Biophysical Processes and Health Assessment

20 Units

This course is designed to build on students knowledge and clinical skills in physical and mental health assessment to develop the diagnostic skills required for advanced health assessment and care planning. Students develop their knowledge of pathophysiology to inform their clinical responses and their ability to judiciously order and interpret diagnostics. The course further focuses on the development of the skills required to deliver holistic patient-centred care in collaboration with interdisciplinary teams. This is a mandatory course in the Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) Program.

Faculty Faculty of Health and Medicine
School School of Nursing and Midwifery

Not currently offered

Previously offered in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of this course will enable the student to:

  • Apply theories of diagnostic reasoning and health assessment in clinical practice
  • Conduct an advanced health assessment (general and focused, physical and mental), identifying variations from normal
  • Differentiate between normal trajectories of common health problems and variations from normal in comprehensive clinical assessment
  • Demonstrate rapid assessment of a patients unstable and complex health care problems through synthesis and prioritisation of historical and available data
  • Apply advanced knowledge of pathophysiologic processes to the assessment and management of patients with complex needs
  • Demonstrate in the clinical environment the ability to make informed and patient centred decisions about preventative, diagnostic and therapeutic responses and interventions (including referrals) that are based on sound clinical judgement and scientific evidence
  • Model effective holistic nursing care and collaborative practice in the context of the interdisciplinary team
  • Construct effective case presentations articulating and justifying decisions arising from health assessment, including use of diagnostics such as pathology and imaging

NB: For students enrolled in the MN (NP) or MMHN (NP) undertaking this course, the clinical assessment component of this course is linked to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (2006) Competency Standards for the Nurse Practitioner.


Introduction to the course Review of pathophysiology Advanced health assessment (physical and mental) Clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills Pathology tests, medical imaging and health assessment Incorporating current evidence and clinical guidelines in assessment and care planning Holistic nursing practice Collaborative practice in a interdisciplinary team Case presentation skills

Assumed Knowledge Currently employed in an advanced practice nursing role with a minimum of one year of advanced clinical practice. Advanced level of knowledge of anatomy and physiology and recently revised pathophysiology. Developing skills in health assessment and clinical decision making.
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Comprehensive Health Assessment - essay
  • Journal - Reflective Practice Journal
  • Other: (please specify) - Residential School - participation and case presentation
  • Other: (please specify) - Completed Clinical Portfolio
  • Quiz - On-line - Pathophysiology quizzes
  • Quiz - On-line - Medical imaging quizzes
Contact Hours
  • Email Discussion Group: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Self Directed Learning: for 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
  • Workshop: for 30 hour(s) per Term for Full Term
  • Requisite by Enrolment: Students must have concurrent employment in specialty area. Concurrent practice will take place at the students regular place of employment.
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for NURS66201

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