Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Summer semester A 2012 (Day)
Clayton Summer semester B 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Georgina Willetts


This unit builds upon NUR5002 Contemporary Nursing Practice 2. It is a clinically-based unit that introduces students to the areas of mental health and aged care nursing as well as preparing them for graduate nursing roles. The unit will provide opportunities for students to develop fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes relevant to the restoration and maintenance of optimal mental health and recovery from mental illness. Students are expected to learn to assess mental health problems and to identify the coping abilities of individuals and families, and to care for people with selected mental disorders. Emphasis is placed upon empowerment of the individual and caregiver using the stress/vulnerability model and family based management. The unit also encompasses risk assessment, mental health service systems, roles and functions of the multidisciplinary mental health team, and the Victorian Mental Health Act.


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

  1. analyse the concepts of mental health and mental illness with reference to historical and contemporary classification systems;
  2. discuss the Victorian Mental Health Act (1986) as amended and implications for nursing practice;
  3. accurately conduct a mental status assessment and a risk assessment;
  4. describe the roles and functions of the members of the multidisciplinary mental health team;
  5. describe the aetiological factors, epidemiology, clinical manifestations and nursing care in a range of mental disorders including anxiety disorders, personality disorders, sexual disorders, mood disorders and schizophrenia; psychotic disorders, dissociative disorders, somatoform disorders, eating disorders, delirium and dementia, and substance-related disorders;
  6. describe a range of psychotherapeutic interventions and therapeutic modalities used in mental health treatment and care;
  7. analyse ethical issues which pertain to psychiatric and mental health nursing;
  8. communicate effectively with people who are experiencing disturbances of thoughts, feelings and behaviour;
  9. employ selected cognitive and behavioural techniques in the care and management of people with mental health problems and mental disorders;
  10. analyse physical, psychological and social aspects of ageing in the context of health and illness in older people in our community;
  11. analyse the impact of ageing and chronic illness on clients, families and carers;
  12. analyse the legal and ethical issues that arise from changes to cognition, chronic and life limiting illness such as challenges to autonomy, protection of patients, quality of life and euthanasia;
  13. differentiate the roles of nurses working in multidisciplinary teams, who care for people with chronic and/ or life limiting illness in different health care environments;
  14. utilise holistic health assessment skills to assess the complex health needs of older adults, people with chronic and life limiting illness in relation to physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs;
  15. analyse a range of evidenced based interventions that support the person experiencing complex care needs;
  16. identify the resources for people with issues related to ageing, chronic and life limiting illness in the community;
  17. utilise health promotion, supportive and palliative approaches to care for people with chronic and life limiting illness in a range of health care settings, and
  18. practice with increasing autonomy in accordance with ANMC Competencies for the Registered Nurse and other professional standards.


Mid semester test (1 hour)(20%)
Written assignment (Clinical case study)(3,000 - 4,000 words)(30%)
End of semester exam (2 hours)(50%)
Clinical practice assessment (Pass / Fail)
Students must achieve a pass in the clinical placement to pass the unit (100%) Attendance at clinical is mandatory.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Pierre Baume

Contact hours

Students will be on campus for eight weeks in this semester as five weeks will be spent in clinical practice. The weekly on campus workload requirement for the unit will be Lectures (5 hours), Tutorials (2 hours) over eight weeks. In addition, students will be required to undertake 200 hours of clinical practice and 23 hours self-directed learning over the semester.
Note: Students who complete this unit in the summer semester will be on campus for 4 weeks intensive and 3 weeks on clinical. The other 2 weeks of clinical will be a component of their final semester


NUR5002, NUR5111