Cancer & Palliative Care Theory 1

Subject NURS90032 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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

Off campus (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 42 hours off-campus lectures (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre) and 12 hours online tutorials
Total Time Commitment: In addition to the subject contact hours, students are expected to devote approximately 9 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 Catherine Pigott


Melbourne School of Health Sciences
The University of Melbourne
Level 1, 200 Berkeley St
Carlton Victoria 3010 AUSTRALIA
T: +61 3 13 MELB
F: +61 3 8344 4188

Subject Overview: This subject provides the opportunity for students to enhance their specialty practice by gaining beginning theoretical knowledge relating to caring for patients experiencing cancer or requiring palliative care.

Key content relates to understanding the pathophysiology of cancer and carcinogenesis, and the principles of cure, control, symptom management and palliation. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation will be described as core treatments and elements of a multi-modal approach. The impact of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and survivorship on the person confronted with a life threatening illness and their family, as well as the ethico-legal aspects of care will be explored. Emphasis is placed on health assessment for implementing and evaluating physical and psychosocial care across the disease trajectory. Throughout the subject the development of knowledge and skills in therapeutic communication will be promoted.

Interventions initiated by nurses at a beginning level of specialty practice will be described in terms of the research evidence underpinning practice

Objectives: Students will be expected to be able to demonstrate their beginning specialty nursing practice through:
  • the ability to understand, apply and evaluate assessment data to recognise and plan a response to patients experiencing alterations to health and wellness that occur in the specific context of caring for patients with cancer and/or requiring palliative care;
  • the ability to understand and evaluate specialised interventions as described in the subject content to provide a foundation for understanding the delivery of care at the beginning level of specialty practice for patients experiencing cancer and/or requiring palliative care;
  • the capacity to use skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, rational inquiry and self-directed learning to apply theoretical knowledge to beginning level practice for caring for patients experiencing cancer and/or requiring palliative care;
  • 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.
  1. Problem solving exercise equivalent to 2500 words (50%) - Due week 8
  2. Critical analysis of communication skills equivalent to 2500 words (50%) - Due by 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 articulate their knowledge and understanding in 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.

Related Course(s): Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (Cancer & Palliative Care Theory)

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