Course Title: Chinese Medicine Clinical Skills

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Chinese Medicine Clinical Skills

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Please check your Canvas course shell closer to when the course starts to see if this course requires mandatory in-person attendance. The delivery method of the course might have to change quickly in response to changes in the local state/national directive regarding in-person course attendance.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Lin Dong

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7990

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 202.04.052-2

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)

Course Description

Clinical Skills is a one-semester course in which you will further advance your learning in clinical applications of Chinese herbal medicine, develop your understanding of infection control and various skills involved in the different forms of acupuncture treatment (including filiform needle and needleless acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, laser acupuncture and cutaneous needles). You will learn about different types of acupuncture techniques, including scalp, ear and other micro-systems. Other modalities of Chinese medicine such as cupping, tuina and moxibustion are also learned.

You will also develop advanced knowledge of code of conduct and culturally safe and diverse communication skills central to professionals who work with clients.

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience in which your knowledge and skills will be applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience. The WIL component will consist of observation of patients under supervision of a qualified and RMIT-approved Chinese medicine practitioner. You will be introduced to the Chinese Medicine Clinic as preparation for subsequent supervised clinical practice (COTH 2127 and COTH 2129). You will follow senior students and assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients. You will also assist the senior students in the dispensing of herbs.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability you should contact the Program Coordinator or Equitable Learning Services (ELS) for further advice. Students need to be able to meet the inherent requirements of the program.

At any time prior to or during your placement if there are concerns raised related to your fitness to practice the clinical coordinator can request that you gain full medical clearance to continue your placement. If there are gaps in your skills that affect your ability to safely and competently practice you may be required to undertake remedial training and a period of suspension from clinical placement until such time you are safe and competent may be applied. If you do not meet the required standards, WIL placement termination may also occur. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Objectives for BP278 Bachelor of Health Science/Bachelor of Applied Science (Chinese Medicine):

  • PLO 1: provide specialised health care within a patient-centred, evidence-based framework
  • PLO 2: gather clinical information to make accurate differential diagnoses, assessment and management plans, and carry out effective treatment
  • PLO 3: practice as a competent health care professional in a safe, ethical and legally responsible manner
  • PLO 4: demonstrate cultural awareness and sensitivity in the provision of specialised health care
  • PLO 5: communicate effectively in a range of forms (written, online, oral) and with diverse audiences (patients, community/public, agencies and health professionals)
  • PLO 6: work independently and in teams, specifically to lead and contribute to inter-professional care partnerships
  • PLO 8: understand the historical development of the profession, its ethos, organisation and philosophical foundations.

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

  1. Explain the rationale and therapeutic aims for acupuncture, and manual techniques such as moxibustion, cupping, tuina, electroacupuncture, laser, scalp, ear and wrist ankle acupuncture treatment within the Chinese medicine theoretical paradigm and apply these appropriately in therapy.
  2. Review contraindications and cautions that relate to the application of herbal medicine, acupuncture and related manual techniques and therapies and detail the management of potential adverse events.
  3. Observe senior practising students and assist them with history taking, physical examinations, formulation of a diagnosis and treatment plans using Chinese medicine for patients in the teaching clinic. Assist in the management of the herbal dispensary and dispensing herbal formulations.
  4. Adhere to the guidelines and procedures set by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (eg. including but not limited to: infection control and safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine) and the teaching clinic, especially with reference to the privileges and responsibilities of a health professional.
  5. Interact effectively and professionally with the patients in a therapeutic health care setting, write professional case histories, and communicate to patients, their families and health care professional, taking into consideration culture, safety and diversity.

Overview of Learning Activities

Learning activities include a mixture of face-to-face lectures, tutorials and practical sessions. Learning experiences that foster the development of the capabilities to be developed in this course will include problem-based learning and case-based learning experiences. Learning experiences will also provide you the opportunity to practise skills and receive feedback.

You will have the opportunity for progressive feedback during the semester on your progress that may take the form of short tests/quizzes and/or individual analysis of case studies. Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways, including observation and simulated learning activities.

Supervised practical class sessions are extremely important for your mastery of various modalities of acupuncture and other modalities of Chinese medicine. 

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. All material to be chosen will be digitally available to students. Lecture material will be delivered via online media. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. Chinese medicine library subject guides are available via



Overview of Assessment

All hurdle requirements for this course are indicated clearly in the assessment regime that follows, against the relevant assessment task(s) and all have been approved by the College Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching).

A hurdle requirement is necessary in order to demonstrate to the accrediting body that students are competent and are being sufficiently assessed against practice-focussed professional standards throughout the course of their program. Visit for all relevant polices and guidelines set by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Case study analysis

Weighting 30%

This assessment task aligns with CLOs 1, 2 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Clinical practicum observation case record (HURDLE Requirement)

Weighting 10%

This assessment task aligns with CLOs 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 3: Supervised practical skill assessment (HURDLE Requirement)

Weighting 40%

This assessment task aligns with CLOs 1, 2 & 4

Assessment Task 4: Timed simulated case study

Weighting 20%

This assessment task aligns with CLOs 1, 2, 4 & 5