Course Title: Health and Physical Assessment

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Health and Physical Assessment

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2018


Hamilton Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012


Sale Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Karen Livesay

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7070

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.07.014

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will develop skills in health and physical assessment. You will review the principles of health assessment using a variety of sources to elicit patient health history information and demonstrate physical assessment skills. You will integrate your assessment findings with other sources of data on the patient condition and consider nursing management strategies and interventions congruent with your findings.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Nursing Program BP032 in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Australia, Registered Nurse Standards for Practice:

  • PLO 4: Comprehensively conducts assessments
  • PLO 5: Develops a plan for nursing practice
  • PLO 6: Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice
  • PLO 7: Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. (2016) Registered nurse standards for practice. Melbourne, Australia.

On successful completion of this course you should be able to: 

  1. Identify sources of information to inform the health assessment of the patient.
  1. Discuss the clinical presentations and health and physical assessment findings for a variety of common disease states. 
  1. Demonstrate competent and comprehensive physical assessment techniques.   
  1. Integrate multiple data sources to provide an appropriate assessment review of your patient 
  1. Assess the role of the nurse/health practitioner in the interpretation and diagnosis of the physical condition of the patient


Overview of Learning Activities

This course will use a range of learning activities including lectures, discussions and self-directed learning. Throughout the course you will be able to work both independently and in groups to aid development of your theoretical knowledge and its application to clinical practice.

Learning activities may include modalities such as lectures, podcasts and Lectopia/Echo 360, Wiki Blogs and Blackboard discussion board. The Simulated Learning laboratory will also be used as a means to consolidate your learning during this course.

Lectures: Lectures and lecture notes are the principal mode of content delivery and will present you with the key concepts and information relevant to the understanding of research and nursing practice. You will be expected to participate in classroom discussions and to contribute to the learning experiences of your student colleagues.

Self-Directed Learning: The self-directed learning activities associated with this course are designed to enable you to better develop independent learning skills to support your commitment to lifelong learning as a university graduate. The self-directed learning activities will also support your knowledge of the material covered in the formal learning program and enhance the consolidation and application of that knowledge.

Assessments are designed to require you to demonstrate a critical analysis of the core principles presented in the course.

RMIT have state of the art simulated learning facilities for student learning and practice. You will participate in simulated practice within these facilities in preparation for placement. As a part of participation you may be filmed for learning, teaching, reflection and assessment and this is considered an inherent part of our learning and teaching program. Recordings will be maintained in accordance with our assessment, document retention and privacy policies.


Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of primary and secondary sources. Where possible all selected material will be digitally available to you. Online video clips will be used to support skill development in association with practical skill development in the laboratory setting. Lecture material may be delivered using a variety of learning modes such as lectures/ laboratory sessions Lectopia/Echo360, Discussion Board or workshops and group work and the simulated learning laboratory. These modes will be utilised at the discretion of your lecturer. RMIT will provide you with additional resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems accessed via your myRMIT site.

It is expected you will make use of electronic databases and e-journals available through the RMIT library.

A library subject guide is available at

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Early Assessment Task: Weekly online multiple choice tests

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6

Assessment Task 2: Practical assessment of physical examination skills

Weighting 30%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 3: End of semester multiple choice (MCQ) and short answer exam

Weighting 50%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6


Record 80% attendance for timetabled clinical laboratories. Attendance at skills laboratory sessions is compulsory for students and a class roll will be kept. A medical certificate or equivalent must be provided to the course coordinator if any session is missed. Negotiation will then occur as to whether the course coordinator will permit a makeup session.