Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Ms Lisa O'Brien


This unit will take a problem solving/ clinical reasoning approach to the management of upper limb injuries encompassing the acute and recovery phases as well as
chronic conditions. It will build on existing knowledge of human structure and function and introduce concepts of tissue injury and repair to enable students to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, depending on the person's stage in recovery from injury. Students should be able to identify the anatomical structures of the upper limb, and describe their specific functions. These will include bones, articular surfaces, joints, muscles, and nerves. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the fabrication of thermoplastic splints appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including tendon repair, arthritis, peripheral nerve trauma/repair,
tenosynovitis, and fractures. Students will also attend an acute hand therapy clinic on 2 occasions to observe a client's recovery post surgery.


  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of human hand structure and function, and describe the pathology and healing process in common upper limb injuries/conditions;
  2. Develop and describe intervention strategies (which may include an orthotic device/splint) for clients with specific upper limb injuries, supported with sound clinical reasoning;
  3. Demonstrate skill at the standard required for an advanced practitioner in the manufacture, fit and evaluation of specific splints for a variety of conditions which affect the occupational performance of specific clients;
  4. Demonstrate competence in searching, describing, summarizing, and presenting (verbally and in writing) the evidence from scientific literature on a specific topic related to hand therapy.


Assessment includes 80% attendance requirements, attendance at an acute hand
therapy clinic, a 20 minute presentation at a seminar, submission and critique of all splints made, as well as one 1000 word and one 2000 word essay. Students must gain at least 50% of available summative assessment task marks and complete all formative assessment in order to pass the unit.

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Lisa O'Brien

Contact hours

On Campus: 40 hours lecture/practicums in block mode + 4 hours clinic
attendance + 16 hours attendance at seminar where students present their project outcomes. 60 hours of private study (including pre-reading for class times, research into and preparation of seminar presentation, preparation of assignments). Students will be required to attend two sessions at a private hand therapy clinic as well.


Completion of an undergraduate degree or equivalent.