The Clinical Skills collection is designed to develop student’s practical nursing and communication skills. The collection was developed in conjunction with both a nurse educator and a registered, practising NZ nurse.
The following textbooks were consulted during development:
- Dempsey, Hillage and Hill's Fundamentals of Nursing and Midwifery (a textbook primarily for AUS and NZ students)
- Farrell and Dempsey's Textbook of Medical-Surgical Nursing
- Docherty and McCallum's Foundation Clinical Nursing Skills
Module structure and estimated time to complete lessons
Each module contains 3 lessons: Preparation, Practice, and Quiz. As written, we estimate ~3 hours of student learning per module.
Preparation lesson (Independent learning, ~1.5 hours)
- Students learn the background information related to each skill. Includes video demonstrations of the skill.
Practice lesson (Face-to-face, assisted group learning, ~1 hour)
- Contains one or more scenarios related to key skills. Also includes questions based on the Gibbs reflection cycle. Each scenario includes a checklist for the critical observer and downloadable charts.
Quiz lesson (Independent learning, <30 minutes)
- 10 automatically-graded questions that assess the key learning points of the module.
In this module students learn the value of early warning score (EWS) systems and how these are calculated. They also practice using genograms and ecomaps to assess families. They watch a demonstration of using the COLDSPA symptom assessment tool, and practice these skills in a lab-setting.
Clinical Measurements I
In this module students learn how to measure and record height, weight, blood glucose level, and test urine samples. They also learn how these measurements relate to health. The students watch demonstrations of these skills and then practice them in a lab-setting.
Clinical Measurements II
In this module students learn about complete neurological examinations and “neuro obs”. They learn how to assess cranial nerve function, reflexes, motor function, sensory function, and loss of consciousness. They watch a demonstration of a neurological assessment and practice these skills in a scenario. Practice questions are included for students to test their knowledge of Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score calculations.
In this stand-alone resource students learn about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and choking. They watch demonstrations of the CPR procedures used to treat adults, infants, and neonates, and learn about the different ways life support is provided to neonates at home and hospital births. They also watch demonstrations of how to treat choking in both adults and children.
Fluid and Nutrition
In this module students are introduced to nutrition and how this relates to health. They learn how to perform a nutritional assessment and how to assist someone with their nutritional needs. They also learn about fluid balance and practice documenting a person’s intake on a fluid balance chart. The students then practice these skills in the lab-setting.
Health History and General Survey
In this module students learn how to use therapeutic communication interview techniques to assess a person’s health history. They learn the difference between subjective and objective data, and the importance of informed consent. They watch an example of taking a patient’s health history and general survey, then use a template to practice these skills for themselves in six different scenarios.
In this module students learn about the concept of health literacy, which factors contribute to health literacy, and the consequences of poor health literacy. They will be introduced to some tools they can use to assess a person’s health literacy, and will watch these skills in action in a pregnancy-related scenario.
Health Promotion and Community Nursing
In this module students are introduced to the concept of health promotion and community assessment. They learn about primary health care and the different concepts of family. They prepare a foot, or windshield, survey, then complete this in a community setting.
Hygiene and Personal Care
In this module students learn the importance of personal hygiene and which factors can influence a person’s personal hygiene. They learn techniques for assisting someone with their personal cares, and will practice this skill for themselves after watching a demonstration. They also learn the importance of back rubs and how to change the linens of an occupied bed.
Medication Administration I
In this module students are introduced to their responsibilities in preparing and administering medications. They learn about the “three checks” and “five rights” of medication administration, as well as adverse effects, medication orders, medication errors, and educating people about medications. They watch a demonstration of administering liquid medication, and will practice this skill in a scenario. There are many dosage calculation questions for students to practice this skill, also.
Medication Administration II
In this module students learn their role and responsibilities for administering injectable medications. They watch demonstrations of calculating dosages, preparing, and administering medications via subcutaneous and intramuscular injections. They then practice these skills in two different scenarios.
In this module students learn about the physiology of respiration and how to perform a respiratory assessment. They are introduced to different oxygen delivery devices and associated precautions. They watch demonstrations on how to change a regulator on an oxygen tank, and how to apply oxygen to a breathless patient. They will then practice how to administer oxygen therapy safely in a scenario.
In this module students learn the importance of peripheral assessments and how to perform assessments of the arms, legs, diabetic feet, and how to document their findings. They also learn how these assessments relate to peripheral vascular disease, and arterial and venous insufficiency. The students watch examples of these assessments on an elderly woman including how to apply TED stockings, and then practice these skills in a scenario.
In this module students learn how they can promote patient comfort. They learn about the importance of sleep and rest, and how to change the linens of an unoccupied bed. They compare and contrast examples of two patient comfort interventions, and how to document these interventions. They then practice promoting patient comfort in a scenario.
In this module students learn about the importance of safety in nursing, and what steps they can take to ensure their safety. They learn about needlestick safety, infection control, and falls prevention. They also watch demonstrations on hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE), then practice these skills in the lab environment.
In this module students learn about the principles of infection, asepsis, and aseptic technique. They also learn about health care-associated infections and how these can be prevented. They watch demonstrations of how to set up, maintain, and dispose of a sterile field, then practice these skills in a scenario.
In this module students learn how to assess elimination and how to promote regular bowel health. They watch demonstrations of how to assist someone with their elimination needs and the associated standard precautions required. Students learn the importance of patient safety and dignity. They then practice these skills in two different scenarios.
In this module students learn about the different methods of communication and how to establish therapeutic relationships with their patients. They also learn about informed consent and how to communicate professionally. They then practice their communication skills in five different scenarios.
In this module students learn about the physiology behind heart rate, respiration rate, blood pressure, and temperature. They watch demonstrations of how to measure and document these vital signs, then practice these skills on each other, and in a scenario.