Interdisciplinary Approach to the Elderly in Critical Situations

  • code 09822
  • course 4
  • term Semester 1
  • type op
  • credits 3

Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan,

 Sem.1  MO 10:00 12:00 
 Sem.1  FR 12:00 14:00 

Teaching staff

Head instructor

Dra. María Ángeles DE JUAN -

Office hours

When the student requests it via mail or at the end of class


The aging of the population in developed countries has led to major changes in health policies adopted by different Governments. The increase in life expectancy, generates an increase in demand for health care, that means an improvement of the quality of life during this life stage.

Due to the physiological and psychological changes that originate the prolongation of life, the care required by this group of population have unique characteristics that require professionals specifically trained to address the health problems of the elderly. It is therefore necessary to train nurses who, while also being prepared for general nursing, can take the care of geriatric patients and are prepared to face the complexity of the needs presented by this age group and their families in a situation of worsening chronic health issues.

"Interdisciplinary approach to the elderly in critical situation" is a subject that gives continuity during the 4th year of the Degree, to the course "Care for the Elderly", taught in 3rd year of Nursing. It puts the stress on the care of the elderly from a clinical and holistic perspective, focusing on a interdisciplinary care of the geriatric patient in a critical condition. It also offers an anthropological and social perspective about
aging promoting understanding of the experience of illness and dependency in the elderly person and support in the face of the impact on family life. On the other hand, it addresses the emotional management, essential for self-care of nurses who take care for the elderly and their families.

Pre-course requirements

  • Not required


  1. To offer an interdisciplinary perspective about healthcare of geriatric patients with a critical condition

  2. To provide tools for emotional self - management for nursing professionals

  3. To provide interdisciplinary care alternatives to the geriatric patient worsened, aimed at maintaining the maximum level of physical and personal autonomy

  4. To analyze the ethical and legal aspects of geriatric patients' care in critical condition


  • 19. B - Ability to make decisions based on critical thinking and reflective practice.
  • 22. G - Use and management of information and research
  • 23. B - Ability to analyze and synthesize.
  • 24. G - Ability to work autonomously.
  • 2. E - Plan and provide nursing care for individuals or groups, taking health outcomes into account and their impact, through guidelines for clinical practice and care, which describe the four processes by which a health problem is diagnosed or treated.
  • 6. E - Base nursing care on scientific evidence and available resources.
  • 7. B - Understand people without prejudice, considering their physical, psychological and social aspects, as autonomous and independent individuals, ensuring respect for their opinions, beliefs and values, ensuring their right to privacy through confidentiality and professional secrecy.
  • 11. E - Establish effective communication with patients, families, social groups and partners and promote health education.
  • 12. B - Know and observe the ethical code of conduct of Spanish nursing, understanding the ethical implications of health in a changing global context.
  • 13. G - Know the principles of health-care funding and use resources appropriately.
  • 15. B - Work with the team of professionals as a basic unit in which uni or multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary professionals and other staff of health care are organized.
  • 17. E - Perform nursing care based on comprehensive health care, which involves multidisciplinary cooperation, integration of processes and continuity of care.

Learning outcomes

  • Identifies the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to optimize the geriatric care
  • Participates as an active member of the multi and interdisciplinary team
  • Establishes a plan of care that promotes the maximum autonomy of the patient and is consistent with the assessment made
  • Incorporates the elderly person and his or her family as resources in the Care Plan, taking advantage of the capabilities of each of them
  • Guides the family and/or caregivers/s on the best strategies to maintain the autonomy of the geriatric patient as much time as possible
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the content developed in the subject


  • Chronicity: complex chronic patient
  • Rehabilitation for the elderly
  • Occupational therapy for the elderly
  • Physiotherapy for the elderly
  • Polymedicated elderly care
  • Emergencies in the elderly
  • Interdisciplinary sessions
  • Experiences: interdisciplinary approach to the elderly
  • Caregivers
  • Third Conference: Interdisciplinary approach to the elderly

Teaching and learning activities

  • Master class
  • Case Method
  • Role-playing
  • Cooperative group work

The third Conference about the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Elderly will be a student led conference. The organization will be supervised by the coordinator of the subject. During the course they will focus on the tasks of the scientific and organizing committee (that will be conformed by some students). They will also participate as round tables' moderators. In addition, each student will present a communication during the Conference (that will the group work of the course).

There will be simulated interdisciplinary group sessions in which the student will participate in decision-making according to the data of the case.

Evaluation systems and criteria

  • Multiple choice/short questions exam (40%).It will evaluate the following competencies 2E, 12B, 13G, 15B, 17E and 19B
  • Group work and presentation. It will consist of an oral communication to be presented at the First Conference of the Interdisciplinary Approach to the Elderly. Before de Conference the students will turn in a summary of the communication (30%). It will evaluate the following competences: 2E; 6E; 11E; 23B and 24G
  • Group evaluation (10%).Evaluates the skills 15B
  • Continuous assessment (10%) of the activities to do for the preparation of the Conference. 10% activities and excercises in class

Second assessment

The subject will be assess based on a final exam worth 40% and continuous assessment (if suspended), worth 30%. It may recover the continuous assessment as follows:  

  • Complete the paper again with a value of 20%. In any case the mark obtained will never be higher than a 5.
  • The rest of the continuous assessment mark will not be recoverable (group assessment and continuous assessment). The mark obtained in the first assessment will remain as is.

The final mark of the course is obtained through taking the average of all the marks in the subject. First Class Honors will not be awarded in the first resit.

Third and fourth assessment (and extraordinary)

The subject will be evaluated with the same system as in the examination and the first resit and marks from previous years will not have any value in the subsequent resits.

Bibliography and resources

Guardini, R. (2006). Las etapas de la vida. Edit. Biblioteca Palabra. Madrid

García Hernández, M. (2012). Enfermería y envejecimiento. Elsevier Masson. Barcelona

Laforest, J. (1991). Introducción a la Gerontología. Herder. Barcelona

Fericgla, J.M. (1992). Envejecer,. Una antropología de la ancianidad. Edit. Anthropos.

Evaluation period

E: exam date | R: revision date | 1: first session | 2: second session:

  • E1 25/11/2019 12:00h
  • R1 12/12/2019 12:00h
  • E2 23/06/2020 10:00h
  • R2 03/07/2020 11:00h
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