose your ‘Preferred drugs’ for treating inflammation and pain.
  • Write a prescription and a pharmacy note for over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that may assist the patient.

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Dental – Toothache

In this module you will provide care for Brian, a patient with a toothache.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify therapeutic goals in the treatment of patients presenting with toothache.
  • Make the correct diagnosis and identify therapeutic objectives for treating the patient.
  • Identify non-pharmacological treatment options that will assist the patient.
  • Identify medicines that will assist the patient.
  • Write a prescription for your patient and make recommendations for over the counter medicines.

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Depression in adolescents

In this module you will provide care for Max, an adolescent male with depression.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Understand the importance of considering a full history to put into context a presentation of depression.
  • Integrate risk assessment, including risk of harm to self or others, into routine care of young people with depression.
  • Discuss the range of management options for young people with depression.
  • Outline the risks and benefits of antidepressants in young people with depression.
  • Develop a systematic approach for monitoring treatment and referring as appropriate.

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Glycaemic control in long-established diabetes

In this module you will provide care for Amy, a patient attending your general practice for a routine checkup of her diabetes.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Outline the role of lifestyle intervention in the ongoing management of diabetes.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of metformin as monotherapy and in combination therapy.
  • Understand the actions and side effects of add-on medicines and their place in therapy.
  • Understand the benefit of initiating therapy with insulin early and describe common barriers to insulin therapy.
  • Select appropriate insulin therapy and develop a plan to monitor associated adverse effects.

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Helicobacter pylori infection

In this module you will provide care for Claire, a patient who presents to you for a follow-up appointment to discuss the results of some tests that she had last week.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify therapeutic objectives of treating peptic ulcers.
  • Identify the three classes of medicines which make up first-line triple therapy for Helicobacter pylori eradication.
  • Write a safe and complete prescription for H. pylori eradication therapy.
  • Outline the parameters for determining treatment success following completion of a course of H. pylori eradication therapy.

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Hypertension

In this module you will provide care for Trevor, a patient who presents to you on the background of a high blood pressure reading, detected during a worksite health check.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify patient factors that must be considered when making a diagnosis of hypertension.
  • Identify effective non-pharmacological management options recommended for all patients.
  • Identify cardiovascular risk reduction goals as part of the treatment of hypertension.
  • Compile a personal formulary of individual medicines for the pharmacological management of hypertension..

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Insomnia

In this module you will provide care for Margaret, a patient who presents to you for a repeat prescription for temazepam.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify and address causes and exacerbating factors for insomnia.
  • Outline the role of non-pharmacological interventions for the management of insomnia.
  • Understand the principles of  psychological and behavioural interventions.
  • Discuss the risks of using hypnotic medicines in the treatment of insomnia.
  • Describe a plan for withdrawing benzodiazepines.

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Iron deficiency

In this module you will provide care for Connie, a patient presenting for follow-up to discuss the results of her blood tests.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify common causes of iron deficiency.
  • Select appropriate pharmacological treatment to address nutritional deficiency.
  • Identify important points pertaining to iron supplementation to discuss with the patient and healthcare team.
  • Determine short- and long-term parameters to monitor response to treatment.
  • Identify the indications for intravenous iron supplementation.

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Lipid and CVD risk management

In this module you meet Ric, a patient who comes to see you concerned about his risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Make an assessment of a person’s cardiovascular risk.
  • Highlight cardiovascular risk discussion points and encourage lifestyle modifications.
  • Choose an appropriate lipid-modifying medicine.
  • Monitor the therapeutic and adverse effects of lipid-modifying medicines.
  • List strategies which encourage long-term compliance with lifestyle modifications and, if prescribed, lipid-modifying medicines.

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Management of acute coronary syndrome

In this module you will provide care for Anne, a patient experiencing an episode of chest pain while recovering in hospital from pneumonia.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Outline key points of clinical assessment of a patient with acute coronary syndrome.
  • List three treatment goals in the management of acute coronary syndrome.
  • List the main drug classes used in the management of acute coronary syndrome.
  • List three adverse effects of beta-blockers.
  • Describe two differences between unfractionated heparin (UFH) and low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH).
  • Name an absolute contraindication to the use of aspirin in patients with acute coronary syndrome.
  • Describe three measures of monitoring a patient’s response to treatment.

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Polypharmacy

In this module you will provide care for an elderly patient admitted to hospital with multi-organ failure. They are prescribed multiple medicines for various comorbidities which have contributed to the presentation.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Recognise inappropriate use of medicines and medicine adverse effects.
  • Describe the important aspects of medication review.
  • Understand the importance of obtaining an accurate medication history from patients upon admission to hospital.
  • Identify the important components of hospital discharge, including the provision of information to the patient and health professionals responsible for the patient’s care.

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Postoperative pain and vomiting

In this module you will provide care for Rita, a patient recovering on the ward who is experiencing pain and nausea after an open cholecystectomy.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Locate medicines information on available classes of analgesics and antiemetics.
  • Identify factors which increase a patient’s risk of developing postsurgical nausea and pain.
  • Determine therapeutic goals in the management of postoperative symptoms.
  • Prescribe appropriate pharmacological treatment options to manage postoperative nausea and vomiting.
  • Prescribe appropriate pharmacological treatment options to manage analgesia postoperatively.

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Prevention of venous thromboembolism

In this module you will consider appropriate venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention for a hospital inpatient. This is an important issue to learn about, as despite available options for prevention, VTE (encompassing deep venous thrombosis [DVT] and pulmonary embolism [PE]) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality for inpatients of Australian hospitals. An estimated 2000 people die each year from VTE, and many of these cases are preventable.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Identify patient factors that increase the risk of developing VTE.
  • Determine patient factors that increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Describe non-pharmacological options for VTE prevention.
  • Recall the therapeutic options for prevention of VTE.
  • Identify resources to guide decision making regarding VTE prevention.

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Seizure

In this module you will provide care for Jeanne, who is brought to the Emergency Department (ED) by ambulance following a seizure.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Outline the initial pharmacological management of generalised seizures and partial seizures.
  • Identify long-term goals in the management of epilepsy.
  • Write a prescription for the medicine you wish to prescribe.
  • Provide verbal and written information about medicines to the patient and the healthcare team.
  • Explain when monitoring of plasma drug concentrations is indicated.
  • Discuss concerns about using antiepileptic medicines in women of child-bearing potential.

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Type 2 diabetes – initiating treatment

In this module you will provide care for Richard, a patient attending your general practice with unusual symptoms of thirst.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Assess a patient with a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes
  • Establish appropriate treatment goals for a patient with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes
  • List non-pharmacological treatment options for type 2 diabetes
  • Choose appropriate first line medicines for treatment of type 2 diabetes
  • Choose appropriate monitoring for the treatment regime

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Type 2 diabetes – intensifying treatment

In this module you will provide care for Richard, a patient attending your general practice for a routine follow-up appointment for management of his type 2 diabetes.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Establish appropriate treatment goals for a patient with type 2 diabetes.
  • Evaluate and prescribe a third-line medicine for management of type 2 diabetes.
  • Recommend appropriate combinations of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment options.
  • Describe an appropriate monitoring regimen for selected glucose-lowering medicines.

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Urinary tract infection

In this module you will provide care for Julianna, a patient presenting with dysuria (or pain when urinating).

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • Prescribe an appropriate first-line medicine for treatment of an uncomplicated urinary tract infection.
  • Identify effective alternatives if your first-line choice is unsuitable in any particular case.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the implications of penicillin hypersensitivity in the choice, or avoidance, of alternative antibiotics.
  • Document important information that you would discuss with a patient with an uncomplicated urinary tract infection including non-pharmacological interventions.

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CPD

It is recommended that 1 CPD hour be recorded for each module for the purposes of self-directed CPD.


Last modified: Wednesday, 7 February 2018, 11:12 AM