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 management of hand conditions. It will explore the intrinsic and extrinsic causes of these conditions. It will examine the prevalence of the conditions in the community and build on existing knowledge of human structure and function and tissue injury and repair to enable students to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, depending on the person's condition. Students should be able to identify the anatomical structures of the upper limb, describe their specific functions, assess conditions and differentially diagnose the different conditions and their presentation, healing rates and complications to healing. Students will develop clinical reasoning skills appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including trigger finger, carpal tunnel, ulnar nerve entrapment, De Quervain's tenosynovitis, tendonitis, rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, Dupuytren's contracture endochondroma, and peripheral neuropathies.


At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Describe the prevalence, pathology, anatomy, physiology, and stages of healing of clinical hand conditions;
  2. Perform accurate, reliable and valid assessment of patients' hand injuries and current level of function;
  3. Describe medical, surgical, and therapeutic intervention strategies (which may include orthotic devices / splints) for clients with specific hand conditions, supported with sound clinical reasoning and relevant research evidence;
  4. Select and implement appropriate intervention strategies while clinically reasoning what effect such interventions will have on patients' level of function throughout the treatment process;
  5. Identify circumstances when referral to other health care professionals is appropriate based on the presenting symptoms;
  6. Evaluate the effect of medical, surgical, and therapeutic interventions throughout the treatment process and vary it according to clinical signs and symptoms and also changes in evidence;
  7. Describe the effect hand conditions have on an individual [e.g. on a person's occupational performance of self care, productivity and leisure] and on the greater heath care system, including the financial and human cost.


Oral examination (1 hour)(25%)
Essay (1500 words)(25%)
Essay (3000 words)(50%)
Participate in online tutorials

Contact hours

40 hours on-line lecture/tutorials + 110 hours of private study (including pre-reading for class times, research into and preparation of assignments).