Master of Applied Science (Acupuncture)

As part of the Chinese Medicine program, you will undertake a professional experience placement in a clinical practice environment. The following information outlines examples of the fundamental tasks you will be expected to carry out during clinical practice, on-campus simulations and other learning activities.

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 clinical practice 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 clinical practice environment, verbal communication is the primary source of communication between you, patients, supervisors and other health professionals.

Clear communication assists with completing your professional experience placement tasks safely.

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 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 on-campus learning activities and professional experience settings to build relationships, assess patients and provide treatment.

During clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require social communication abilities include:

  • interpreting patients’ non-verbal communication, such as 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 clinical practice environment, essential patient information is communicated in written form.  Tasks which use reading include: 

  • Reading  patient history notes and reports from other health professionals
  • Reading Chinese herbal medicine 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 on-campus and professional experience placement settings. 

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

  • Contributing  to patient health care records
  • Record keeping, report writing and other essential writing tasks 

The accuracy of written communication is in accordance with professional and legal standards and 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 clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments.

In the clinical practice environment, tasks which require the use of number skills include: 

  • Providing accurate dose calculations for prescribed herbal medicines
  • Converting dosages from classical literature to the metric system
  • 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 clinical practice environment, assessment and intervention tasks require:

  • Conducting client assessment and treatment plans using clinical reasoning so completion of the treatment can be achieved within the time constraint of a session
  • Problem solving, interacting and providing feedback to clients simultaneously and in a time appropriate manner.

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 your 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.

Clinical practice 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 client assessment and intervention
  • managing personal emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with clients, supervisors and other health professionals
  • maintaining composure under time pressure

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 clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require vision include: 

  • Dispensing Chinese herbal medicines through accurate identification of Chinese herbal medicines in their various forms, raw, granules and patents
  • Observing a patient throughout the duration of their Chinese Medicine procedure (e.g acupuncture treatment) to ensure they are appropriately positioned for assessment / treatment and are comfortable
  • Locate acupuncture points and choose the correct needles for the acupuncture point location with accuracy 

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 learning activities and on professional experience placement.

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

  • Communicating with your patient to determine their health needs
  • Listening to nuances in your patients breath, sound of the lungs and the heart during consultations
  • Differentiating the vocal tone of your patient throughout the duration of a consultation 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.

What do I need to be able to do?

Sufficient olfactory acuity (sense of smell) supports diagnosis related to body odours and to identify Chinese herbal medicines.

In the clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require the sense of smell include:

  • smelling the breath or sweat of a patient to assist make a diagnosis
  • smelling the difference between similar looking herbs to accurately dispense Chinese herbal medicines.

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 other senses to compensate for a deficient sense of smell may be considered. However applicability to the clinical setting would need to be discussed 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 clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require a sense of touch include:

  • Feeling the sensations from an acupuncture needle to provide safe needling procedures
  • Distinguishing  the differences in texture between similar looking Chinese herbal medicines
  • Detecting and feeling fine differences between different pulses to systematically diagnose a patients’ condition.

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 will involve: lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting or bending.

What do I need to be able to do?

In the clinical practice 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 on a treatment table and manoeuvring treatment trolleys to perform acupuncture
  • re-stocking herbal medicines and placing them into storage receptacles

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 clinical settings, tasks will involve: pushing, pressing, turning and manipulating fine acupuncture needles and small pieces of Chinese herbal medicine.

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

  • Operating small controls on Chinese Medicine and acupuncture equipment
  • Manipulating acupuncture needles and handling other small pieces of equipment
  • Setting up a patient for treatment accurately which involves making fine adjustments to their posture. 

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 clinical practice and on-campus simulation environments, tasks which require physical and mental endurance include:

  • Maintaining consistent physical performance. This may include, standing for extended periods and undertaking physical therapies such as massage and acupuncture treatment throughout a clinic shift
  • Remaining mentally focussed in order to complete accurate dispensing of Chinese herbal medicines or performing acupuncture treatment throughout a clinic shift

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.