Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Nursing and Midwifery
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Ms Louisa Lam


This unit has a strong focus on the theory and practice underpinning working with organizations, individuals, families, groups and communities. Through discursive lectures, tutorials and interactive online sessions, students will be able to examine the skills in communication for the purpose of enhancing therapeutic relationships across the lifespan and ultimately ensuring quality health care are developed through studies in this unit. The concepts of caring and helping in nursing within a therapeutic relationship, are explored. Students engage in in-depth analysis of the various human growth and development theories. These theoretical concepts provide a foundation for students to explore aspects of the social model of health, with a particular emphasis on the provision of health care to vulnerable populations and nursing in a culturally diverse community. Within this context the concepts of cultural competence and cultural safety are explored. The development of therapeutic engagement with vulnerable groups using these concepts will be central to the learning milieu of this unit.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Examine human growth and development theories that underpin the practice of nursing;
  2. Examine the concepts of helping and caring in nursing practice across the lifespan;
  3. Discuss the theory and practice of an effective therapeutic nurse-patient relationship;
  4. Discuss the impact of cultural diversity on health and illness behaviour;
  5. Discuss the meaning of effective therapeutic communication in nursing including working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds;
  6. Identify and overcome barriers and promote opportunities for the development of therapeutic communication across the lifespan;
  7. Explore the issues of cultural safety and culturally competence within nursing practice.
  8. Assess and appropriately intervene to promote and maintain the health of individuals, families, groups and communities, with particular emphasis on the needs of vulnerable populations; and
  9. Critique evidence used to support best nursing practice.


Essay (3,500 words) (40%)
Tutorial presentation - group activity (15 minutes) (15%)
Individual report based on tutorial presentation (1,500 words) (25%)
Online reflective activity (20%). Includes an individual reflective submission online (10%) and responding to other student's submissions (10%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

6 hours a week: lectures 2 hours, tutorials 2 hours + 2 hours of online learning activities over a 14 week semester.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study