Clinical Skills 1 introduces students to clinical communication, examination, and management within the context of osteopathic practice. Students commence their development of patient communication through history taking relating to a musculoskeletal complaint. Osteopathic management techniques for the upper extremity are explored in this unit, with students being able to commence their manual and non-manual therapy patient management skills.

Unit details

City Campus
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBO1002 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of informed consent and obtain consent from a simulated patient;  
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the history taking process and record key components of a presenting complaint;  
  3. Perform and interpret a clinical and musculoskeletal physical examination of the upper extremity;  
  4. Review diagnostic imaging that may be used in the diagnosis & management of conditions of the upper extremity; and  
  5. Apply and explain osteopathic manual techniques and management for the upper extremity.  


The first assessment assesses the students' ability to competently undertake and note a clinical history, as well as their ability to obtain informed consent. The CBL worksheets are case studies that simulate a common presenting complaint to osteopathic practice spanning the full scope of osteopathic practice: from history taking to prognosis and management. The third assessment familiarises students with the final assessment by performing a practice peer-driven attempt under exam conditions. It also aims to develop students' feedback literacy. The final observed performance in a simulated setting assesses the student's capacity to competently perform an assessment of and management for a simulated case related to the upper extremity, as well as obtain informed consent.
Assessment type Description Grade
Report History Taking (300 words) 15%
Case Study Group CBL Worksheets (300 words) 15%
Practicum Practice Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting. (OPSS) 10%
Examination 30 minute Final Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting (OPSS) (Hurdle Requirement) 60%
Students are required to participate in practical sessions with at least 80% attendance except under extenuating circumstances (hurdle requirement). HBS1104 is a core clinical subject in an accredited program by the Australasian Osteopathic Accreditation Council (AOAC). HBS1104 provides key skills to meet threshold graduate capabilities for an osteopathic graduate (VU Standards for Assessment Procedure (HE) Policy clause 29.c) A pass grade (50%) for the unit overall, and a pass for Assessment 4: Final OPSS is required to satisfactorily pass the unit. The hurdle requirements are in place to satisfy the unit learning outcomes, and ensure safe practice and implementation of the skills learnt in this unit.

Required reading

Students will be provided with an up-to-date reading list via the VU Collaborate system.

Clinical Sports Medicine Volume 1 5th ed.
Bruker, S. & Kahn, K. (2019)
New York, US: McGraw-Hill Education

Orthopaedic physical assessment. 6th ed.
Magee, D. (2014)
St Louis, US: Elsevier Saunders.

Greenman's Principles of Manual Medicine 5th ed.
DeStefano, L. (2016)
Philadelphia, US: Lippincott Williams Wilkins

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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