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PHTY300 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY301 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy Practice 3 AND PHTY302 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 1 AND PHTY303 Neurological Physiotherapy Practice 2 AND PHTY304 Paediatric Physiotherapy Practice AND PHTY306 Integrated Physiotherapy Practice in Selected Populations AND HLSC220 Health Care Ethics AND ( UNCC300 Justice and Change in a Global World OR PHCC320 The Just Society ) AND PHTY400 Preparation for Physiotherapy Practice

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit enables students to develop an integrated problem-solving approach to assessing and understanding individuals' problems and an ability to apply treatment skills and specific techniques in the clinical setting. Students will be required to manage individuals in specific and a variety of settings in order to be exposed to a range of caseloads, model/s of intervention and service delivery. Students will be prepared to perform clinical practice at a new graduate level according to the Physiotherapy practice thresholds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Demonstrate integration of knowledge, theoretical concepts and skills to inform, justify and implement a safe and effective person-centred physiotherapy management plan (assessment, intervention, evaluation and progression)GC2
LO2Apply critical thinking in developing new understanding in unique clinical settings, demonstrating well developed judgements, adaptability and responses as an entry-level practitionerGC2
LO3Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration with individual clients, carers, professional colleagues and managers, and in multi-disciplinary teamsGC2
LO4Autonomously and continuously evaluate their own performance using reflective practice, developing strategies for ongoing learning and continued professional practiceGC2
LO5Demonstrate professional and ethical behaviours in physiotherapy practice in accordance with Physiotherapy Board of Australia’s Code of conductGC2
LO6Relate a range of socially-determined health issues with how they are experienced by people of a community organisation/sGC2
LO7Reflect critically on personal and professional behaviours, and how community engagement experiences have extended your understanding of the importance of respecting the dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights of peopleGC2


Students’ clinical experience will involve working in a variety of settings (inpatient, outpatient and community), with different funding and service models (public, private), locations (metropolitan, regional, rural, international), and serve a variety of populations, people from different socio-economic status including Indigenous and vulnerable people from marginalized groups. 

Students will undertake three compulsory clinical placements: Musculoskeletal Outpatients; Neurology; Cardiorespiratory. 

Students will undertake three other clinical placements (subject to availability). Examples of other placements offered include but are not limited to: Paediatrics, Gerontology, Women’s Health, Occupational Health, Musculoskeletal Inpatients, Burns and Plastics, Rheumatology, Intensive Care Unit, Psychiatry, Hand Clinic, Disability Services, Spinal Unit or Community Physiotherapy. Successful completion of a specific compulsory clinical placement may be a pre-requisite for some of these placements. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Each clinical placement (unit) is 5 weeks in duration, during which students undertake supervised clinical practice including both direct (patient/client) and non-direct (administration) clinical care. In addition to supervised clinical practice students are expected to reflect on their clinical practice and, contribute to workplace activities as required. Other learning and teaching strategies may include directed independent and simulation learning activities. 

Students will also develop reflective skills through considering their personal growth and development from community engagement experience/s. 

PHTY402 Physiotherapy Clinical Practice 1 is the first of a series of six professional practice placement units (PHTY402, 403, 404, 405, 406, 407) completed in 4th year of the Physiotherapy course. PHTY402 is offered to students either off-campus at a designated health facility or on-campus using a simulation-based learning experience. Both offerings are delivered via attendance mode. The on-campus simulated clinical unit is comprised of different weekly case-based scenarios and standardised patient presentations across four key clinical areas of Musculoskeletal, Cardiorespiratory, Palliative Care and Vocational Rehabilitation.

At the completion of all Year 4 clinical placements students will have accrued sufficient quality and quantity of clinical education to achieve competence as an entry level physiotherapy graduate to be eligible for registration with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).

Assessment strategy and rationale

Student performance on each clinical placement will be assessed using the Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice (APP) tool or modified APP rubric if completing PHTY402 simulated clinical unit. These assessment approaches are used by the majority of Physiotherapy programs in Australia and New Zealand and addresses the requirements of the Physiotherapy Practice Thresholds in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The PHTY402 simulated clinical unit is comprised of different weekly case-based scenarios and standardised patient presentations across four key clinical areas (Musculoskeletal, Cardiorespiratory, Palliative Care and Vocational Rehabilitation) and this format means that assessment of longitudinal performance across 5 weeks in one focused clinical area is not feasible. In order to appropriately assess all unit learning outcomes, modification of the current assessment tasks is required. A modified assessment rubric based on the APP instrument will be used to provide regular formative feedback on required clinical competencies during the simulated unit and also to assess overall clinical competency through the Viva assessment task completed at the end of the simulated clinical placement. In addition, the vocational rehabilitation area will be assessed through submission of a report using an industry-based template.

Overview of assessments

PHTY402-407 Supervised Clinical Placement

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Community engagement reflective journal

(Only required for one clinical unit when completing Community Engagement as part of the placement)


LO6, LO7

Evaluation of clinical performance (APP) 



LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Evaluation of clinical performance (APP) 



LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Egan, L., Butcher, J., & Ralph, K. (2008). Hope as a basis for understanding the benefits and possibilities of community engagement. Strathfield, NSW: The Institute for Advancing Community Engagement, Australian Catholic University .

Hoekema, D. (2010) Is there an ethicist in the house? How can we tell? in Kiss, E, Euben, J. P. Eds. 2010 Debating Moral Education: Rethinking the Role of the Modern University.

Howard A, Rawsthorne, M (2019) Everyday community practice: principles and practice. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.

MacLaren, D. (2008). Towards a more just world: The social mission of the church and new Catholic approaches.  Alexandria, NSW: Australian Catholic Social Justice Council. 

Moore T, McDonald M, McHugh-Dillon H, West S (2016) Community engagement: a key strategy for improving outcomes for Australian families.,on%20mutual%20trust%20and%20respect.

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