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21 Dec 2011

Open University to launch arthritis course for healthcare professionals

A new course providing healthcare professionals with specialist knowledge to improve services for patients with inflammatory arthritis is to be launched by The Open University.
The self-study course was funded by a curriculum development grant from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and has been developed with the direction and advice of specialist rheumatology nurses. It will be run by the OU from February 2012.
The aim of the course is to ensure a range of health and social care professionals, including doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants, provide a person-centred and multidisciplinary approach to caring for people with this long-term condition.
The course has been designed so that it can also be studied by people with inflammatory arthritis and their carers who want to have a more advanced understanding of the condition and the treatments available to them.
It is delivered online over a period of up to 18 months, with flexible modules that amount to 50 hours of learning.
It will give students knowledge of how to identify and monitor inflammatory arthritis using history, disease scores and blood tests, and ensures they are aware of the standards and guidelines that govern the care of patients with the condition.
A shorter version of the course will also be available as a free ‘open’ resource that will provide up to 10 hours of online learning.

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