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The aim of this subject is to develop advanced health assessment skills in nursing that are relevant to the student’s area of clinical practice.
The subject provides the foundation for the development of health assessment knowledge and skills that are required in order to practice in an advanced practice nursing role.
The subject will explore diagnostic decision making processes taking into consideration factors that impact on health and health assessment outcomes, such as: age, gender, culture, socioeconomic status and life style.
Students will use a client focused approach to health assessment and apply a structured framework to guide health assessment. History taking, general examination skills, diagnostic testing and communication of assessment findings to the health care team and patient (written and verbal) will form the core content of the subject.
Students will have the option of selecting areas that are relevant to their own area of practice. These topics will include: cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological, cognitive and developmental, abdominal, alimentary and nutritional, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, integument and psychosocial assessment.
The subject will provide a number of strategies to assist the students in developing advanced health assessment skills. On campus tutorials and workshops, reading and resource material will be provided to assist students to develop the necessary knowledge and skills for advanced health examination and patient assessment. Students will use clinical mentors in their practice environment to support their learning, in particular the development of specialty assessment skills.
The subject is designed to support students in meeting the ANMC Competency Standards for Nurse Practitioners (2006).
This subject is a mandatory component of the Master of Advanced Nursing Practice Nurse Practitioner pathway.
Intended learning outcomes
Following completion of this subject it is expected that the student will be able to:
- Clearly articulate and apply principles of decision making and diagnostic reasoning in clinical practice.
- Recognise the impact of bias on decision making and discuss strategies to minimise the negative effects in clinical practice.
- Use a variety of diagnostic decision-making approaches to support identification of a patient / client's problem and guide undertaking a comprehensive health assessment.
- Develop an understanding of how physical, psychological, social, economic, emotional and cultural factors influence health and illness
- Articulate how physical, psychological, social, economic, emotional and cultural factors impact on a client’s understanding of health and illness and health practices, health assessment and communication.
- Adopt a client-focused approach to health assessment and shared decision making and how this approach may be promoted in clinical practice.
- Use a structured framework for client health assessment that is effective (ensures all relevant data are collected) and efficient (is organised and timely).
- Integrate health information from a variety of sources to develop a comprehensive assessment of the patient / client.
- Undertake a thorough, accurate and comprehensive patient health history (which is dependent on the development of sound communication skills and framework for history taking).
- Conduct a general assessment of a patient / client which will form the basis for more detailed system assessment and examination.
- Demonstrate technical proficiency in utilising health assessment and examination techniques in their area of clinical practice.
- Integrate knowledge of scientific research based underpinning of health and illness to interpret health assessment findings.
- Use highly developed cognitive, analytic, problem-solving and diagnostic reasoning skills to interpret health assessment findings.
- Communicate health assessment findings effectively to members of the multi-disciplinary team, both orally and in writing.
- Communicate assessment findings and health related information effectively to the client and family.
On completion of the subject students should have developed the following generic skills of the University of Melbourne graduate and postgraduate coursework student:
- Highly developed cognitive, analytic and problem-solving skills in the discipline area, characterised by flexibility of approach;
- The ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex concepts, to express them lucidly, whether orally or in writing, and to confront unfamiliar problems;
- Awareness of advanced communications technologies and modalities, sound working skills in the application of computer systems and software, and receptiveness to the expanding opportunities of the ‘information revolution';
- An ability to evaluate and synthesise the research and professional literature in the discipline;
- Advanced skills and techniques applicable to the discipline;
- Advanced competencies in areas of professional expertise and/or scholarship;
- The capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
- The capacity to value and participate in projects which require team-work;
Last updated: 1 July 2020