ASC393 Emergency and Critical Care Nursing (8)

The subject extends the student's knowledge and skills in veterinary nursing to the field of emergency and critical care. Successful completion of this subject enables students to prepare for an emergency response, prepare emergency procedures to sustain life and perform nursing procedures to support critical patients. 

This subject includes online modules, 10 days of workplace learning in a veterinary clinic/hospital and a 3 day residential school.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC393. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Veterinary Technology


ASC391 and ASC392

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe best practice and welfare procedures for caring for critically ill animals;
  • be able to prepare for an emergency response;
  • be able to prepare and implement critical care protocols;
  • be able to coordinate the team in an emergency environment;
  • be able to respond to emergency situations that may result from specific clinical conditions;
  • be able to perform required emergency procedures including but not limited to performing pre-hospital procedures, apply and maintain first aid to sustain life, carry out triage for emergency and critical care cases;
  • be able to provide intensive care nursing support;
  • be able to create patient care plans in conjunction with the veterinarian; and
  • be able to effectively communicate with team members in an emergency environment.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • What is an emergency
  • Preparation for an emergency response
  • Triage
  • Stabilisation of the critically ill patient
  • Management of shock
  • CPR
  • Monitoring the critically ill patient
  • Nursing care, including but not limited to pain management, diagnostic procedures, mechanical ventilation
  • Anaesthetic and surgical nursing of the critical patient
  • Management of trauma and grief
  • Procedures for specific emergencies, for example, GIT, reproductive, toxicology, metabolic, respiratory, haematological, cardiovascular, neurologic, occular
  • Physiotherapy and nutritional support for intensive care patients

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 10 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The workplace learning is to be undertaken in a veterinary clinic/hospital and involves the student gaining practical skills associated with emergencies and the care of critically ill patients.

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The purpose of the residential school is to ensure students have the competencies associated with emergency and critical care patients. The program will include tutorials and practical classes associated with the following: triage, crash cart management, CPR, monitoring of the critical patient, stabilisation of the critical patient, physiotherapy and diagnostic and medical procedures in an emergency.

Special Resources

Students will be required to undertake workplace learning (in a veterinary clinic) for which they will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation. Additional travel and accommodation may be needed to attend a compulsory residential school conducted on campus at either CSU, Wagga Wagga or GOTAFE, Wangaratta, Victoria depending on the availability of resources. Students will be advised of the campus at the commencement of the session.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.