Diploma of Nursing - HLT54115

As part of the Nursing program, you will undertake professional experience placement in a patient care environment. The following information outlines examples of the fundamental tasks you will be expected to carry out during on-campus learning activities and professional experience placement.

These examples are provided for your information only and are not entry requirements.

There are a range of adjustments to your study conditions available to enable and support you to undertake these tasks. Please contact the Equitable Learning Services to discuss any adjustments you may require. 

Verbal expression and comprehension (understanding)

What do I need to be able to do?

Understand and respond to verbal communication.
In the patient care environment, this will assist you in your work with patients to establish relationships, undertake assessment and deliver treatment in a safe manner.

Verbally communicate clear instructions and explanations in a time responsive way.
In the patient care environment, verbal communication is the primary source of communication between you, your patients and your team. Clear communication assists in safe treatment delivery.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Additional time allowances for comprehension and expression may be available to you for on-campus learning activities. 

Professional experience placement activities in patient care environments may require time responsive communication. This should be discussed with your Placement Coordinator prior to commencing your placement. 

Social communication

Social Communication refers to the capacity to understand and use appropriate non-verbal communication such as: eye contact, gestures, facial expression, speaking volume, tone of voice, proximity and verbal turn-taking. 

What do I need to be able to do?

Recognise, interpret, use and respond to non-verbal communication appropriately in both academic and professional experience settings to build relationships, assess patients and provide treatment. 

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require the use of social communication abilities include:

  • identifying that a patient is uncomfortable or in pain from their facial expression or body posture 
  • responding to patients with open body language, eye contact and facial expressions to demonstrate understanding and empathy.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.  

Consideration will be given to the use of non-verbal communication appropriate to your disability or condition for example, if you have a vision or hearing impairment, you may rely more on using either auditory or visual means of social communication.

Reading

What do I need to be able to do?

Read and understand a range of written material in differing forms from a variety of sources such as: on screen material, reference material and /or handwritten notes.

In the patient care environment, essential patient information is communicated in written form.  Tasks which require the use of reading include:

  • Reading  patient history notes and reports from other health professionals
  • Reading medication orders. 

The ability to read, understand and interpret written information is fundamental for delivery of appropriate and safe patient care.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during professional experience placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Writing (Written Language)

N.B. This refers not to the physical act of writing but rather to the written content.

What do I need to be able to do?

Produce coherent written communication appropriate to both the patient care and on-campus simulation environments

In the patient care environment, tasks which require clear, concise, accurate and time-efficient writing include:

  • writing hand written patient notes for staff handover
  • contributing  to patient health care records online
  • writing reports. 

The ability to accurately communicate in writing in accordance with professional and legal standards is fundamental for delivery of consistent and safe patient care.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your literacy for on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during professional experience placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Number Skills (Numeracy)

Numeracy is the ability to understand and work with numbers. Basic numeracy skills consist of comprehending fundamental mathematics like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

What do I need to be able to do?

Interpret and correctly apply numerical data, measurements and formulae in a time-efficient manner in the patient care and on-campus simulation environments.

In the patient care environment, tasks which require the use of number skills include:

  • Providing accurate dose calculations for prescribed medicines.
  • Recording accurate measurements and numerical data in patient records.

The ability to accurately work with numbers is important for delivery of appropriate and safe patient care.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use specialised software to support your numeracy for on-campus learning activities. The appropriateness and practicality of using such software during professional experience placements may vary between placements and should be discussed with the placement coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

What do I need to be able to do?

Correctly use and apply knowledge of theory, research, and practice gained from the on-campus learning setting in clinical situations during your professional experience placement.

In the patient care environment, nursing assessment and intervention tasks require:

  • focus, problem solving, interacting and providing feedback to patients simultaneously and in a time appropriate manner. 
  • engagement with patients and others with this level of focus and concentration throughout a designated period of duty or shift. 

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

You may use assistive technology and strategies such as rest breaks to support your memory, planning and organisation in the on campus learning environment. The use of these strategies during professional experience placements should be discussed with the Placement Coordinator prior to commencing professional experience placement.

Mental wellness is a state of well-being in which an individual can realise their own abilities or potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life and can work productively and fruitfully.

Behavioural stability refers to an individual’s ability to moderate their own behaviour.

Stable mental health promotes optimal and safe engagement in on-campus learning and education settings during professional experience placement. Many people who live with mental health conditions complete their studies successfully. The following services are available to support students living with mental health conditions at RMIT: 

Equitable Learning Services

Counselling Services

What do I need to be able to do?

The on campus learning environment can be challenging and will require you to engage with peers and teaching staff, reflect on your work and respond appropriately to constructive feedback.

Patient care environments can present complex and unpredictable human situations which require the following:

  • managing multiple, complex demands with focus and composure
  • remaining alert, focussed and engaged during patient assessment and intervention
  • managing personal emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with peers, staff and patients

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

A range of adjustments such can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you. 

Flexible arrangements for your professional experience placement will be considered. The appropriateness and practicality of these arrangements may vary between placements and agencies and should be discussed with your placement coordinator prior to commencement of the placement. 

You may be supported to take time off from your studies if you become unwell or have difficulties with behavioural stability.

Vision

Visual acuity refers to the extent to which a person can see or interpret visual information. This may also include colour vision.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require vision include: 

  • Observation of the patient to: 
  • ensure they are appropriately positioned and safe 
  • make an assessment of their condition by noting colour and texture of the patient’s skin and body fluids
  • Use of suitable medical equipment to ensure patient safety
  • Accurately identifying medicines using medication labels on a small ampoule or medication bottle.
  • Reading handwritten information in patient notes.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

The use of assistive technology to enhance vision will be considered. It is recommended that you discuss this with the ELS and Placement Coordinator prior to commencing your placement. 

Glasses and other visual aids can be used during on-campus simulation and professional experience placement settings.

If you have been deemed legally blind or have a medical condition that may impact your vision, it is recommended that you discuss your condition with Equitable Learning Services. 

Hearing

What do I need to be able to do?

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require hearing or alternatives (e.g. accurate lip reading, amplification equipment) include:

  • Communicating with a patient to determine their health needs
  • listening to nuances in patients breath and heart sounds during consultations
  • differentiating the vocal tone of a patient throughout the duration of a professional experience placement shift to ensure the patient is not in pain and is comfortable.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

The use of augmentation such as lip reading and / or assistive technology e.g. ‘power’ amplified stethoscope to enhance hearing will be considered. It is recommended that you discuss this with the ELS and Placement Coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Tactile abilities refer to the sense of touch.

What do I need to be able to do?

The use of tactile abilities supports accurate diagnosis, monitoring and treatment to ensure patient safety in the clinical setting.

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require the sense of touch include:

  • feeling and detecting changes in the surface temperature of the patient’s skin to determine fever, inflammation or injury
  • distinguishing  fine differences in pulses and in the feeling of different parts of human anatomy
  • feeling and detecting changes in water temperature prior to attending to the hygiene needs of the patient.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Any adjustments considered should not compromise patient safety.

In both the on-campus learning and professional experience settings, tasks may involve: lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting or bending.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require gross motor skills include:

  • manual handling i.e. safely physically assisting patients with varying physical capacities to move from lying or sitting to a standing position
  • positioning and setting up a patient and equipment for assessment / treatment. 

Safe manual handling minimises the risk of injury to patients and students. 

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Any adjustments considered should not compromise patient safety.

i.e. The ability to undertake precise coordinated movements of the hands.

What do I need to be able to do?

In both the on-campus learning and professional experience placement settings, tasks may involve: pushing, pressing, turning, pinching, grasping, shaking and manipulating needles and syringes.

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require fine motor abilities include:

  • drawing up medication from an ampoule and injecting into a patient or intravenous port safely and accurately
  • taking blood from a patient’s vein safely and accurately
  • operating small taps on an intravenous port to set accurate flow rate.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your individual circumstances and physical capacities. Any adjustments considered should not compromise patient safety.

This refers to the ability to undertake a task/s over a pre-determined period of time. This could include physical performance such as standing for a period of time, or cognitive (mental) performance such as concentrating for a particular length of time.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the patient care and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require physical and mental endurance include:

  • standing and walking for extended periods throughout the designated period of duty (a shift).
  • maintaining a high level of concentration in order to complete accurate assessment and nursing care of up to four patients throughout a shift
  • performing multiple physical and mental tasks over the period of a day in order to provide safe and effective care to patients.

What adjustments to my study conditions can I access?

Adjustments can be organised through the Equitable Learning Services (ELS). Contact the ELS to discuss what adjustments may be helpful to you.

Adjustments will be considered in relation to your circumstances and physical capacities. You may use strategies such as rest breaks to support your performance for on campus learning contexts. It is recommended that you discuss the use of these strategies during placement with ELS and Placement Coordinator prior to commencing your placement.

Any adjustments should not compromise patient safety.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.