Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 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
OfferedBairnsdale First semester 2011 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2011 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2011 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Mr Mark Browning


Therapeutics plays a significant role in the prevention and management of disease. Nurses and midwives must have a comprehensive knowledge of the actions and effects of medications consumed by patients in their care to provide safe, competent and effective medication administration. Understanding drugs requires a strong foundation of pharmacologic principles to help establish the knowledge-base to underpin safe nursing practice. This unit examines fundamental knowledge and skills to promote the therapeutic application of drugs in the clinical setting and to enhance the ability to provide patient care and education.


On completion of this unit students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain drug terminology;
  2. Identify the characteristics and mechanisms of action of significant drug groups and related nursing considerations;
  3. Identify the indicators of adverse drug reactions;
  4. Identify appropriate administration considerations for significant drug groups;
  5. Outline therapeutic responses to drugs and related life span issues;
  6. Identify factors which determine the potency of drug responses;
  7. Review the impact of polypharmacy and develop nursing plans for patient care;
  8. Discuss factors and processes which contribute to medication errors;
  9. Apply nursing assessment principles to drug administration to promote quality patient care;
  10. Develop a clinical pharmacology care plan;
  11. Develop a drug education plan;
  12. Explore the use of complementary and alternative therapies in the health care setting and the implications for nursing care of the patient.


Clinical drug education plan (2000 words):25%; Group assignment and combined OSCA (hurdle requirement):25%; Exam (2 hours): 50%.
Students must attend 90% of all scheduled laboratories/tutorials - refer to school clinical guidelines for details.

Chief examiner(s)

Mr Mark Browning

Contact hours

4 hours per week (lectures, tutorials, labs) x 9 weeks;
1 hour per week on line guided learning x 9 weeks