This unit (HBS2404) introduces students' to clinical examination, medical tests and osteopathic management and treatment relevant to the conditions affecting the lumbopelvic region. With this unit, students continue to develop psychomotor skills in spinal manipulation therapy (SMT). Students develop their psychomotor skills in SMT on peers under close guidance from educators. Students will build on previous knowledge on history taking skills and will learn how to develop focussed questions for a specific complaint. Clinical reasoning continues to be developed in this unit with a focus on patient presentations affecting the low back and there is an expectation students are now able to integrate information from a patient history, clinical examination and medical tests to justify their differential diagnoses relating to a presenting complaint.

Unit details

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HBS2304 - Clinical Skills 3

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history taking process and record key components of a presenting complaint relating to the lumbopelvic region;  
  2. Exhibit and interpret a clinical examination of the lumbopelvic region;  
  3. Interpret common medical tests and diagnostic imaging that may be used in diagnosis and management of conditions of the lumbopelvic region;  
  4. Exemplify clinical reasoning for analysing common conditions of the spine; and  
  5. Exhibit and explain osteopathic manual techniques and management strategies of the lumbopelvic region including spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) and relevant safety considerations.  


The first quiz assesses fundamental knowledge about history taking, common conditions and medical tests for complaints of the lumbopelvic region. The second quiz assesses student knowledge of diagnostic imaging and treatment and management strategies. These assessments are scaffolded to the group presentation, which involves developing a rationale for assessment and treatment of a case complaint and to the Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting (OPSS) where students demonstrate their assessment and treatment skills based on a case vignette on a peer model.
Assessment type Description Grade
Test Online Quiz (30 mins) 15%
Test Online Quiz (45 mins) 20%
Presentation Group presentation (15mins) 15%
Practicum Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting (OPSS) (30 mins) (hurdle requirement) 50%
80% attendance is required for 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.

Required reading

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

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.

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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