Course Title: Chinese Medicine Clinical Skills

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Chinese Medicine Clinical Skills

Credit Points: 12.00


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,
Sem 2 2023

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

Enforced Pre-Requisite Courses

Successful completion of:

Note: it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the prerequisite/s and agree to concurrently enrol in co-requisite courses before enrolling in a course.

For information go to RMIT Course Requisites webpage.

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.

Upon 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

You will be actively engaged in a range of learning activities such as lectorials, tutorials, practicals, laboratories, seminars, project work, class discussion, individual and group activities. Delivery may be face to face, online or a mix of both.

You are encouraged to be proactive and self-directed in your learning, asking questions of your lecturer and/or peers and seeking out information as required, especially from the numerous sources available through the RMIT library, and through links and material specific to this course that is available through myRMIT Studies Course.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through myRMIT Studies Course.

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal.

Chinese medicine library subject guides are available via

Overview of Assessment

This course contains hurdle requirements. 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 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-focused professional standards throughout the course of their program. 

Attendance at practical classes is compulsory for several important reasons, including to prevent potential injury to participants during practical assessments. Therefore, if you don’t attend and participate effectively in at least 85% of your scheduled practical classes you won’t be entitled to a practical assessment opportunity at the end of semester, which is a hurdle requirement.

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: 85% attendance of in-class prac sessions and 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

If you have a long-term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more.