Clients with Acute and Chronic Illness

Subject NURS50007 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

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


Level 2 First Aid Certificate

And a pass in the following prior to enrolment:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1
Not offered in 2013


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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.


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 introduces students to the concepts of acute and chronic illness in individuals across the life-span. The subject focuses on the National Health Priorities, giving students the opportunity to examine the principles and practices underpinning the sociocultural context of patient care. Knowledge is developed in relation to high risk groups, including patients experiencing cardiovascular disorders, asthma and diabetes. Content includes strategies for injury prevention and control, risk reduction and early detection of key health issues, peri-operative care, admission and discharge planning, self-care management, community health and support services and models of collaborative care. Students will continue to refine and expand their knowledge and competency in patient assessment, problem identification, clinical decision making, nursing intervention selection, medication administration and practice evaluation in the context of acute and chronic illness. Knowledge and skills related to fundamental nursing practices will be consolidated and extended. Concepts are patient focused, evidence based and designed to give students the skills to deliver safe, effective high quality care to individuals with acute and chronic health issues.

In the clinical skills laboratory students will develop skills relating to specific medical/surgical nursing interventions.

In the professional experience clinical practicum, under the guidance of clinical educators and clinical preceptors, students will gain experience in settings that enable them to meet the learning outcomes specific to this subject. The major focus for the professional experience placement 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 to 3 patients.


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

  • identify and be cognisant of the National Health Priorities and integrate clinical practices guidelines where relevant;
  • identify ethical and legal principles of autonomy, confidentiality and informed consent as they apply to nurse-patient interactions;
  • utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse patient relationship, refine patient assessment by using a comprehensive nursing framework and utilise assessment data to develop nursing care plans for patients experiencing acute or chronic illness including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other vulnerable populations;
  • demonstrate analytical skills by incorporating the theoretical principles of clinical decision making into patient care plans;
  • implement appropriate nursing assessment and care for patients requiring pre, peri and post operative management;
  • demonstrate competence in selected nursing skills including administration of selected subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous and enteral medications;
  • communicate verbally, and in writing, in a professional manner with the patient, their families and other members of the health care team;
  • understand resource use and sustainability issues that require management within the healthcare system.

Theoretical Component 60%

1. 2,000 word Assignment - Week 8 (20%)
2. 3 hour exam - Exam period (40%).

Clinical Component 40%

1. Clinical Practicum Performance Assessment - Week 12 (Pass/Fail) Attendance at all days of professional experience placement days is compulsory

2. Clinical Practice Analysis 1 x 2,000 words - Week 12 (20%)

3. 'Ticket to Clinical' 10 minute Oral Assessment conducted in the Simulated Learning Laboratory (20%)

Hurdle Component
1. Attendance at all Simulated Learning Laboratory sessions during the semester

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

Prescribed Texts:

Perrin, R. (2012). Pocket guide to APA style (4th ed.). 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.

Education Innovations. (2007). Nursing Calculations (Version 6.3.0). (General Relativity Pty Ltd, CD-ROM).

Brown, D., & Edwards, H. (2011). Lewis’ medical-surgical nursing. (3rd ed.). Sydney: Elsevier Mosby.

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

Brotto V, Rafferty K. Clinical dosage calculations: for Australia and New Zealand. (2012). Cengage Learning.

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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