Course Title: Chiropractic Clinical Practicum 4

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Chiropractic Clinical Practicum 4

Credit Points: 22.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Frank Donnoli

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 99257631

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students are expected to have passed all Years 1 through 4 courses, as well as obtained a pass grade for all Year 5 Semester 1 courses

Course Description

The overall goal of this course is to finalize the development of a student’s problem-solving abilities through taking on responsibility for patient care in RMIT Chiropractic’s Teaching Clinics under minimal supervision, or continuing their clinical experience in an external placement with a field practitioner. This course builds upon capabilities achieved during Clinical Practicum 1, 2, and 3.

The student will be required to demonstrate continued knowledge regarding issues surrounding appropriate chiropractic care, and the policies and procedures of the Teaching Clinic, as well as demonstrate the skills considered necessary to provide safe clinical care in a minimally supervised clinical environment with a greater number and variation in clinical cases. This course will culminate in the Clinical Practicum 5 Examination, which serves as a final assessment prior to the student graduating and achieving licensure within the Australian health care system.

All information contained in this document is to be read in conjunction with the clinic manual and class notes.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Within the context of evidence-based care and the legal scope of practice students will gain or improve capabilities for patient-centred care in:

• skills in clinical assessment (including chiropractic-specific skills);
• skills in diagnostic decision-making;
• skills in clinical management (including chiropractic-specific skills);
• skills in the steps of problem-solving (identification of a problem, gathering/analyzing/synthesizing information, implementation of a solution, and assessment of its effectiveness) at the levels of the patient, practitioner, profession, and society;
• empathetic communication skills (such as listening, relating, reassurance, and taking into account non-verbal cues) in the doctor-patient relationship, and other professional and personal relationships;
• effective communication skills, utilizing a variey of media in clinical, professional, political, academic and public settings;
• their ability to demonstrate the duty of care required of a primary contact health care practitioner, including ethical practice management;
• their ability to uphold the professional code of conduct in all relationships maintained by the chiropractor;
• their ability to deliver health care in a culturally-diverse society, with an awareness of the intricacies involved;
• their ability to contribute to the sustainability of the health care system through responsible use of health care resources, community education, and the employment of health promotion and preventive strategies;
• their ability to work within the broader health care system, including the ability to collaborate with and influence other health care disciplines, local and national governments; and
• an environment that demands a commitment to continuing professional development

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate continued knowledge regarding issues surrounding appropriate chiropractic care, and the policies and procedures of the Teaching Clinic, as well as demonstrate the skills considered necessary to provide safe clinical care in a moderately supervised clinical environment with a greater number and variation in clinical cases.

The following Learning Outcomes will be addressed in this course:

1. Demonstrate the ability to perform an appropriate patient-centred clinical assessment, in an efficient and effective manner, within a controlled clinical environment, under minimal supervision

2. Demonstrate the ability to generate an appropriate list of differential diagnoses for a specific patient complaint, and then select an appropriate working diagnosis from the list of differentials, with appropriate justification, with minimal feedback and supervision

3. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize patient information and diagnosis to generate an appropriate treatment plan, including selection of specific treatment modalities and scheduling, and taking into account how prognostic factors may impact on a patient’s progress, under minimal clinical supervision and feedback, and using evidence-based practice.

4. Demonstrate the ability to identify the need for a patient to receive emergency care and/or referral to another health care professional, and to complete the appropriate course of care, under minimal supervision and feedback

5. Demonstrate the ability to apply health prevention and promotion principles to an individual patient’s management plan, under minimal supervision/feedback.

6. Demonstrate the ability to reflect upon individual weaknesses in professional knowledge, and develop a plan to address these weaknesses.

7. Demonstrate effective communication skills, including communicating a diagnosis and treatment plan to a patient, and producing written professional reports, under moderate clinical supervision. This includes demonstrating behaviour during all patient interactions that is congruent with culturally-sensitive practices.

8. Demonstrate behaviour that is congruent with the duty of care of a primary contact health care practitioner and the elements of the chiropractic code of conduct, with minimal clinical supervision

Overview of Learning Activities

The main learning opportunities for this course occur through one of thee mechanisms: on-site clinical training within the RMIT Chiropractic Teaching Clinics environments, off-site training with approved external chiropractic practitioners in the external placement program, observation of external chiropractic practitioners, and/or work as a clinical practicum assistant.

During semester 2 student must maintain a minimum of 8 hours/week related to clinical duties. A total log of 128 hours 16 weeks X 8 hours per week must be accounted for either in the student’s clinic records book and/or, if undertaking external placement or observations, the document supplied by Dr Middendorp.

Students who choose to continue in their practice within RMIT Teaching Clinic environment may do so by attending 1 or two clinic shifts a week, providing care to the public under minimal supervision. Attendance is mandatory for the shift that the student has elected to continue with. Students are encouraged to take advantage of our community clinics, where care is provided to marginalized groups.

If a student elects to attend 1 shift a week (4 hours), the remaining 4 hours of clinically related activities may be completed with the following:
• observation of practitioners
• teaching/clinic assistant duties
Students wishing to act as classroom teaching assistants should contact Drs. Webb, Ames, Ebrall, or speak with their clinical educator regarding the potential of acting as a clinic assistant.

External Placements

An external placement is only available if a student has achieved a minimum of 250 return patient visits and 30 new patients, passed the clinic hurdle examination, and completed the requisite paperwork for the external placement program. It is expected that students undertaking placement will have NO outstanding coursework requirements from Semester 1, Year 5 (i.e. will have passed all courses), and have negotiated learning contracts with all course coordinators for Semester 2, Year 5 courses.

By the time of sitting the final clinical proficiency exams, students must have attained the full quotas set out in the course guide. In addition, full radiographic credits must be achieved before the final proficiency exam. If students are undertaking external placement where radiographic facilities exist, they may gain credits at that facility. If this is not the case, the student must contact Dr. Middendorp to ensure they are rostered for time at Bundoora.

The student must keep his/her pod leader and the Coordinator of Clinical Education informed as to which learning opportunity/ies the student will undertake during the semester.


Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be able to access course information and learning materials through the Learning Hub (also known as online@RMIT) and will be provided with copies of additional materials in class. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided

Overview of Assessment

The assessment for this course comprises written assignments where a student is required to write a clinical summary of a case they have been involved with in the teaching clinic environment, a written report on a seminar external to RMIT which the student has attended, completion of clinical tasks, a learning prescription to identify and improve on any knowledge weaknesses and an end-of-semester objective structured clinical examination. In this examination the student is given a series of simulated scenarios, and then asked to respond accordingly.
Written assignments, the learning prescription and completion of clinical tasks will be used to provide feedback to students on their progress in the course during the semester.