Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedAlfred Hospital First semester 2011 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr S Jeffcott


This unit provides students with skills and knowledge in the new and exciting field of ''human factors'' and, in particular, how this relates to health and what opportunities exist for patient safety efforts.


By completion of the unit, the student will have:

  1. In-depth understanding of common human factors issues impacting in healthcare settings, what their effect on human performance are hand how other domains can provide lessons for health;
  2. An understanding of human error theories and an appreciation of barriers and safeguards to error and the factors that degrade these in healthcare;
  3. An awareness of the concept of resilience and how people offer a layer of protection, in spite of the high cognitive and physical workload demands that healthcare places on its workers;
  4. An in depth understanding of risk perception and safety culture and their impact on frontline behaviours in healthcare settings;
  5. A knowledge and appreciation of the risks involved in poorly planned technology innovation in high-risk domains like healthcare and the role of design and risk assessment;
  6. An appreciation of the current systems of accountability (or lack thereof) that exist in healthcare and their impact on both incident investigation and organisational learning.


Critical appraisal (2000 words)(35%)
Reflective assignment (2000 words)(35%)
Class participation (30%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Shelly Jeffcott

Contact hours

Off-campus students:
12 hours per week, broken down into (on average) 4 hours per week for reading core material, 4 hours per week completing exercises (manual, computer-based, or online), 2 hours per week for online communication via MUSO discussions, and 2 hours per week for assignment preparation.

Off-campus attendance requirements

There will be a two day block teaching session during the semester (approx. 15 hours worth) based a DEPM on the Alfred Hospital Campus.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: