Foundations in Cancer & Palliative Care2

Subject 514-890 (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 2, - 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

Off campus (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 54 hours on-campus lectures and tutorials. Field practice component of a minimum of 300 hours
Total Time Commitment: Students are expected to devote approximately 13.5 hours per week to this subject, plus field practice.
Prerequisites: Pass in 514 888 Foundations in Cancer & Pall. Care prior to enrolment. NBV Registration (Unrestricted)Students must be employed at an affiliated clinical agency and provide documentation of clinical support arrangements necessary to undertake the professional practice portfolio prior to enrolment.
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.


Nicole King
Subject Overview: This subject is designed to build on the knowledge and skills learnt in Foundations in Cancer & Pall. Care 1 to consolidate and extend the integration of theoretical and practical aspects of specialty nursing for the beginning specialty Cancer & Palliative Care nurse.

It expands the student's knowledge with regard to the range of patient's encountered in cancer and palliative care practice settings, the complexity of disease processes, treatments (including pharmacology), symptoms and symptom management, and subsequent nursing assessments, interventions and supporting technical skills. Students also learn how to anticipate, identify and manage oncology and palliative care emergencies.

There is a continued emphasis on scientific principles and research evidence underpinning practice and further developing beginning skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to solve patient management problems in specialty practice.

Students engage in field practice to address learning objectives focusing on relating the underlying physiological and pathophysiological processes to assessment data; differentiating the intended and unintended outcomes of therapeutic interventions in specialty practice; applying theoretical knowledge to technical skill development and evaluating the practice of caring for patients in the Cancer and Palliative Care practice settings.

Assessment: Theoretical Component 60% 1. Written assignment of 2000 words due mid semester (25%)2. Closed book, 3 hour written examination at the end of semester (35%)Clinical Component 40%3. A professional practice portfolio which must include evidence of clinical competency achievement and is equivalent to 3,000 words due by the end of semester (40%) Students must achieve a pass in both the theoretical and clinical component in order to pass the subject.
Prescribed Texts: n/a
Recommended Texts: A list of recommended texts will be supplied to students on enrolment in the subject.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their beginning specialty nursing practice through:
  • the ability to integrate theoretical content covered within the subject to develop new knowledge that supports safe practice as a beginning specialty nurse in Cancer and Palliative Care settings;
  • the ability to integrate knowledge and skills learnt in the subject to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of Cancer and Palliative Care settings;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for participating in the delivery of care at the beginning level of Cancer and Palliative Care nursing practice;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply knowledge learnt in the theoretical component of the subject to beginning level Cancer and Palliative Care nursing clinical practice;
  • an understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area;
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge to understand skills and techniques applicable to the specialist area.

On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills of the Melbourne graduate and postgraduate coursework student:

  • a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in oral and written modes of communication;
  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work.
Links to further information:
  • This subject has a multi-media tutorial component delivered via the University's on-line Learning Management System (LMS). Students must have access to appropriate computer facilities and the Internet.
  • The minimum computer hardware and software specifications for the subject are consistent with the University's guidelines on the expected standard of computer equipment (
  • No special computer skills are required. Students are required to have skills consistent with the University's Statement of "Basic Expectations of Student Computer Skills" : which includes basic knowledge of computer operating systems, word-processing skills, email use, and the internet. Specifically students need to be able to write, edit and save an essay on the computer and be competent in the use of standard WWW browsers and should be able to use information searching techniques.

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