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Running Very BASIC courses

Who is Very BASIC aimed at?

Final year medical students and interns.

What does it teach?

The aim of the course is to teach students the practical knowledge and skills to provide initial treatment for seriously ill patients on the ward. It teaches acute care but not intensive care.

Topics include:

  • assessment of the critically ill patient
  • airway management and airway skills
  • acute respiratory failure
  • asthma & COPD
  • pneumonia
  • basic haemodynamic monitoring
  • shock
  • arrhythmias
  • acute severe heart failure
  • cardiocerebral resuscitation
  • anaphylaxis
  • oliguria and acute renal failure
  • severe trauma
  • neurological emergencies
  • severe sepsis and septic shock
  • metabolic and electrolyte disturbances
  • arterial blood gases
  • fluids
  • blood products
  • acute pain management
  • ethics
  • infection control
  • occupational safety and health
  • patient safety
  • communication with patients and families

How is it taught?

  • Course manual
    • students are expected to read the manual in advance of the course
  • Pre-course test to test students' knowledge of the content of the course manual
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Small group (5-6 students per group) tutorials and skill stations covering:
    • intravenous access
    • sampling arterial blood and occupational safety
    • airway skills including bag-mask ventilation
    • basic life support skills (mouth to mouth, chest compressions, foreign body airway obstruction, recovery position)
    • defibrillation safety
    • out of hospital cardiac arrest including use of AED
    • in-hospital VF arrest, including crew resource management
    • in-hospital asystolic arrest
    • coma (simulation)
    • acute respiratory failure progressing to anaphylaxis (simulation)
    • acute pulmonary oedema (simulation)
    • learning from error
    • communication
    • blood cultures and aseptic technique
    • assessment of the critically ill patient
    • shock management
    • metabolic disturbances
    • arterial blood gases
  • E-learning
  • Post course test

How long does a course take?

Contact time is about 2.5 days per student and one teacher is required for every 5-6 students (for skill stations and small group tutorials). Lectures take up the equivalent of one day. Assuming that 5 teachers are available to teach skill stations, 30 students can be taught in 2.5 days.

At CUHK 140-150 students are taught over 9 days (with an extra day of remedial teaching for those who fail the post-course test). During non-contact time students are expected to complete all the e-learning and complete e-learning related to the BASIC Patient Safety course.

Can I teach Very BASIC in my institution?

The Very BASIC course material is designed to be taught in different institutions. There are no license fees. Course directors should have attended a BASIC instructor course and/or a Very BASIC instructor course. Very BASIC instructor courses are held once a year in Hong Kong to coincide with teaching the material to our medical students.

For further details click here 

©Charles Gomersall, January, 2018 unless otherwise stated. The author, editor and The Chinese University of Hong Kong take no responsibility for any adverse event resulting from the use of this webpage.
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