Short courses


Airway Matters: Airway Management for Healthcare Practitioners (Online)

  • 4 hours per week
  • 5 weeks


This free online course for healthcare professionals explores the key concepts underlying safe, multidisciplinary airway management.

You'll learn how to:

  • improve safety
  • prevent and prepare to manage difficulties
  • ensure that all human and technical resources are used well in a crisis

It will also help you develop tools to improve patient safety in your area of practice.

The course content is based on the curricula of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, the College of Operating Department Practitioners and the College of Paramedics. Course materials were developed in collaboration with leading experts, frontline clinicians and patients.

This course is a FutureLearn MOOC (massive open online course) created in partnership with UCL and University College London Hospitals (UCLH). It's been endorsed by the Difficult Airway Society.

Course content

Each week covers a different topic, as follows:

  • Week 1: Safe airway management, human factors and ergonomics, airway anatomy
  • Week 2: Airway assessment and planning, cognitive tools, dealing with emergencies
  • Week 3: Safety and special techniques
  • Week 4: The shared airways
  • Week 5: Airway management in special circumstances

Teaching and structure

This online course runs over 5 weeks. You'll spend about 4 hours a week on the core learning activities. 

The course includes:

  • videos featuring interviews with experts, presentations and techniques
  • evidence-based articles with links to references and relevant resources
  • interactive quizzes

You'll also be encouraged to use the platform to discuss, debate and share experiences with fellow learners from across the globe.

Who the course is for

This course is designed for all members of the multidisciplinary team who provide airway support to patients or care for patients with compromised airways. This includes:

  • anaesthetists
  • anaesthesia associates
  • operating department practitioners
  • adult and paediatric intensivists
  • prehospital care and emergency department doctors
  • head and neck surgeons
  • nurses (anaesthesia, theatre, recovery, intensive care, emergency department
  • physiotherapists
  • paramedics
  • members of the cardiac arrest team

Learning outcomes

This course will help you to:

  • describe the steps needed to develop a safe airway management strategy for patients undergoing elective and emergency surgical procedures and the critically ill
  • discuss the importance of non-technical skills and human factors in airway management and develop judgement when dealing with emergency airway situation and crisis
  • recognise a variety of basic and advanced airway management techniques 
  • explain the challenges posed by specifics group of patients (tracheostomies, prehospital setting, paediatrics, obstetrics, obese, critically ill) and how to approach those airways
  • participate in a global discussion on airway matters with healthcare professionals from around the world

Certificates and accreditation

You can buy a FutureLearn Certificate of Achievement once you're eligible.

The course has been endorsed by the Difficult Airway Society. Endorsement from the Royal College of Anaesthetists is currently pending.

Course team

Dr Emilie Martinoni Hoogenboom

Dr Emilie Martinoni Hoogenboom

Emilie is a Consultant in Anaesthesia at University College London Hospitals and Honorary Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCL. Her specialist interests are airway management, teaching and education.

Dr Abigail Whiteman

Dr Abigail Whiteman

Abigail is a Consultant in Anaesthesia at University College London Hospitals and Honorary Associate Professor at UCL. Her main specialist interests are perioperative medicine and medical education.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 15:59