Illness Experience and Nursing Care

Subject NURS50002 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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

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 think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Allison Williams


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 5, 234 Queensberry St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9401
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. 1000 word assignment (40%) – Due week 6
  2. 1500 word assignment (60%) – Due week 12

Students must achieve an aggregate score of 50% to achieve a pass in this subject

Prescribed Texts:

Perrin, R. (2009). Pocket guide to APA style (3rded.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin College.

Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing Australian and New Zealand Edition. (5th ed.). (2005). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Recommended Texts: None
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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