Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Students develop skills in data collection and documentation that focuses on the principles of effective communication, interviewing and physical assessment techniques. Students are introduced to the theoretical basis of clinical decision making, and problem framing and solving using data collected during health assessment. The focus is on normal assessment findings to enable students to identify variations to these. Students are also introduced to basic nursing skills and interventions including oral medication administration. The theory topics include the nursing process; the role of health assessment in nursing practice; types and sources of assessment data; interviewing and history taking; physical assessment techniques; health assessment across the lifespan and an introduction to clinical decision making. The clinical skills laboratory topics include identifying potential workplace hazards, emergency protocols and fundamental nursing skills. In the clinical skills laboratory component of this unit, students develop skills relating to a comprehensive patient physical and health assessment, infection control, and basic nursing interventions.

6 points

Students are able to (1) identify and utilise strategies that facilitate a therapeutic nurse–patient relationship; (2) identify and develop professional communication skills within the context of professional interactions; (3) describe and demonstrate the skills to conduct a comprehensive nursing assessment; (4) integrate health assessment into self-care activities and selected nursing interventions; (5) demonstrate accurate written health assessment data using appropriate terminology; (6) apply clinical decision making to meet the health needs of adult patients; (7) demonstrate fundamental nursing skills; and (8) demonstrate basic medication calculation and administration of oral medications.


This comprises an assignment (60 per cent) and an in-class test (40 per cent). Barrier assessments include Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) (pass/fail) and medication calculation test (must achieve 100 per cent).

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit rules
PHCY5801 Pharmacotherapy for Nurses
and NURS5815 Pathophysiology for Nurses
NURS5821 Nursing Practice 1
Contact hours
lectures: 26 hrs
clinical skill labs: 42 hrs

Jarvis, C., Forbes, H., and Watt, E. Jarvis's Physical Examination and Health assessment, ANZ edn: Elsevier 2012

Tollefson, J. Clinical Psychomotor Skills: Assessment Tools for Nursing Students, 5th edn: Cengage Learning Australia 2012

Brotto, V., and Rafferty, K. Clinical Dosage Calculations for Australia and New Zealand: Cengage Learning Australia 2012


Berman, A. et al. Kozier & Erb's Fundamentals of Nursing, 2nd edn: Pearson 2012


Crisp, J., and Taylor, C., eds. Potter and Perry's Fundamentals of Nursing, 5th edn: Elsevier Australia 2012

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.