Course Title: Recognise and respond to oral health issues

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2019

Course Code: DENT5845C

Course Title: Recognise and respond to oral health issues

School: 174T School of VE Engineering, Health & Science

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5365 - Diploma of Nursing

Course Contact: Jaye Keating

Course Contact Phone: 9925 4845

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff



Nominal Hours: 30

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Course Description

 This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to identify variations and recognise oral health issues through a visual check, observation of patient behaviour and habits, signs and symptoms and physical condition of patients. This enables the candidate to respond appropriately to the clinical findings to initiate follow up oral health care.


This unit applies to workers in a range of health and community services environments where their work role requires them to recognise and respond to oral health issues.


The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards for maintaining infection control, and industry codes of practice.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTOHC001 Recognise and respond to oral health issues


1. Identify variations in patient behaviour and habits

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify opportunities to observe patient behaviour, physical functions, capabilities and habits that may indicate oral health issues or associated pain or discomfort 1.2 Observe, listen for self-reports and question patient and family/or carer to determine whether the patient is experiencing pain or discomfort that may be associated with oral health issues 1.3 Access relevant information on contributing factors that may produce variation from normal behaviour


2. Undertake basic visual oral check and questioning

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Obtain consent from the patient to conduct basic visual oral check and questioning from patient and/or family/carer 2.2 Ensure comfort of patient by developing trust and rapport, adapting environment and optimal time based on patient needs 2.3 Provide support for patient's head or chin if necessary to enhance visual access without creating discomfort for the patient 2.4 Seek assistance from patient to open their own mouth to limit hand contact inside the mouth 2.5 Prepare and perform basic visual oral checks in line with own work role and use of standard precautions 2.6 Identify signs and symptoms of oral health issues that may indicate variation from normal and actively listen to and be aware of self-reports


3. Follow up and promote ongoing oral health care

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Complete documentation and reporting processes, using information from patient, and/or family/carer or other relevant people as well as own observations in relation to oral health issues 3.2 Discuss oral health issues with patient and/or carer in line with organisation policies and procedures and respecting patient priorities and choices 3.3 Take appropriate action within work role, including liaising with supervisor in consultation with patient to ensure appropriate referral occurs 3.4 Use appropriate communication strategies to provide information relevant to promoting and maintaining good oral health 3.5 Provide instruction to support patients to take a self-care approach to oral health in line with individual needs where possible 3.6 Identify and address key barriers to management or self-management of oral health 3.7 Review and monitor oral health issues

Learning Outcomes

1. Minimise potential risk to ensure safe administration of medications.

1.1 Refer to drugs and poisons schedules and classifications as determined by law.

1.2 Identify the purpose and function of prescribed medicine and intravenous (IV) therapy.

1.3 Identify pharmacology and substance incompatibilities in relation to specific situations involving medication administration, blood and blood products.


2. Prepare for medication administration and infusion of IV fluids.

2.1 Explain the process of medication administration or IV fluid infusion to the person, and ensure their readiness and understanding.

2.2 Identify correct administration route or site for each medication or IV fluid to be administered, and position the person appropriately.

2.3 Consider the effect of commonly used medications and IV fluids on the body before medication administration and IV infusion.

2.4 Calculate accurate dosages and IV infusion rates for administration of drugs.

2.5 Prepare medications in accordance with legislative and jurisdictional requirements and organisation policy and procedures.

2.6 Identify medication administration techniques and precautions specific to the person’s situation and as per medication orders.

2.7 Prepare blood and blood products for blood transfusions according to organisation policy and procedures.


3. Administer and store medication.

3.1 Administer medication or IV fluid to the person applying the ‘Rights of Medication’ concept and in accordance with the jurisdictional and legislative requirements and organisation policy and procedures.

3.2 Secure medications in a safe manner during medication administration.

3.3 Apply quality practices in management and use of medications, and undertake risk assessment practices that relate to medication administration.

3.4 Report to the registered nurse a person’s refusal of medication or IV therapy or suspected incomplete medication ingestion.

3.5 Ensure medication and blood and blood products are stored, handled and disposed of according to organisation policy and procedures and manufacturers’ instructions.


4. Monitor and evaluate a person’s response to administered medication, IV fluids and blood and blood products.

4.1 Document and monitor observations of the person’s response and whether intended outcome of administered medications, IV fluids and blood and blood products is achieved.

4.2 Recognise, record and report acute and delayed adverse reactions of the person to medications, and implement emergency actions within own role responsibility.

4.3 Record, report and evaluate fluid and electrolyte imbalances, and monitor the effect on the person of medicines commonly administered with IV fluids.

4.4 Remove IV cannula according to organisation policy and procedures

4.5 Provide educative information to the person, their family or carer concerning the administration of medicines including possible side effects.


5. Assess effectiveness of pain-relieving therapy.

5.1 Observe and question the person to identify signs of pain or discomfort.

5.2 Clarify the location and nature of pain or discomfort, taking into account factors that may influence the person’s perception of pain.

5.3 Ensure consistency in interpreting observations and evaluating the person’s pain using the pain assessment scale.

5.4 Identify a range of prescribed medications and complementary strategies that may assist in alleviating pain and discomfort.

5.5 Assess and manage effectiveness of pain-relieving medication and non-medication therapies for the person experiencing pain.

5.6 Record observations of the person and own evaluation the effectiveness of pain management strategies.

Details of Learning Activities

This course will be delivered using the following activities:

  • Online delivery - you will be required to read online materials in CANVAS for the       theory component
  • Face to face theory class
  • Practical Laboratory sessions RMIT campus
  • Clinical Placement

Teaching Schedule

Class Schedule




Week 2


Introduction to the course including:

●      Course requirements

●      Course support documents

●      Course Canvas access

●      Accuracy of enrolment

●      Assessment requirements/cover   sheets

●      Reminder re Plagiarism

●      Reminder re Appeals

●      Extensions/Resubmissions

●      Feedback in this course

●      Reminder re submission       requirements

●      Getting help

Outline each assessment task requirements and due dates for AT 1/2/3




AT2 occurs Week 8

AT3 CP1 (Aged Care)

 Week 2


Why is oral health important

Own practises

Basic A & P

Oral assessment

Denture Care

Care of natural teeth

Mouth care healthy - unhealthy

SDL concept (self directed learning)








Online and commence AT 1

Week 2

SDL (self directed learning) x 6 hours

Online and continue working on AT 1

Assessment Task 1 due March 8th

Week 5 (Lab 1)

Learn to perform an oral health assessment

Denture care

Students will be advised of assessment date for AT 2

Week 8 (Lab 2)

Assessment Task 2

Practical simulation 


Notification via Canvas for individual time allocation for AT 2





Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Classroom, AV equipment; access to a computer at home and or RMIT library computers to complete SDL online activities, access to Canvas, case studies, RMIT manikins, RMIT clinical lab equipment, clinical placement.


Overview of Assessment

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage

tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:performed a visual oral health check on 5 patients, including:

  • identified any signs and symptoms related to oral health care issues
  • gathered relevant information from visual check and questioning to initiate appropriate follow up oral health care
  • used appropriate manual handling techniques when working with patients with special care needs or mental health condition



Assessment: Task 1

Case studies

Assessment: Task 2

Practical Simulation in RMIT clinical lab

Assessment: Task 3

Clinical placement


To be deemed competent you must demonstrate an understanding of all aspects required of the competency. Assessment methods have been designed to measure your achievement of each competency in a flexible manner over multiple tasks.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1:  Case Studies                              

You will be required to check the health status of 5 patients in 5 small case studies, and answer at the end of each case study a series of questions.

This assessment will be available on Canvas, and you will be required to submit your responses onto Canvas.

You will be marked as satisfactory (S) or not yet satisfactory (NS).


Assessment Task 2:

Practical simulation in RMIT lab                               

You will be allocated a total of 20mins to perform an oral assessment on a simulated manikin and the cleaning of dentures.

You will be observed throughout the assessment by an RMIT nursing educator using an observational checklist.

Feedback will be provided by your assessor at the end of the assessment.

You will be marked as satisfactory (S) or not yet satisfactory (NS).


Assignment Task 3:

Clinical Placement Aged Care (CP1)                           

You will be required to visually check the oral health status of 5 different individuals in the clinical environment, and record your findings in your clinical logbook.

You will be required to have this skill documented as completed in your clinical placement book and observed by an RMIT assessor on each occasion. Feedback will be provided by your tutor.


You must be graded satisfactory for all assessment tasks to be deemed competent for this course.

Assessment Matrix


Performance Criteria

Related Assessment Task






































































Other Information

Important information regarding Assessment Tasks:

You are permitted to have a maximum of 2 resubmissions for this course. However each individual assessment may only be resubmitted once. 

Resubmissions are not automatic and will only be approved at the discretion of the Program Coordinator, after consultation with the teacher.

All resubmissions must be completed and submitted no more than 7 days after your work has been assessed.     If the course includes clinical placement as an assessment:   Please note an opportunity to repeat clinical placement is not guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the Clinical Coordinator/Program Manager.    


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensure the maximum opportunity to gain competency.

Working with Children Check and Police Check

This course requires a Working with Children Check and Police Check


Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

RMIT has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to: for more information.


Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer

If you think you have some or all of the knowledge and competencies described, please discuss the Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer options which may be available to you with your Course Coordinator: For more information go to:

Course Overview: Access Course Overview