Complexity in Paediatrics

Subject NURS90024 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2011:

Semester 2, 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: 36 hours on-campus lectures
Total Time Commitment: In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 6 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.


Ms Michele Dalton, Ms Rebecca Thornton


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 focuses on the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care for patients experiencing complex and/or multiple alterations to normal function. A case study approach is taken to facilitate exploration of diverse aspects of specialty practice in paediatrics. Essential concepts relating to topics such as trauma, multisystem organ failure and transplantation, complex respiratory support, and alterations to immune and hormonal function are considered. Students then engage in problem solving activities to apply these concepts to specialty specific assessment and management to inform their practice as proficient level specialty practitioners. Students are also challenged to think beyond the physical aspects of medical interventions to consider the psychosocial, ethical and legal implications of nursing practice in paediatric settings. In preparation for the role as specialty practitioners, students will be encouraged to develop skills in developing and implementing teaching and learning materials for colleagues and families.


Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their proficiency in specialty nursing practice through:

  • an understanding of the assessment, planning and management of paediatric patients with complex disorders requiring multi-system and multi-disciplinary interventions;
  • an ability to resource professional literature and apply research knowledge to develop and implement teaching and learning materials for colleagues and families;
  • participate in problem solving exercises to demonstrate 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 proficient level paediatric nursing clinical practice and the capacity to enhance and value the knowledge of others;
  • an understanding of the impact of critical illness, medical interventions and technology upon the psychosocial and moral well-being of patients and their families;
  • an appreciation of the ethical and legal implications of acute and critical care nursing practice for the nurse: as an individual; as a member of a disciplinary and multi-disciplinary team; as an employee of the healthcare institution and as a care provider for the critically ill patient and his/her family;
  • an advanced understanding of the changing knowledge base in the specialist area; an ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline;
  • well-developed problem-solving abilities in the discipline area; a capacity to articulate their knowledge and understanding in written presentations; an appreciation of the design, conduct and reporting of original research;
  • an appreciation of the ways in which advanced knowledge equips the student to offer leadership in the specialist area.
  1. Written assignment of 1500 words (35%) - Due week 12
  2. Written assignment of 3,000 words (65%) - Due end of semester
Prescribed Texts:


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:

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

  • a capacity to manage competing demands on time, including self-directed project work;
  • the capacity to value and participate in projects which require team-work.
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Paediatrics Theory)
Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing Practice (Paediatrics)

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