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NUR3650 Advanced Health Assessment

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Nursing and Midwifery
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Geoff Wilson
Moderator: Cheryl Perrin


Health professionals often find themselves in situations where there is a need to assess clients for screening purposes and case management decision making. Occasionally the lives of individuals are dependent on the ability of health professionals to comprehensively assess a client's condition. From a health screening perspective, there are many instances cited in the literature where early detection can prevent individual suffering, by preventing disease at an early stage.


This course builds on basic health assessment and screening skills. It allows health professionals to explore fully the human individual, holistically, without recourse to invasive technologies. The course follows individuals who present to health care settings with problems requiring assessment and intervention by the most accessible and appropriate health professional. In addition Advanced Health Assessment implies that data gathered will be acted upon appropriately and related to the practice context.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Conduct comprehensive, holistic advanced physical assessments integrating the assessment of related systems;
  2. Document assessment details to the required standard;
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the meanings and determinants of "health" for individuals and families;
  4. Rationalise the role of the nurse in the performance of the following forms of Assessment: Emergency Assessment; Ongoing/Partial Assessment; Focused/Problem-Oriented Assessment; Comprehensive Assessment; and
  5. Develop strategies to introduce physical assessment skills into clinical practice venues.


Description Weighting(%)
1. INTRODUCTORY CONCEPTS: Assessing holistically, Holistic history taking, Risk Profiles and analysis. 12.50
2. ASSESSING PSYCHOSOCIAL/SPIRITUAL STATUS: Self Perception, Role Relationships, Coping/Stress tolerance, Value and Beliefs. 15.00
3. ASSESSING ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE STATUS: Heart and Blood Vessels, Lungs and Thorax, Musculoskeletal, Integrated Assessments of Activity and Exercise Patterns. 15.00
4. ASSESSING COGNITIVE/PERCEPTUAL STATUS: Mental Status assessment, Assessment of Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose, Mouth and Sinuses, Neurosensory assessment. 15.00
5. ASSESSING SEXUALITY/REPRODUCTIVE STATUS: Breast and Axilla, Specific Male and Female, Neonatal assessment. 15.00
6. ASSESSING NUTRITIONAL/METABOLIC AND ELIMINATION STATUS: Nutritional assessment, Integumentary assessment, Abdominal assessment. 15.00
7. ASSESSMENT COMMUNICATIONS: Evaluation of assessment, Communications, Client teaching and learning. 12.50

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • 1998, Physical assessment skills, USQ Media Services Unit, Toowoomba.
  • Bickley, LS & Szilagyi, PG 2009, Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking, 10th edn, JB Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia.
  • Jarvis, C 2007, The pocket companion for physical examination and health assessment, 5th edn, WB Saunders, Philadelphia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 76.00
Private Study 94.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 07 Sep 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 02 Nov 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assignments satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assignment.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will be no Deferred or Supplementary examinations in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. If requested, students will be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request being made.

  3. The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  5. The Faculty will NOT accept submission of assignments by facsimile.

  6. Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements.

  7. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.