Illness Experience and Nursing Care

Subject 514-752 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

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: 18 hours lectures
Total Time Commitment: In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 3 hours a week to this subject.


Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's courses. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Mrs Karen Nightingale


School of Nursing and Social Work
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3053 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9400
F: +61 3 9347 4375

Subject Overview:

This subject encourages students to explore and reflect upon their own personal and professional values, past experiences and the social, cultural and political context of collaborative practice. Students will explore the impact that diagnosis, treatment and prognosis may have on the person and their family when experiencing health alterations. The role of the nurse in the establishing, maintaining and terminating a therapeutic relationship will be considered. Using experiential learning, students will develop general interaction and therapeutic communication skills that enable them to perform nursing assessments and engage in psychosocial support interventions which are sensitive to the cultural background, emotions, cues and education needs of the patient and their family.


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

  • identify their own and others cultural beliefs, attitudes and values regarding health & illness;
  • discuss the impact of psychological processes and attitudes on the nurse/patient relationship;
  • identify and develop professional communication skills which are sensitive to persons, culture, illness experience, and family context;
  • discuss and identify common behavioural responses in clients experience illness &/or receiving health care.
  1. 500-word written assignment (20%) - Due week 5
  2. 2,000-word written assignment (80%) - Due week 12
Prescribed Texts:

Specific readings and web-based resources selected by the subject coordinator will be made available to students through the Leaning Management System (LMS).

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 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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