Clinical Skills 5

Unit code: HBS3504 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
HBS2304 - Clinical Skills 3; and
HBS2404 - Clinical Skills 4; and
HBS2002 - Clinical Skills 4A; and
HBO3008 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 8
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


Clinical Skills 5 develops clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills, to prepare students entering clinical placement and osteopathic practice. The unit further develops students’ skills in case-history taking, clinical examination, osteopathic manual techniques and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice relating to the abdomen. There is a focus on the development of new skills in High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) techniques for junctional regions and visceral manual osteopathic technique. Students participate in clinical placement observation hours alongside this unit which allows students to observe these skills used in practice by senior osteopathic .students.

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 articulate management strategies for conditions of the spine and visceral complaints.


For Melbourne campuses

The first assessment is a practical skills demonstration of the abdominal examination that is conducted face to face. In Assessment 2 students will demonstrate their history taking skills, identify and record the details of a patient case and write a short reflection on their performance. The case study analysis in assessment task 3 will require students to apply their knowledge relating to the presentation of abdominal conditions including pathophysiology, clinical features, medical testing and patient management strategies. The final assessment is a practical skills demonstration of visceral osteopathic technique and HVLA techniques for junctional regions that is conducted face to face.

Assessment type: Practicum
Grade: 15%
Abdominal examination (hurdle requirement) (20 mins, in-class)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 15%
Case history recording and history-taking reflection task (600 words)
Assessment type: Other
Grade: 30%
Individual case study analysis (MCQ and extended response, 60 mins in-class)
Assessment type: Examination
Grade: 40%
Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting (OPSS) (hurdle requirement) (45 mins)

Required reading

Manipulation of the spine, thorax and pelvis: An osteopathic perspective
Gibbons, P., & Tehan, P. (2016)| Australia: Elsevier.
Evidence Informed Orthopedic Conditions: 300+ Patient Centred Principles and Best Practices.
Vizniak, N. A., Fairweather, L., Murray, N., Hussain, S., DeLapp, D., Eni, G., Davidson, T., & Hedrich, T. (2022).| Professional Health Systems Incorporated.

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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