Online course details

UK/EU fee

£840 (2022/23)

International fee

£840 (2022/23)

Course level

Level 6

Course credits

20 credits

Next course date

30 January 2023


10 weeks


Tutored online learning



Online course description

With a focus on safety and resilience, this 10-week course encourages you, as a nurse working in the perioperative environment, to develop your knowledge and skills relating to the care of service users in the anaesthetic areas of the operating department.

A nurse working in this area is responsible, in conjunction with the anaesthetist and others, for the safe care of service users undergoing anaesthetic procedures. Nurses need to develop their knowledge and skills in this area for them to be able to recognise and respond to changes in clinical circumstances and in the perioperative environment.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate service-user care and the professional responsibilities of an anaesthetic nurse in the perioperative environment
  • Critically analyse research evidence related to the management and delivery of care to service users undergoing local, regional and general anaesthetic
  • Critically review the management of changes in clinical circumstances and the perioperative environment

Course content

  • Assessment for anaesthesia and importance of service user engagement including pre-assessment, history, examination, investigations and what they mean for the patient, anaesthetic choice and implication for service-user
  • Triad of anaesthesia including narcosis, analgesia and muscle relaxation
  • Stages of anaesthesia including induction, maintenance and emergence/reversal
  • Principles of airway management and O2 therapy including airway management techniques and adjuncts
  • Types of anaesthesia including general anaesthesia, local infiltration, regional anaesthesia, plexus techniques, single nerve techniques and intravenous regional anaesthesia
  • Management of anaesthetic equipment including safety checks, anaesthetic machines, medical gases, breathing circuits, intubation equipment, infection control
  • Monitoring (non-invasive) including clinical observation (physiological and psychological), pulse oximetry, blood pressure monitoring, ECGs and capnography
  • Role of operating department practitioner in caring for service users undergoing anaesthesia including correct identification, communication and establishing rapport, maintaining high standards of care in situations of personal incompatibility with service users or staff, caring for vulnerable service users, carers and guardians in the anaesthetic room, resilience in compassion
  • Pain including physiological mechanisms of pain, introduction to analgesic agents, anti-emetics
  • Basic resuscitation
  • Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics including methods of drug administration/anaesthetics, premedication, anaesthetic induction agents, maintenance of anaesthesia, anticholinergic pharmacology, blood products, crystalloid fluids, drug calculations
  • Neuromuscular blockade including pharmacology, peripheral nerve stimulation, scoring for observation of depth of anaesthesia
  • Ventilation, vaporisers and volatiles


Offset course credits towards Anaesthetic Practice University Advanced Diploma

Once you’ve completed this course you may be able to offset the 20 credits towards our online Anaesthetic Practice University Advanced Diploma. This would reduce the number of modules you would need to study and the total cost of the course.

Please note: To be competent in anaesthetic practice assistance and to provide employers with the reassurance that students have the underpinning knowledge required to work as an autonomous anaesthetic practitioner you are required to complete three modules (60 credits). Please note that this standalone CPD module and will provide you with 20 credits only. In order to complete the required full 60 credits, you may be interested in the University Advanced Diploma in Anaesthetic Practice online course.

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

UK/EU fee: £840

International fee: £840

About your fees

Prices are correct for the year of entry shown. These are subject to annual increase in subsequent academic years.

Course requirements

To successfully undertake this course, you will need to be a registered nurse employed in a UK based perioperative environment for the duration of the course. The amount of time that you spend in the anaesthetic environment will be decided by your employer and can be discussed with the Academic team. The time spent must be adequate to enable you to achieve both the academic and practical aspects of this course.

Potential applicants will be identified in the first instance by employers and will subsequently also need to apply to the university. As an employee, you will need permission, support and a written reference from your manager to apply for this course. You will be required to upload evidence to this effect when you are applying. Your employer is also responsible for ensuring that adequate DBS checks have been carried out.

To apply, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and have a minimum of six months experience working within the perioperative environment as a registered nurse
  • Evidence of recent study (within the last three years) or ability to study at a degree level. If you are unable to supply evidence to support this, then you will be asked to complete a reflective piece of work related to your experience working in the perioperative environment and this will form part of your application
  • Be employed in a UK based perioperative environment for the duration of the course
  • Have agreement from your employer to provide suitable placement opportunities together with an experienced, registered and knowledgeable mentor
  • Have confirmation from your employer that you will be under supervision when working in the anaesthetic area, whilst on the course
  • Hold a current DBS check

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

  • IELTS 7.0
  • TOEFL: 600 (paper based), 250 (computer based) or 100 (internet based)
  • Pearson Test of Academic English: 66
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass
  • London Tests of English: we accept level 4 for undergraduate courses
  • International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C
  • International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C

If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

  • Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving license
  • Evidence of current DBS
  • Good health self-declaration
  • Written reference, supplied on headed paper, from your employer confirming:
    • Confirmation that you are working in a Perioperative setting in the UK and will be for the duration of the course
    • Your employers support for you to undertake this course including suitable placement opportunities within you organisation
    • You have at least six months experience as a registered nurse working within the perioperative environment
    • An experienced, registered & knowledgeable mentor from your organisation will support you during your placements, including your mentor’s PIN numbers
    • That supervision will be provided whilst you are working in the anaesthetic area whilst on this course
    • That you are in good health, fit and able to undertake this course and work in the area of anaesthetics
  • Copies of certificates and transcripts or a letter of testimony for previous qualifications*

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain: 

  • Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document
  • The date of the translation
  • The full name and signature of the translator, or an authorised official of the company
  • The translator’s contact details

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

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If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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