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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6 points, SCA Band 3, 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
Organisational UnitSchool of Primary Health Care
OfferedNot offered in 2015
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Lyn Clearihan


This unit will examine the issues facing the management of patients in the community who require palliative care in the 21st century, including harm minimisation, how to manage acute illness in a 'dying' patient and the problems faced in accompanying the patient on their terminal life journey. The unit will address the challenges and complexities for community based practitioners in the diagnostic process when managing patients with a terminal condition that involves multisystem disease and multiple health issues. It also explores the journey faced by practitioners, their patients and their carers in the transition from a cure pathway to a care pathway. The Unit encourages practitioners to draw upon their own clinical experiences and is designed to foster the development of greater clinical insight into the care of both patient and practitioner, while fostering a deeper appreciation of the strengths of team-based care.


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

  1. Critically evaluate the strengths and benefits of a palliative care approach in a community setting for a patient who is suffering with a life limiting illness.
  2. Critically appraise the evidence-based options of care for acute symptom management problems in a patient at end of life.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate communication skills to manage a range of clinical scenarios related to community based palliative care.
  4. Discriminate between strategies that address the medico-legal issues, which may arise before, during and after death.
  5. Describe the ethical dilemmas that may confront a healthcare practitioner when managing a dying patient and describe strategies for dealing with them.
  6. Use evidence based management tools to assist in effectively implementing team based care for patients.
  7. Create a strategy for implementing a self-care plan when managing palliative patients.


6 x Activity linked assessment tasks (500-800 words / 5-10 minute discussion response each) (10% x 6 = 60%)
Collaborative case study (500 - 1,000 words) (15%)
PowerPoint presentation (15%)
Essay (2,500 words) or equivalent PowerPoint presentation (10%)
Participation in discussion forums (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

Participation in online activities and discussion boards is estimated to take approximately 3 hours per week. Assessment activities, prescribed reading, recommended reading, student interactions, reflection on relevant clinical practice and private study is estimated to take approximately 9 hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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



Concurrent clinical practice is desirable and beneficial to successfully complete this unit but not a requirement.