Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Nursing and Midwifery


Dr Julia Morphet (Peninsula), Ms Noelleen Kiprillis (Berwick), Mr John Thompson (Clayton)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This clinical practice unit introduces students to the nursing management of patients with complex and/or life threatening problems across the lifespan.

A case based approach will support the integration of advanced health assessment skills, evidence based practice and application of ethical principles in the management of complex nursing situations. This unit will focus on the translation of knowledge involving the management of the deteriorating patient.

Pathophysiology, pharmacology and evidence based healthcare will be critically examined concurrently as each complex health care situation is examined.

This approach will complement the clinical experience that students will undertake during the unit. In simulated and actual clinical settings, students will apply diagnostic, therapeutic and preventative techniques associated with caring for a person with a complex body system health breakdown in a range of settings.


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

  1. Apply knowledge and concepts of biological, pathophysiological, psychological and social sciences to patients with complex and/or life threatening illness throughout the life span.
  2. Acquire in-depth knowledge on complex health problems experienced by patients throughout the lifespan in a range of settings.
  3. Identify and implement response systems for the deteriorating patient in the clinical setting.
  4. Explain appropriate therapeutic medications in the context of drug actions, indications, dosage, interactions and reactions in the patient with complex and/or life threatening illness.
  5. Identify, analyse and resolve clinical concerns in the patient with complex and/or life threatening illness.
  6. Develop and implement patient centred care appropriate to the needs and wishes of the patient and their family/carer, regardless of race, age, gender, sexual preference, physical or mental state or other diverse needs.
  7. Critically reflect on the values, attitudes and communication required by nurses when caring for patients and families/carers with diverse needs; complex and/or life threatening illness or the deteriorating patient.
  8. Undertake complex nursing activities in a range of health settings and apply appropriate principles of prioritising and time management according to the clinical setting.
  9. Critically reflect on decisions and judgements made to demonstrate accountability for evidence informed patient care.
  10. Practice with increasing independence in accordance with the Australian and Midwifery Council National competency standards for the registered nurse, Codes of ethics and Code of professional conduct for nurses.


Clinical placement: 2 weeks (80 hours).


Written assignment: Clinical case study (3,000 words) (30%)
Evidence based critique (2,000 words) (20%)
Online simulated scenario (Complete 2 scenarios) (10%)
Examination (2 hours) (40%) (Hurdle)
Clinical placement (2 weeks = 80 hours) (Hurdle)

Students must pass the clinical placement to pass this unit.
Students must achieve a pass in the final examination to achieve a pass in this unit.
Students must attend 90% of all scheduled laboratories, unless a medical certificate is provided - refer to school's clinical policy for details.

Workload requirements

Lecture: 2 hours per week (20 hours),
Clinical Learning Environment: 2 hours per week (22 hours),
Tutorials: 1 hour per week (10 hours),
Online activities: 2 hours per week (20 hours),
Clinical placement: 2 weeks (80 hours),
Student directed learning: 16 hours per week. 160 hours.
Total: 312 hours.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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



Must be enrolled in course 0727 or 4506.