Clients with Acute and Chronic Illness

Subject NURS50007 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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: TOTAL 166 hours - 36 hours lectures, 18 hours clinical laboratory sessions, 112 hours clinical practicum
Total Time Commitment:

Students are expected to devote approximately 12 hours self directed a week to this subject and a further 16 hours per week for seven weeks during clinical practicum.


Level 2 First Aid Certificate

And a pass in the following prior to enrolment:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
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 think their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Nursing Course Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Mr Thomas Mathew


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 8344 9415
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview:

This subject builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Nursing Science 1 and Nursing Assessment and Care by introducing students to the dimensions of medical/surgical nursing of individuals across the life-span. In particular the subject focuses on diseases that have been identified as National Health Priority Areas. Students will have the opportunity to examine the principles and practices for facilitating the care of patients experiencing diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes. Incorporated into this subject will be strategies to support the ongoing development and refinement of clinical assessment, problem identification, nursing intervention selection and practice evaluation in the context of acute and chronic illness. Students will continue to expand their knowledge and skills in clinical decision making, pre, peri and postoperative patient care, medication management and the prevention of injury in high risk patient cohorts.

In the clinical skills laboratory, through facilitated clinical practice, students will develop skills relating to specific interventions implemented in patients with acute and chronic illness and drug administration.

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

The major focus for the clinical component of this subject is the integration of the principles of medical/surgical nursing, clinical decision making, and more complex nursing interventions. On completion of the subject it is expected that students, while providing therapeutic interventions, are able to incorporate the further collection of health assessment data and adjust care accordingly for 2-3 patients.


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

• Identify ethical and legal principles including advocacy, autonomy, confidentiality and informed consent as they apply to the nurse-patient interaction,
• Identify and utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship,
• Incorporate the principles of cultural safety and understanding when developing and implementing care,
• Identify and be cognisant of the National Health Priorities and integrate NHMRC clinical practice guidelines where relevant
• Utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship, refine client assessment by using a comprehensive nursing framework and utilise assessment data to begin to develop nursing care plans for patients experiencing acute or chronic illness
• Demonstrate analytical skills by incorporating the theoretical principles of clinical decision making into the development and application of patient care plans
• Implement appropriate nursing assessment and care for clients on admission and discharge including pre, peri and post operative management
• Demonstrate the capacity to safely administer and evaluate the use and outcomes of selected subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous and enteral 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 changing healthcare status,
• In a professional manner communicate verbally and in writing with the patient, their families and other members of the health care team.


Theoretical Component 50%

1. 1,000 word Assignment (10%)
2. 3 hour exam (40%).

Clinical Component 50%

a) Clinical Practicum Performance Assessment 20%
b) Clinical Practice Analysis 1 x 1,500 words 20%
c) 10 minute Medication Log Quiz x 5 quizzes on LMS 10%

Hurdle Component
a) 15 minute drug calculation test

Students must pass the theoretical, clinical & hurdle components to achieve a pass in the subject

Prescribed Texts:

Brown, D., & Edwards, H. (2008). Lewis’ medical-surgical nursing (2nd ed.) Sydney: Elsevier Mosby.

Stedman’s medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing. Australian and New Zealand Edition (5th ed.). (2005)

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

Education Innovations. (2005). Nursing Calculations (Version 6.0.0). ( General Relativity Pty Ltd, CD-ROM 2005 release).

Bullock, S., Manias, E., & Galbraith, A. (2007). Fundamentals of pharmacology (5th ed.). Australia: Frenchs Forest: Pearson Education.

Crisp, J. & Taylor, C. (2009). Potter and Perry’s Fundamentals of Nursing (3rd ed.). Chatswod, NSW: Elsevier Australia.

Tiziani, A. (Ed.) (2010) Havard's nursing guide to drugs (8th ed). Sydney: Mosby Elsevier

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;
• consideration of cultural variations;
• 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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