This unit contains two modules:
Clinical skills 6a, occurs in the classroom and comprises of practical workshops for students to extend their osteopathic manual therapy and clinical examination skills. The focus in the module is tailoring the examination and treatment to a presenting complaint that may involve more than one region of the body.

Clinical Skills 6b, occurs in the clinical environment and provides students with osteopathic workplace experience through their clinical placement hours in the student led osteopathic clinics within the university.  Students work with senior students co 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, and is the optimal environment for students to prepare for their high stakes clinic exit exam at the end of the semester.
Both modules amalgamate the practical skills in previous semesters HBS1104 Clinical Skills 1, HBS1204 Clinical Skills 2, HBS2304 Clinical Skills 3, HBS2404 Clinical Skills 4 and HBS3504 Clinical Skills 5. To facilitate their preparation for treating patients, students consider patient cases with more than one painful site as these presentations reflect the nature of osteopathic practice. Students' established psychomotor skills in osteopathic manual techniques and clinical examination are applied in the clinical setting and in the practical workshop classes. In this unit, students are provided with support as they prepare for the practical components of their clinic entrance exam.
Students may be required to obtain a 'Working With Children Check' and 'Police Check' prior to undertaking the unit.

Unit details

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Credit points:
Unit code:


HBS3504 - Clinical Skills 5

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Elicit a patient and condition-specific clinical history;  
  2. Present and interpret an advanced physical examination of the patient;  
  3. Exhibit an understanding of common medical tests that may be used in diagnosis and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice;  
  4. Analyse and clinically reason the patient's presenting complaint and management;  
  5. Commentate on the principles osteopathic management, including a range of osteopathic manual techniques; and  
  6. Summarise and classify the contributors and mechanisms of pain to the patient's presenting complaint.  


The formative assessments tasks for this unit are: Peer assessment practical examination Mini CEX (peer assessed formative)
Assessment type Description Grade
Practicum Two x 10 minute Mini Clinical examination (CEX) assessments (one peer and one examiner assessed) 15%
Examination 30 minute practical exam (Osteopathic Management) 35%
Examination 1.5 hour Written Examination 50%
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 clinical placement and practical sessions are essential in students professional development as an osteopath. Successful completion (>50% of the grade) for the written exam is a hurdle requirement as this written paper assesses the student's knowledge of critical information for their post graduate studies (Master degree) and their treatment of patients under supervision in the osteopathic clinic.

Required reading

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

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

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

Brukner and Kahns Clinical Sports Medicine 4th ed.
Brukner, P. & Khan, K. (2012)
Sydney, Australia: McGraw Hill.

Chronic pain: A resource for effective manual therapy.
Austin, P. (2017)
Edinburgh: Handspring Publishing Limited.

Where to next?

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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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