Vital Signs, Sepsis & NEWS

This course provides the underpinning knowledge of vital signs and develops an awareness of their significance in monitoring patients. It will enable the candidate to understand the early recognition of sepsis and develop knowledge and skills of how to use the National Early Warning Score correctly and promote the safety and well being of patients who have, or may be at risk of, sepsis.


By the end of the course, candidates will be able to:

  • Discuss legal and professional responsibilities associated with carrying out observations with local and national guidance
  • Follow procedures for consenting and correct documentation
  • Explain what vital signs are and their significance in patient care
  • Describe the correct procedures for monitoring vital signs
  • Explain what sepsis is, describe its different stages and identify which patients might be at risk
  • Identify factors that will indicate the presence of sepsis
  • List the six elements of early management of sepsis
  • Identify how to respond to sepsis within their own setting
  • Describe what NEWS is and discuss its use
  • Demonstrate the correct use of a NEWS chart and explain the range of resulting clinical responses

Practitioners will be assessed by –

  • Ability to answer questions during course
  • Discussion following feedback from activities
  • Completing a post course knowledge assessment

Course content

  • Legal and professional considerations and responsibilities
  • Consent for care and treatment
  • What are vital signs
  • Rationale for monitoring vital signs
  • Heart rate
  • Respiratory rate
  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Background to sepsis
  • What is sepsis?
  • Who is at risk?
  • Systematic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS)
  • Stages of sepsis
  • Recognising sepsis
  • Review of systems
  • Making the diagnosis
  • Infections precipitating sepsis
  • Red flag sepsis
  • Amber flag
  • The ‘Sepsis Six’ actions
  • Background to National Early Warning Score (NEWS)
  • What is the NEWS?
  • NEWS updated to NEWS2
  • Why do we need the NEWS?
  • Considerations
  • The 6 physiological parameters + supplementary oxygen
  • Understanding the meaning of the scores
  • Calculating scores
  • NEWS and sepsis
  • Clinical response
  • Trigger thresholds
  • Communicating – SBAR
  • Principles of Nursing Practice
  • Knowledge assessment


Medex Group Limited
Botanical Gardens Business Centre,
3 Southbourne Road,
S10 2QN

t: 0114 266 5264
e: info@medexgroup.co.uk



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