Clinical Skills 5 introduces students to clinical examination, osteopathic manual techniques, and medical tests relevant to the abdomen. It further develops students' skills in examination, treatment and management of conditions of the spine with a focus on HVLA techniques for junctional regions.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS2002 - Clinical Skills 4A

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 abdomen;  
  2. Exhibit and interpret a physical examination of the spine, abdomen and selected viscera;  
  3. Identify common and serious abdominal conditions and determine medical tests that may be used to diagnose them; and  
  4. Exhibit osteopathic manual techniques and management strategies for conditions of the spine and visceral complaints.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Practicum Abdominal examination (hurdle requirement) (20 mins, in-class) 15%
Exercise History-taking activity (500 words, 45 mins in-class) 15%
Test Quiz - Multiple Choice (90 mins in-class) 30%
Examination Practical examination (hurdle requirement) (45 mins) 40%
80% attendance is required for 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 practical examinations are a hurdle requirement and as such a minimum pass grade for these assessments is required to satisfactorily complete the unit overall.

Required reading

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

RECOMMENDED TEXTS: DeStefano, L. A. (2017) Greenman's principles of manual medicine 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA. : Wolters Kluwer. Bickley, L. S. & Szilagyi, P.G. (2017) Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA. : Wolters Kluwer, There are no set journals for this unit. Students will be provided with an up to date reading list via the VU Collaborate system

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.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.