Nursing Assessment & Care

Subject 514-754 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.000
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: TOTAL 166 hours - 36 hours lectures/tutorials/seminars, 18 hours clinical laboratory sessions, 112 hours clinical practicum
Total Time Commitment: Approximately 256 hours (Students are expected to devote approximately 12 hours a week to this subject and a further 16 hours per week for seven weeks during clinical practicum).
Prerequisites: n/a
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: This subject requires students to actively and safely contribute to clinical activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Nursing Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Carmel Stewart
Subject Overview:

In this subject students will be introduced to health assessment across the lifespan using a comprehensive culturally sensitive nursing framework. Students will develop skills in data collection and documentation that focuses on the principles of effective communication, interviewing and physical assessment techniques. Students will be introduced to the theoretical basis of clinical decision making, problem framing and solving using data collected during health assessment. Focus will be on normal assessment findings to enable students to identify variations to these. Students will also be introduced to basic nursing skills and interventions and the principles of the ‘quality use of medicines’ and drug administration for selected medications.

In the clinical skills laboratory,through facilitated clinical practice, students will develop skills relating to a comprehensive patient physical and health assessment, infection control, basic nursing interventions and drug administration.

In the clinical practicum, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical buddies, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning objectives of this subject.

The major focus for the clinical practicum component of this subject is the integration of the principles of health assessment (incorporating interviewing and physical assessment), clinical decision making and basic nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, is able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 1- 2 patients.

Subject objectives

At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • identify ethical and legal principles including autonomy, confidentiality and informed consent as they apply to the nurse- patient interaction;
  • identify and utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship;
  • demonstrate the capacity to conduct a comprehensive nursing assessment;
  • demonstrate skills in completing a patient physical assessment;
  • integrate health assessment into assisting clients with self care activities and selected nursing interventions;
  • demonstrate the capacity to safely administer and evaluate the use and outcomes of select oral, topical and inhalant medications;
  • demonstrate the capacity to provide accurate written health assessment data using appropriate terminology;
  • develop an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of clinical decision making;
  • apply clinical decision making to patients with a changing healthcare status;
  • communicate verbally and in writing in a professional manner with the patient, their families and other members of the health care team.
Assessment: Theoretical component - 50% a) 2,000-word case study (week 7) - (20%)b) Three-hour written examination (exam week) - ( 30%) Clinical component (week 13) - 50% c) Clinical Practicum equivalent to 3,000 words inclusive of: - (40%)Performance appraisal assessment 5 x 250-word clinical event analyses 5 x 250-word medication logs d) 20-minute oral practical examination - (10%)Hurdle Requirement e) 15-minute drug calculation test (week 2) - (must pass)Students must pass the theoretical and clinical components to achieve a pass in the subject.
Prescribed Texts: Craven, R.F. & Hirnle, C.J. 2007 Fundamentals of nursing: Human health and function. (5th Ed.). Lippincott Williams and Wilins: Philadelphia. Education Innovations 2005 Nursing Calculations Version 6.0.0 (CD based learning resource).Perrin, R. (2007. Pocket guide to APA style (2nd ed.). Houghton Mifflin College: Boston Stedman's medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. Australian and New Zealand Edition 2005 (5th Ed) . Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins: Philadelphia Levitt-Jones, T. & Bourgeois, S. 2007. The clinical placement: an essential guide for nursing students. Churchill - Livingstone/Elsevier.: Sydney Lim, A. & McKenzie, G. 2006. AustraliaNew Zealand nursing drug handbook (3rd Ed.). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia. Weber, J.R. 2007. Nurses' handbook of health assessment. (6th Ed.) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia.
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate:
  • the capacity for information seeking, retrieval and evaluation;
  • critical thinking and analytical skills;
  • an openness to new ideas;
  • cultural safety;
  • planning and time management skills;
  • the ability to work effectively in a team;
  • the ability to communicate knowledge through classroom and web-based discussions and written material.
Links to further information:


Related Course(s): Master of Nursing Science

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