Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Occupational Therapy
OfferedPeninsula First semester 2013 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Ms Lisa O'Brien


This unit will take a problem solving/ clinical reasoning approach to the management of upper limb injuries encompassing the acute and recovery phases as well as chronic conditions. It will build on existing knowledge of human structure and function and introduce concepts of tissue injury and repair to enable students to identify appropriate therapeutic strategies, depending on 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. These will include bones, articular surfaces, joints, muscles, and nerves. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the fabrication of thermoplastic splints appropriate to complex clinical scenarios including tendon repair, arthritis, peripheral nerve trauma/repair, tenosynovitis, and fractures. Students will also attend an acute hand therapy clinic on 2 occasions to observe a client's recovery post surgery.


At the completion of this unit, students will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of human hand structure and function, and describe the pathology and healing process in common upper limb injuries/conditions.
  2. Develop and describe intervention strategies (which may include an orthotic device/splint) for clients with specific upper limb injuries, supported with sound clinical reasoning.
  3. Demonstrate skill at the standard required for a beginning practitioner in the manufacture, fit and evaluation of specific splints for a variety of conditions which affect the occupational performance of specific clients.
  4. Demonstrate competence in searching, describing and summarising (verbally and in writing) the evidence from scientific literature on a specific topic related to hand therapy.


Assessment includes 80% attendance requirements, attendance at an acute hand therapy clinic, a 20 minute presentation at a seminar, submission and critique of all splints made, as well as one 1000 word and one 2000 word essay.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

40 hrs attendance in lectures/practicums (block mode), 4 hrs clinic attendance (over 2 separate occasions), 16 hrs seminar attendance (including a 20 minute presentation), 2 written assignments (1000 and 2000 words), 60 hours of private study


Completion of a first year of an undergraduate programme