Clinical Skills 6

Unit code: HBS3604 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
HBS3504 - Clinical Skills 5; and
HBO3009 - Biomedical Science for Osteopathy 9
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


Clinical Skills 6 develops clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills, to prepare students entering clinical placement and osteopathic practice. The unit places emphasis on the contributors and mechanisms of pain and centres this focus on the acute pain presentation. The unit further develops students’ skills in case-history taking, clinical examination, osteopathic manual techniques and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice via exposure to a diverse range of simulated case scenarios. There is a focus on the development of new skills in High Velocity Low Amplitude (HVLA) techniques for junctional and peripheral regions. 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. Elicit a patient and condition-specific clinical history;
  2. Integrate clinical reasoning with practical skills to justify diagnosis and management of common conditions presenting in osteopathic practice;
  3. Exhibit osteopathic manual techniques and management strategies for conditions of the spine and peripheral joints; and
  4. Justify the contributors and mechanisms of pain to patient management.


For Melbourne campuses

In the first assessment students will collaborate in groups to identify and discuss pertinent details of a patient case. This will include the justification of the diagnosis and contributing pain mechanisms. Each group will submit this discussion, using the provided clinical reasoning template. In the case study analysis students will build on these skills individually, using an extended version of the template to critique a patient case and justify the diagnosis and management strategies that are appropriate. The final assessment is a practical skills demonstration that is conducted face to face. This assessment requires the student to demonstrate their ability to elicit a patient history, perform a clinical examination of the patient and apply appropriate manual therapy techniques on a simulated patient.

Assessment type: Exercise
Grade: 15%
Clinical reasoning group task (500 words)
Assessment type: Case Study
Grade: 35%
Individual written case study report (1000 words)
Assessment type: Examination
Grade: 50%
Observed Performance in a Simulated Setting (OPSS) (hurdle requirement) (60mins including reading time)

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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