Key Facts

Module Title: NUR-30164: Holistic Health Assessment
Mode of Study:Trimester 2/January
Contact Details:Contact School of Nursing and Midwifery - 01782 679559
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Fees: Click for details

This double module aims to develop the student’s knowledge and skills in relation to holistic health assessment of patients specific to the student’s specialist area of clinical practice. The use of a blended learning approach will be adopted which incorporates lead lectures, skills teaching, workshops, on-line learning and the clinical practice setting. Such a multi-faceted approach will provide the student with opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills in performing a problem-focused, age appropriate health assessment. Linking the student with an appropriate mentor who is a clinical expert in the student’s usual practice environment will assist in the acquisition of clinical examination skills pertinent to the individual needs of the student. The module content, delivery and assessment will enhance the confidence of healthcare professionals to interpret objective and subjective clinical data, use appropriate diagnostics and initiate a clinical management plan, this may include making appropriate and timely referrals to other healthcare professionals. The module has been devised utilising current best practice and clinical guidelines to underpin the student's ability to make informed clinical decisions.

The key elements of the module are to develop history taking and assessment skills. The taught component takes a generic approach and the student develops their skill set in the clinical environment with their mentor. The module introduces a range of material that will support a holistic approach to comprehensive health assessment.

Clinical experts lead master classes in a range of assessment approaches e.g. cardiac, respiratory, abdominal, musculoskeletal, neurological. The taught sessions are augmented by practice time in the clinical skills laboratory with a range of simulated learning approaches. Other sessions refresh knowledge around ECG & CXR interpretation. The wider determinants of health are also explored e.g. the effects of polypharmacy, approaches to assessment with the person with a learning disability and specific considerations for assessment of the frail elderly.

Linking the student with an appropriate mentor who is a clinical expert in the student’s usual practice environment will assist in the acquisition of clinical examination skills pertinent to the individuals needs.

This module forms part of the Graduate Certificate (Acute Care) where this module content develops seamlessly and expands upon the learning in the complimentary; Primary Responses to Acute Care module. The final module within the Graduate Certificate (Acute Care) is the Evidence Based Practice module, which facilitates the application of theory to the practitioners own practice area. This combination of modules to form the Graduate Certificate (Acute Care) develops acute care practitioners to meet the needs of contemporary healthcare provision.

This module is a core module for the BSc (Hons) Clinical Practice (Acute Care).
This module may be undertaken as a stand alone elective module within the BSc (Hons) Clinical Practice award for other pathways.

Holistic health assessment education is intended to equip students with a comprehensive range of evidence-based knowledge and skills to enable them to develop their clinical practice to safely demonstrate accurate assessment and appropriate health interventions for their identified client group.

Normally hold a professional registration with an appropriate body and have access to an appropriate clinical mentor within the care setting.

Normally a minimum of 12 months post-registration experience


* Please note that applications for this module will be reviewed in November 2016. All applications received prior to 28th of October will be considered at that time and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application shortly after. 

The principles of holistic health assessment and the use of health assessment tools to include the use of assessment, diagnostics and therapeutic interventions:

•Awareness and critical evaluation of the evidence base and current research supporting developing roles, to include Department of Health publications (NHS Plan 2000, Modernising Nursing Careers 2006, CNO's review of Mental health Nursing 2006, Darzi - Next Stage Review 2008) and other sources of evidence.

•Principles of Health Assessment
•Health Assessment Frameworks
•History taking
•Clinical examination techniques to include - auscultation, percussion and palpation
•Clinical decision making
•Problem solving
•Assessment of psychological well-being

•Systems review of normal anatomy and pathophysiology of the following :
- respiratory 
- cardiovascular 
- nervous
- muscosketetal
- gastrointestinal

•Exploration of the interactive dynamics between systems

•Examination of the following systems
- respiratory 
- cardiovascular 
- nervous
- muscosketetal
- examination of the abdomen

•Understanding the significance of the results of physiological observations and assessments utilising both objective and subjective data:
•accurate recording of assessment
•requesting of appropriate diagnostics including some interpretation e.g. x-ray, haematological and biochemical indicators
•initiation of therapeutic interventions
•health outcome measures
•care pathways
•care bundles

•Identification of therapeutic interventions related to clinical area
•Issues with polypharmacy and health

•Review current guidance on working with hard to access groups to ensure optimum health for all (DH 2006, Mencap 2006) e.g. mental health clients, people with learning disabilities(PWLD), people with cognitive impairment, asylum seekers, people for whom English is not their first language

•Professional issues related to :
- professional accountability
- responsibility
- record keeping
•Effective and timely referral to the multi-disciplinary team
•Effective and timely communication with patients and families
•Patient/service user empowerment
•Transitional approaches in health - long term conditions, end of life care

•Introduction to clinical practice assessment documentation, to include portfolio structure and completion of clinical practice documentation
- Models of reflection and the reflective process and learning styles
- Models of change
- Evaluating evidence based care
•Improving and enhancing practice

No. 01: Assessment Type: Case Study
  Assessment Marking Scheme: Assessment rule 40%
  Brief Description: 3,000 (+/- 5%) word case study
  Contribution to the module mark: 50% Qualifying Mark: 40
  Apply For Exemption from Anonymous Assessment: Yes
  Optional Detailed Description of Assessment: A case study drawing on a range of holistic health assessments undertaken by the student in the clinical practice setting. There should be a clear identification of the use of new assessment skills, the use of diagnostics, identification of therapeutic interventions and some evidence of working within the wider healthcare team.

No. 02: Assessment Type: Reflective Analysis
  Assessment Marking Scheme: Assessment rule 40%
  Brief Description: 2,000 (+/- 5%) word Critical reflection of the student's professional and clinical develop
  Contribution to the module mark: 50% Qualifying Mark: 40
  Apply For Exemption from Anonymous Assessment: Yes
  Optional Detailed Description of Assessment: A reflective analysis of the students professional and clinical development. Through critical analysis of their own performance, the student will draw upon appropriate theoretical underpinnings to demonstrate integration of theory and practice. The assessment requires the student to evaluate their ability to use evidence based practice to enhance their professional role and service delivery using holistic health assessment knowledge and skills.

No. 03: Assessment Type: Competence
  Assessment Marking Scheme: Assessment rule Pass/Fail
  Brief Description: Competency based assessment of clinical practice
  Contribution to the module mark: 0% Qualifying Mark: 1
  Apply For Exemption from Anonymous Assessment: Yes
  Optional Detailed Description of Assessment: Assessment of clinical competencies will be co-ordinated and supported via a tri-partite approach involving student, clinical mentors and lecturers. The clinical competencies being assessed will be a combination of predetermined and compulsory ones in a range of core essential holistic health assessment skills, alongside some individually negotiated ones. This will enable the student to have an input into the development of their own assessment which reflects their individual learning needs. The student will maintain a portfolio of evidence which demonstrates their achievement of the clinical competencies.

All the assessments relate to the students developing clinical practice and include a Competency Based Assessment of Clinical Practice.