DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Advanced Physical Health Assessment Skills
Module Code NS5066P
School 38
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Siobhan Rothwell
Semester 2: Siobhan Rothwell
Autumn: Siobhan Rothwell
Module TeachersSiobhan Rothwell
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination

The module aims to strengthen core knowledge and skills needed to undertake a comprehensive patient physical/health assessment. Techniques to include interviewing, subjective and objective data collection approaches used to aid assessment strategies and identify deviations from normal parameters. It sets out to enable the nurse to identify, expand and maintain skills and competencies to deliver safe, high quality care to a range of patients presenting in healthcare settings.

Learning Outcomes

1. Articulate key priority areas of focus in planning a comprehensive patient health assessment including physical, psychosocial and cultural considerations.
2. Undertake a comprehensive health assessment based on presenting symptoms, history taking, review of systems and physical examination.
3. Demonstrate advanced health assessment skills to distinguish between normal, variations of normal and abnormal findings in patient data recognizing influential factors and their clinical significance.
4. Integrate knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to inform systematic health assessment.
5. Demonstrate competence in monitoring, recording and interpretation of subjective/objective patient data.
6. Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as a member of the multi-disciplinary team.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12Lecturer- supervised learning (face to face).
Clinical laboratory20Simulated Learning Environment.
Clinical laboratory4Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
Tutorial12Structured support for learning on the module involving synchronous and asynchronous engagement with module tasks, including skills practice/ videos to support learning in the clinical skills laboratory.
Independent Study202Student motivated activities including: Skill acquisition, reflective practice.
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Comprehensive Holistic Patient Assessment
The purpose, rationale for and key planning priorities are explored.

Principles of Physical Health Assessment
Key focus on health history/interviewing skills; physical examination tools/ observations and techniques; equipment used to gather and record patient data, key diagnostic tests and investigations to aid diagnosis.

Anatomy and Physiology
Review of anatomy and physiology as it relates to patient assessment strategies.

Systems Approach to Assessment
Systematic approach to assessment for a range of conditions.

Recognition of Parameters
Identifying/ interpreting normal and abnormal/variations in physical health findings to inform clinical judgement and decision-making.

Epidemiological, bio-psychosocial & health promotion principles that underpin/inform health assessment.

Collaborative Practice
Inter-professional team working within healthcare environments; professional nursing role and accountability for professional practice.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Objective structured clinical examination (OSCE)Objective Structured Clinical Assessment (OSCE).50%Week 3
Written ExamMultiple Choice Questionnaire, examining on knowledge and skills for patient health assessment.30%n/a
AssignmentCase study20%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Lynn S. Bickley,Peter G. Szilagyi: 2021, Bates' Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking, 13th, Wolters Kluwer, Philadelphia, PA, 9781469893419
  • Masters K: 2016, Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice, 4th, Jones and Bartlett, 9781284078329
  • Kathryn L. McCance,Sue E. Huether,Neal S. Rote: 2018, Pathophysiology, 7th, Mosby, St Louis, 9780323583473
  • Ruth McCaffrey,Humberto Reinoso: 2021, NP Notes, 10th, FA Davis Company, 0803666608
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MNAPMSc in Nursing: Advanced Practice

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement