Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Skip to content | Change text size

print version

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 management of acute hand trauma. It will build on existing knowledge of human structure and function and tissue injury and repair to enable students to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, depending of 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, healing rates and complications to healing. Students will develop clinical reasoning skills appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including tendon repair, amputation, replants, avulsion, peripheral nerve trauma/repair, burns, skin grafts/flaps and fractures. Students will also attend an acute hand therapy clinic on at least 4 occasions to assess a patient with hand trauma and plan, implement and evaluate a treatment program.


At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Describe the pathology, physiology, anatomy, and healing process in hand trauma and differentiate between complex and common hand injuries.
  2. Perform accurate, reliable and valid assessment of patients' hand injuries and current level of function.
  3. Analyse and interpret information gained from assessment, other investigations (e.g. X-ray) and knowledge of hand injury pathophysiology in order to identify the precise nature of patients' presenting problem(s) and the clinical reasoning required to address the problem(s).
  4. Plan short and long term realistic goals for patients that take into consideration their physical and psychological state and that can be used the patients' physician and other health care team members. These should include strategies for engaging patients in their goal setting and rehabilitation.
  5. Develop, describe, and implement, intervention strategies (which may include orthotic devices / splints, modalities, and exercise programs) for a client presenting with hand trauma, that are evidence-based and supported by sound clinical reasoning.
  6. Identify circumstances when referral to other health care professionals is appropriate based on the presenting symptoms.
  7. Evaluate the effect of interventions throughout the treatment process and vary these interventions according to patients' clinical signs and symptoms and also the highest quality research evidence.


Exam (1.5 hours)(50%)
Case study (3000 words)(50%)
Online tutorial participation
Attendance at an acute hand therapy clinic

Contact hours

40 hours on-line lecture/tutorials + 16 hours attendance at a hand therapy clinic or equivalent + 100 hours of private study (including pre-reading for class times, research into and preparation of assignments).