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 2, 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 UnitDepartment of Occupational Therapy
OfferedPeninsula Term 3 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Louise Farnworth


This unit introduces students to the profession of occupational therapy and key knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for professional practice. Theoretical foundations of occupational therapy will include: theoretical concepts and models underpinning health and occupational therapy practice; principles and mechanisms underlying the relationship between the person, their environment and occupations, and how this relates to human health and wellbeing, and the occupational therapist within the interdisciplinary team. Legal, cultural and ethical issues relevant to professional practice will be explored. Students will learn beginning communication and interviewing skills together with other pre-clinical skills, such as safe practice. Students will develop beginning skills in occupational therapy problem solving and clinical reasoning processes. Case scenarios will be used throughout. Students will undertake simulated and practice based learning throughout the semester 2 days per week.


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

  1. Describe the historical origins of occupation as therapy;
  2. Explain the role of an occupational therapist and how it is similar and different from other health professionals within an interdisciplinary teams;
  3. Describe underpinning principles of occupational therapy practice including what it means to be client-centred and clinical reasoning;
  4. Describe key features of occupational therapy models of practice based on relationships between person, environment and occupation;
  5. Apply skills of self critique and self reflection to group learning tasks;
  6. Understand concepts related to disability and describe challenges and barriers likely to confront a person with a disability and how these affect participation in the community;
  7. Define, compare and contrast biomedical and ecological models of health, including the World Health Organisation International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework, and describe the value of these models in the health care settings;
  8. Identify the behavioural, socio-cultural, environmental, economic and political determinants of health and describe how these may affect care provision in health care settings;
  9. Identify the characteristics that distinguish ideal professional behaviours;
  10. Describe ethical and legal issues pertinent to a practicing occupational therapist;
  11. Examine safety issues in the workplace and outline standard emergency and infection control procedures;
  12. Describe different methods of recording and reporting medical information and the role of professional records for communication;
  13. Demonstrate effective communication and interview skills for practice and professional behaviours;
  14. Describe and apply the clinical reasoning process to the occupational therapy process in a simulated and practice situation;
  15. Identify how key theoretical models of human occupation relate to client-centred occupational therapy practice;
  16. Develop a beginning competency in client handling skills and basic skills in assistive technology equipment prescription and use;
  17. Locate, retrieve and use resources that inform understanding about health and occupational issues.


Fieldwork placement: 2 days per week.


2 x class presentations (10 minutes each) (5%)
Fieldwork reflective journal (1,000 words) (5%)
Comparison of two models (2,000 words) (20%)
Peer reviewer of comparison of two models (500 words) (5%)
Written examination (2 hours) (30%)
Triple jump (1.5 hours) (25%)
Completion of a disability experience
i) Record of barriers and
ii) Reflective journal summary (1,000 words using template provided) (10%)

Attendance at least 80% of the scenario-based tutorials, practical skills sessions and seminars.
Successful completion of simulated and other practice sessions including (i) timesheet and (ii) reflective journal including values exchange exercises.

Workload requirements

10 hours on-campus per week, 2 days fieldwork per week, and 6 hours online lecture material.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 4515.