Managing Complex Lymphoedema NURSING4021P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Medicine Dentistry and Nursing
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This is course 3 of a four course graduate diploma programme but may be accessed directly if pre-requisites are met. The course provides the student with an opportunity to learn the advanced skills and knowledge required to manage patients with complex lymphoedema. Learning of theory and skills is consolidated with workplace and on-line learning to develop the skills of an advancing practitioner in this field.


This 15 week course is designed to combine learning through attendance with workplace learning, supported by on-line learning and workplace mentors. Students attend for 5 days in week 2 and 3.5 days in week 11.

Requirements of Entry

Applicants will normally hold a first degree or equivalent and a professional qualification of either Registered Nurse or Allied Health Professional. A minimum clinical experience of equivalent of 2 years full time employment since qualifying is expected and currently working with or have pre-arranged access to patients with chronic oedema/lymphoedema; have confirmed support of management and have completed the two courses 'Lymphoedema Core Skills' and 'Lymphoedema: application of core skills & knowledge' or equivalent.


A 1000 word critical discussion of a practice issue at advanced practitioner level (ILO 2&4, weighting 25%);

A 1000 word critical evaluation of the evidence supporting clinical decisions in a treatment plan based on a patient assessment and treatment plans for a complex lymphoedema patient on standard documentation (ILOs 1-3, 5, weighting 25%);

A 2000 word case study which includes adaptations to practice based on review and critical reflection of practice (ILOs 1,2, 4-6, weighting 50%).

Course Aims

This course will provide student with the opportunity to learn the theory and practice of advanced skills in the management of complex lymphoedema including the Casley-Smith technique of Manual Lymphatic Drainage.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

1. demonstrate appropriate and effective application of specialist knowledge and skills as part of Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy and discussing the rationale for each aspect of treatment in relation to altered patho-physiology;

2. interpret clinical practice problems relating to patients with complicated oedema, showing the ability to make appropriate judgements in determining the diagnosis and developing and leading individualised treatment plans;

3. critically evaluate the evidence base for Decongestive Lymphatic Therapy;

4. critically reflect on their own practice in the management of people with complicated oedema;

5. exercise autonomy and professional initiative but make appropriate referrals, within the context of rehabilitation and a holistic approach to care;

6. demonstrate effective and sensitive communication and provision of patient information, based on individual needs and factors that may influence concordance with treatment and promote self-management.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Achievement of grade D3 or above in each of the written assignments.

Students must also demonstrate achievement of competence in the lymphoedema management skills taught.

Practical assessment of skills while in attendance during the second semester (ILOs 1,2,5,6).