SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B724230
Module Leader Steven Morrison
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)
  • B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Registered health professional with formal agreement for access to suitable mentor(s) to fulfil learning outcomes of module

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and skills to enable Registered Healthcare Professionals to independently conduct a structured physical clinical assessment which can be applied in acute and primary care. This module will entail study of topics and development of skills associated with holistic assessment, consultation skills, clinical decision making, and evidence based practice. Consequently, this integrated theory and practice based module aims to promote the development of the safe and effective practitioner working within an acute or primary care setting At the end of the module the student will be able to take a detailed clinical diagnostic health history and perform a full (head to toe) physical assessment (including -Inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation). They will be able to document and communicate their findings using correct terminology, and where necessary understand when to refer-on patients. Additionally, they will be able to recognise the implications of their findings on clinical management with an understanding of the clinical decision making theory and models which have influenced their decisions and practice. Preparing them to practise patient care within defined evidence based protocols, without continual reference to a doctor.


Diagnostic History taking and consultation skills Physical examination techniques Examination of skin, hair, nails, face, neck, ear, nose and throat. Examination cardiovascular examination Examination of the respiratory system Examination of the abdomen Neurological assessment Introduction to musculoskeletal assessment Recognition of a range of mental health presentations, and referral pathways Normal anatomy and common pathophysiology related to the major systems Theories and models of clinical decision making Management and treatment options for a range of acute and primary care presentations Normal anatomy and common pathophysiology related to the major systems Management and treatment options for a range of acute and primary care presentations through scenarios and online materials (minor and acute undiagnosed illness) Referral routes using a number of modalities - paper, electronic

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Analyse techniques designed to elicit a comprehensive diagnostic physical and psychological clinical history via a range of consultation skills and models.2. Review and analyse clinical decision making models and theory and their influence on clinical practice 3. Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills including the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and movement associated with a complete physical examination of body systems4. Differentiate and explore normal from abnormal findings for a wide range of acute and primary care clinical presentations 5. Apply knowledge of disordered physiology and patient assessment, in order to select and implement appropriate strategies to provide initial management and appropriate referral of acute secondary and primary care presentations 6. Integrate knowledge gained through the module and from reflection on practice experience, to apply effective evidenced based care and management 7. Successfully complete clinical competencies logbook

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module can be accessed as either face to face or using a blended approach. The module uses a range of learning strategies including lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions, workshops, directed and self-directed study will be utilised depending on where the 'blended' delivery is taking place e.g. at a venue other than GCU. There is also a requirement for supervised practice in the clinical area with a suitable mentor(s) - suggested 4 - 7 hours per week. Normally, the student will obtain the equivalent of 36 hours of contact time with the module team, excluding individual academic support. The fundamental aim of the teaching and learning strategies, irrespective of delivery mode is to support the development of autonomous, independent problem solving and decision making within the parameters of their profession competence, role and employers agreed vicarious liability (or equivalent).

Indicative Reading

These are recommended books: Module Handbook GCU learn Bickley, L.S (2012) Bates' Guide to physical examination and history taking (11th Edition), Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins Brown, E. M. (2008). Heart sounds made easy. 2 nd ed, Churchill Livingstone: Edinburgh Dains,J.E., Ciofu Baumann., L., and Scheibel, P. (2011) Advanced health assessment & clinical diagnosis in primary care, Mosby: St Louis Douglas, G, Nicol,F and Robertson, C (ed) (2013) MacLeod's Clinical Examination (13 th ed), China: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Japp, A.G and Robertson, C (ed) (2013) MacLeod's Clinical Diagnosis, China: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier Thompson,C., and Dowding, D (2009) Essential decision making and clinical judgement for nurses, Churchill Livingstone: Edinburgh Walker, S., Carpenter, D., and Middlewick, Y (2013) Assessment and Decision Making in Mental Health Nursing, Learning Matters: Sage Policies Ritchie, L (2015) Pulling together: transforming urgent care for the people of Scotland The Report of the Independent Review of Primary Care Out of Hours Services Scottish Government Scottish Government (2015) SETTING THE DIRECTION FOR NURSING AND MIDWIFERY EDUCATION: DELIVERY PLAN 2015-16 Scottish Ambulance Service Towards 2020: Taking Care to the Patient

Transferrable Skills

Develop independent learning by working in a self-directed manner Develop study and IT skills to underpin effective learning Develop critical thinking, decision making and communication skills Work effectively with others Underpin professional practice through reflection and the integration of theory and practice Appreciate the need for a high level of ethical and professional conduct

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (PT) 20.00
Independent Learning (PT) 124.00
Tutorials (PT) 36.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% Exceptions Case 148- 2000 Word Case Study
Coursework 3 n/a 0.00 40% Competency LogbookException 148
Coursework 2 0.50 0.00 40% OSCE - PASS/FAILException 148