SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3B725009
Module Leader Evelyn McElhinney
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Nursing
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Student of an undergraduate / post graduate professional or health-related degree programme that has attained academic credits at a minimum of Level SHE 2 / SCQF 8 or equivalent; or is a Registered Nurse working in a health and social care area where they are changing to a role which requires diagnostic history taking and physical examination.

Summary of Content

This module mirrors M3B725008. It is for Trans-National Education (TNE) delivery only. The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and skills to enable Registered Healthcare Professionals to independently conduct a basic full clinical assessment. At the end of the module the student will be able to take a detailed clinical history, perform a full physical assessment, document and communicate their findings, and recognise the implications of their findings on clinical management, practising autonomous patient care within defined protocols, without continual reference to a doctor.


-360 History taking and consultation skills . -360 Physical examination techniques. Examination of skin, hair, nails, face, neck, ear, nose and throat. Examination of the respiratory system . Examination of the abdomen. Cardiovascular examination. Neurological assessment. Introduction to musculoskeletal assessment. Normal anatomy and common pathophysiology related to the major systems .

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module the student should be able to:LO1. Analyse techniques designed to elicit a comprehensive diagnostic clinical historyLO2. Demonstrate appropriate knowledge and skills including the techniques of inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation and movement associated with a complete physical examination of body systemsLO3. Differentiate and explore normal from abnormal findings for a wide range of common presentationsLO4. Integrate knowledge of the underlying anatomy and some basic pathophysiology concepts to interpret the significance and implications of some common clinical findingsLO5. Exhibit an increasing ability to communicates a patient's condition to other members of the health care team using appropriate terminology, format and technology, to enable autonomous patient care within or out with defined protocols, without continual reference to a doctor.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module can be delivered in three different combinations of lectures, seminars, tutorials, interactive discussions and workshops, directed and self-directed study. This combination will depend on whether the module is being delivered on site at GCU ' face to face', 'blended' at GCU or a venue other that GCU e.g. Contractual international agreement or being delivered completely 'online'. The teaching and learning strategies, irrespective of delivery mode, aim to promote 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). Students will follow one of three presentations of the module. The teaching and learning strategy will be either face-to-face, web-based learning or blended learning. A variety of activities will be used throughout the module to promote interest and engagement with core concepts. The student will always be provided the equivalent of 36hrs of contact time with the module team. Face to face delivery: Modified lectures will be used to introduce theoretical concepts. Thereafter, group discussions will promote student participation, giving opportunities to share experiences and deepen understanding. Consideration of quality improvement issues in the workplace will further enable students to apply theory to practice, while developing their own coursework and promoting transferrable skills. Directed study will augment class-based learning. Online support for blended delivery: Each week there will be a variety of activities to be undertaken which include: Listening to audio power point presentations and podcasts. Viewing online digital stories and videos, completion of e-Activities. Contributions to the discussion board will provide opportunities to share experiences and deepen understanding. Consideration of quality improvement issues in the workplace will further enable students to apply theory to practice, while developing their own coursework and promoting transferrable skills.

Indicative Reading

BICKLEY, L.S. 2016 Bates' Guide to physical examination and history taking (12th Edition) Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins BROWN, E. M. 2008. Heart sounds made easy. (2nd edition) Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone: DOUGLAS, G, NICOL, F. & ROBERTSON, C (ed) 2013 MacLeod's Clinical Examination (13th edition), China: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier MCELHINNEY, E. 2010 Factors which influence nurse practitioners ability to carry out physical examination skills in the clinical area after a degree level module - an electronic Delphi study , Journal of Clinical Nursing, Vol. 19 issue 21 -22 p3177 - 3187

Transferrable Skills

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

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (PT) 6.00
Independent Learning (PT) 144.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00
Lectures (PT) 20.00
Practicals (PT) 10.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 40% 2000 Word Essay
Coursework 3 1.00 0.00 35% OSCE
Coursework 2 n/a 0.00 35% Logbook