Intended for healthcare professionals
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CPD modules

Varicella zoster virus: chickenpox and shingles

Author: Dinah Gould

Duration: 2 hours Last updated: 2019 Quality Assurance: Peer-reviewed Level: Qualified nurses Language: English

Course description

This module provides an overview of varicella (chickenpox) and herpes zoster (shingles).

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Learning aims and intended outcomes

  • Describe the signs and symptoms of varicella and herpes zoster
  • List the complications that can result from varicella and herpes zoster
  • Identify patient groups at increased risk of developing serious complications as a consequence of varicella
  • Explain how the spread of the varicella zoster virus (VZV) can be prevented and controlled
  • Provide advice for the parents or carers of a child with varicella
  • Provide advice for patients about self-help, treatment and vaccination for herpes zoster


  • Introduction
  • Varicella zoster virus
  • Varicella
  • Advice for parents
  • Herpes zoster
  • Prevention
  • Conclusions


Dinah Gould
Professor of nursing, School of Healthcare Science, Cardiff University, Cardiff.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to


  • Introduction
  • Varicella zoster virus
  • Varicella
  • Advice for parents
  • Herpes zoster
  • Prevention
  • Conclusions

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