This unit introduces students to clinical examination and osteopathic management, including manual techniques relevant to the cervical spine. Students will continue to develop history taking and communication skills specifically for spinal conditions. Students will be introduced to HVLA spinal manipulation of the cervical spine and the safety issues and procedures relevant for these techniques. Clinical reasoning continues to be developed in this unit with a focus on patient presentations affecting the head and cervical spine.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS1204 - Clinical Skills 2

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an ability to ask key history taking questions related to the head and neck;  
  2. Exhibit and interpret a physical examination of the head and neck;  
  3. Interpret common medical tests and diagnostic imaging that may be used in diagnosis and management of conditions of the head and neck; and  
  4. Exhibit and explain osteopathic manual techniques and management strategies of the head and neck.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online in-class Quiz on cervical history taking, common conditions, and assessment and treatment procedures. (30mins duration, 500 words equivalent) 15%
Test Online in-class Quiz (45 minutes duration, equivalent to 750 words) 20%
Presentation Group Presentation (500 words) 15%
Practicum Practical examination (30 minutes plus reading) (hurdle requirement) (equivalent to 2000 words) 50%
80% attendance is required at Clinical Skills classes, tutorials and workshops, which develop knowledge, competency and safety in practical clinical assessment and treatment skills. These requirements align with the VU Osteopathic Course documentation to AOAC. The classes in this unit are interactive and develop students manual and examination skills for work as an osteopath. Further students are able to seek feedback from the teachers on meeting the learning outcomes and planning for assessment tasks.

Required reading

Manipulation of the spine, thorax and pelvis: An osteopathic perspective 4th ed
Gibbons, P., & Tehan, P. (2016)
Australia: Elsevier

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: Bickley, L. S. (2017) Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking. 12th ed. Philadelphia, US: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.Destefano, L (2017) Greenmans Principles of Manual Medicine 5th ed. Philadelphia, US: Lippincott Williams Wilkins. Magee, D (2014) Orthopedic Physical Assessment. 6th ed. St Louis, US: Elsevier.

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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