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


This unit will take a problem solving / clinical reasoning approach to the design and fabrication of advanced upper limb orthotics (splints). These devices may be used in 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 orthotic devices for appropriate therapeutic stages, depending on the person's stage of recovery from injury. Students will be able to identify the problem and fabricate an appropriate orthotic device. Students will be able to describe the specific functions of the device, the pathology, prescription, anatomical boundaries, therapeutic goals, mechanical considerations, structural considerations and regime for use. Students will understand the goals and limitations of different orthotic devices and the materials that are best to create them. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the fabrication of dynamic thermoplastic orthoses appropriate to the advanced clinical scenarios that they will encounter in their practice including distraction splinting, dynamic wrist splinting, low profile dynamic splinting, hinged splints, dynamic flexion splints and custom fabricated neoprene. Students will also be able to search, critique, assess and summarise the relevant research literature related to upper limb orthotics.


At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of intervention strategies (including orthotic design and manufacture) for the treatment of people with complex upper limb injuries/conditions;
  2. Demonstrate skill at the standard required for an advanced practitioner in the manufacture, fit and evaluation of specific orthoses for a variety of complex conditions which affect the occupational performance of specific clients. Orthotic devices produced must be practical, functional and attractive to enhance patient adherence with splint wear;
  3. Plan realistic short and long term goals for a patient including the physician and other health care team member taking into consideration patients' physical and psychological state, splint design and treatment regime;
  4. Select and implement appropriate orthotic devices while clinically reasoning what affect such devices will have on the patient's level of function throughout the treatment process;
  5. Describe strategies for engaging patients in their rehabilitation from upper limb injury;
  6. Demonstrate competence in searching, describing, evaluating, critiquing, summarising, and presenting the evidence from the scientific and empirical literature on the differences/changes/advances in orthotic design for clinical conditions that have evolved over time.


Leading an online tutorial (10%)
Participation in an online tutorial (10%)
Critique of practical skills session (40%)
Literature review (3000 words)(40%)

Contact hours

40 hours lecture/practicum's in block mode + 80 hours of private study (including pre-reading for class times, research into and preparation of seminar presentation, preparation of assignments) +12 hours of private practical sessions in the fabrication of advanced orthoses + 24 hours of online tutorials.