Fundamentals of Palliative Care

Subject NURS90046 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 26-Feb-2015 to 24-Apr-2015
Assessment Period End 19-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 09-Mar-2015
Census Date 20-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

October, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 26-Oct-2015 to 24-Nov-2015
Assessment Period End 16-Dec-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 02-Nov-2015
Census Date 06-Nov-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 27-Nov-2015

A combination of face to face and online delivery, with a strong clinical focus. A delivery format of four four-day subjects offered intensively in two day blocks throughout the year has been established to enable accessibility for regional and interstate health professionals.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 20 hours of lectures/seminars/workshops
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in either GC-PALLC or GC-PALCARE. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Overview, Objectives and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Ms Karen Quinn


School of Melbourne Custom Programs
Award Programs Team

Program Coordinator - Gemma Hughes

Phone - +61 3 9810 3253


Subject Overview:

Students must complete all 4 days (outlined below) in order to complete the subject :

Days 1 & 2: Palliative Care: The Essentials
Days 3 & 4:Therapeutic Communication Skills for Palliative Care

Topics covered include:

  • Principles, policy and standards of palliative care as they apply to practice
  • Introduction to practice issues including patient assessment process
  • Principles and practice of therapeutic communication skills
  • Working effectively in multidisciplinary teams
  • Responding to complex psychosocial issues including depression, anxiety, anger, prognosi

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • Recognise the role of the multidisciplinary team and how the palliative approach to care is effective in improving patient outcomes
  • Discuss the concept of holistic care as applied to a person with a life limiting illness
  • Apply the principles of palliative care practice to a range of settings
  • Consider the core principles of palliative care practice as they apply to the care of someone with a life limiting illness
  • Identify and assess symptoms commonly experienced by patients during the terminal phase of an illness
  • Reflect on and critique personal communication style
  • Understand the key principles involved in undertaking a psychosocial assessment
  • Explore the psychosocial impact of a life limiting illness for the patient and their family
  • Identify, critique and evaluate current literature related to symptom management
  • Written assignment (2000 words), due mid semester [40%]
  • Online learning module and assessment (short answer questions – equivalent to 1000 words), due week 6 [10%]
  • Written assignment (3000 words), due end of semester [50%]
Prescribed Texts:

As part of their course materials, students will be provided with articles and references that support the subject content.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Palliative Care
Specialist Certificate in Palliative Care

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