Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Nursing and Midwifery
OfferedPeninsula Second semester 2015 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr Susan Lee


The unit prepares student for the role of a specialist in palliative care. Topics of content include the philosophical and developmental trends of the hospice and palliative care movement, interdisciplinary team roles and the family, cultural and spiritual aspects of death and dying. Medical, nursing and complementary therapies utilised in the care of patients with terminal illnesses are discussed. Assessment and symptom management strategies in mental status, pain control and other common physical symptoms are explored. Activities in the unit include fieldwork, literature review, and computer conferencing for the study of current research in symptom management and palliative care.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. analyse the difficulties faced by persons when they encounter death, dying and bereavement;
  2. critique the philosophies which govern palliative care and the hospice movement as the means for improving care;
  3. develop a personal construct of spirituality and contrast this with the spiritual constructs of others;
  4. analyse the collaborative interdisciplinary team approach to palliative care;
  5. apply the principles of crisis intervention to prevent, identify and alleviate care giver stress and burnout;
  6. critique appropriate patient assessment tools for holistic assessment in palliative care;
  7. discuss the role of the multi disciplinary team in the provision of effective symptom control and prevention;
  8. analyse a range of innovative approaches to palliative care that enhance the quality of life of palliative care clients; and
  9. identify resources for all aspects of palliative care in a range of health care settings.


Fieldwork involves a regional community palliative care service investigation and written report.


Written assignment (40%)
Fieldwork report (20%)
Literature review (30%)
Contribution to computer conferencing activities (10%)

Chief examiner(s)