Clinical Skills 5 contains two modules:
Clinical skills 5a, occurs in the classroom and introduces students to osteopathic manual techniques, clinical examination and medical tests relevant to the abdomen. Clinical reasoning continues to be developed in this unit with a focus on patient presentations affecting the abdomen, however 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.

Clinical skills 5b, occurs in the work integrated learning (clinical) environment and provides students with osteopathic workplace experience through their clinical placement hours in the student led osteopathic clinics within the university.  Students observe senior students treating members of the public under the supervision of osteopathic clinical educators and contribute to the operational running of the clinic. The clinical placement hours within this unit develop students' capacity for teamwork, collaboration with peers and supervisors and communication with patients.
Students may be required to obtain a 'Working With Children Check' and 'Police Check' prior to undertaking the unit.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS2404 - Clinical Skills 4


HBS3501 - Patient, Practitioner and Health System 5

HBS3502 - Evidence for Practice 5

HBS3503 - Scientific Basis for Osteopathy 5

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Relate the principles of advanced history taking to recording details for the presenting complaint;  
  2. Exhibit and interpret a physical examination of the systems of the abdomen;  
  3. Interpret common medical tests that may be used in diagnosis and management of conditions of the abdomen;  
  4. Exemplify clinical reasoning for common conditions of the abdomen; and  
  5. Exhibit osteopathic manual techniques for the spine (including spinal manipulative therapy), abdomen and lymphatics.  


The formative assessment tasks for this unit are: - In-class examination peer assessed practical examination (technique & physical examination)
Assessment type Description Grade
Project Video of history taking with reflective journal (equivalent to 1000 words) 20%
Examination 45 minute practical examination of manual technique and examination of spine, abdomen and pelvis (equivalent to 2500 words) 50%
Examination 1.5 hour written paper (equivalent to 1500 words) 30%
Successful completion and submission of clinical workbook and participation in practical sessions and clinical placement with at least 90% attendance unless well-documented acceptable reasons are provided (hurdle requirement). The practical examination is a hurdle requirement and as such a minimum pass grade is required to satisfactorily complete the unit overall as learning outcome 5 is only assessed in this task. A minimum of 50% constitutes a pass grade for this examination.

Required reading

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

Greenman's principles of manual medicine 5th ed.
DeStefano, L. A. (2017)
Philadelphia, PA. : Wolters Kluwer.

Bates' guide to physical examination and history taking 12th ed.
Bickley, L. S. & Szilagyi, P.G. (2017)
Philadelphia, PA. : Wolters Kluwer,

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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