Units: Physiotherapy

PHTY101 Anatomy & Physiology of the Neuromusculoskeletal System A
This unit allows students the opportunity to gain a detailed appreciation of the structure (anatomy) and function (physiology, including biomechanics) of the human body and the interrelationships at the organismal, system, organ, tissue, cellular and chemical levels of structural organisation within the nervous, muscular, connective tissue (including skeletal and articular) and epithelial systems. Emphasis is on bones and bony features, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons, collagenous fascia, nerves, arteries and veins, of the lower limb and vertebral column. Structure and function of the organs of the abdominopelvic cavity are also considered. The interaction between sensation, spinal reflexes, integration and control within the neuromusculoskeletal systems in the production of complex movement is investigated. Students will use various learning methods: cadaveric prosections; electronic media; models; texts/atlases; and medical imaging. Practical application of anatomical knowledge is reinforced by biomechanical analysis of functional activities/movements/postures. Students build on theoretical knowledge by participating in weekly surface anatomy laboratories, developing advanced skills in clinical application of knowledge. The intimate relationship that exists between structure and function at various levels of structural organisation is the underlying theme throughout the unit.

PHTY102 Anatomy and Physiology of the Neuromusculoskeletal System B
This unit allows students the opportunity to gain a detailed appreciation of the structure (anatomy) and function (physiology, including biomechanics) of the human head and neck, upper limb, thorax and nervous system. Emphasis is on bones and bony features, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons, collagenous fascia, nerves and nervous tissue, arteries and veins. The structure, course and distribution of cranial nerves and the brachial plexus and its nerves are studied in detail. Functional implications of lesions at specific locations within this neural tissue are critically appraised, as are those caused by loss (through, for example, neurotrauma or pathology) of specific parts of the central nervous system. Students will use various learning methods: cadaveric prosections; electronic media; models; texts/atlases; and medical imaging. Practical application of anatomical knowledge is reinforced by biomechanical analysis of functional activities/movements/postures, particularly those related to the upper limb and the nervous system. Students also build on theoretical knowledge by participating in weekly surface anatomy laboratories, thus developing advanced skills in clinical application of knowledge. The intimate relationship that exists between structure and function at various levels of structural organisation is the underlying theme throughout the unit.

PHTY111 Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice
This unit is aimed at introducing students to the concept of a profession. Issues such as patients’/clients’ rights, ethics and professionalism are included. The concept of disability is introduced.  The unit aims to facilitate those entering a “helping” profession to develop their ability to empathise, and to crystallise their role in the provision of health care.  Formal tuition in verbal and non-verbal communication is included. The concept of “individual differences” is explored. Basic terminology used in the description of human movement is covered.  Students are introduced to simple movement observation and analysis.  Soft tissue manipulation using therapeutic massage is covered in this unit as a foundation for developing competency in tissue palpation, manual handling and therapeutic intervention. 

PHTY122 Movement Sciences for Physiotherapy
Pre-requisite: Foundations of Physiotherapy Practice
This unit is aimed at providing the student with a foundational knowledge of movement analysis, exercise prescription and intervention. The importance of kinesiological and biomechanical knowledge in understanding normal human movement is emphasised. Topics covered include: observation, assessment, measurement and analysis of functional tasks; identification of impairments contributing to abnormal movement performance; principles behind accurate and effective exercise prescription and intervention. The unit will focus on the development of movement analysis skills to optimise exercise as a means of improving strength, power, endurance, muscle length and skill acquisition. The knowledge and skills developed in this unit contribute to forming the basis of physiotherapy diagnosis and treatment.

PHTY123 Soft Tissue Injury Management
The unit will assist students in gaining knowledge and understanding of the principles of physiotherapy management of soft tissue injuries.  Following an introduction to the patho-physiology of soft tissue injury and recovery, students will focus on the diagnosis and management of soft tissue injuries exploring the principles of manual therapy, exercise therapy and the use of physical and electrophysical agents (EPA) in physiotherapy. 

Fostering a clinical reasoning approach, students will be presented with case studies of soft tissue injuries and encouraged to formulate manage plans adopting the principles outlined above.  Students will be provided with the opportunity to experience and apply the different management techniques used by physiotherapists, thus enhancing their practical skills in a small group practical learning environment. The concepts learnt in this unit will be re-visited, in context, in all other components of the curriculum.

PHTY201 Biomechanics in Rehabilitation
Pre-Requisites: PHTY101, PHTY102, PHTY111, PHTY122
This unit provides a continuation of previous study of the anatomy of the neuromusculoskeletal system with a focus on biomechanics related to injury and rehabilitation. The mechanical properties of collagenous tissues, bone, ligament, tendon and muscle are examined and related to the principles of physiotherapy management of disorders of these tissues. The assessment and implications of neuromuscular biomechanics is examined with the biomechanics of human gait in health and disease further extended from previous material in PHTY122 Movement Sciences for Physiotherapy.

PHTY202 Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapy Sciences 1
Pre-Requisites: PHTY101, PHTY102, BMS103, SS125
This unit will examine the structure and function of the cardiorespiratory system. Content includes normal anatomy of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, electrophysiology of the heart, measurement and assessment of cardiac and respiratory function, the principles of physics relating to blood flow, respiration and cardiorespiratory investigations, the mechanisms of ventilation, gas exchange and oxygen carriage in the lungs, at the periphery and at a cellular level, acid-base homeostasis, mechanisms of action of endogenous messengers and drugs on the cardiac and respiratory systems, mechanisms of blood pressure control and its disturbance. The control, regulation and responses of the cardiorespiratory system in resting states and as a consequence of exercise and diseased conditions will be discussed. There will be an introduction to cardiorespiratory assessment and basic cardiorespiratory physiotherapy treatment techniques during the unit.

PHTY204 Research Methods for Physiotherapists
The unit is offered to familiarise students with basic research principles, reviewing both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This course will give a practical introduction to data analysis and report writing using a statistical computer program.  The unit aims to develop skills in the application of statistical computing methodology using the statistical computing software SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and statistical thinking to the stages of the scientific investigative process.

PHTY210 Physiotherapy: An Applied Science
Pre-Requisites: PHTY111, PHTY122
This unit aims to develop the concept of physiotherapists as applied movement scientists. This process will be facilitated by introducing the student to the process of deducing clinical implications from theoretical and data base material. Students will be exposed to key theoretical information and the integration of this information into clinical practice will be highlighted. In addition, students will gain insight into the physical, psychological and social influences on movement dysfunction and how these interact and manifest as illness behaviours. Rationales for physiotherapy management of movement dysfunction are considered along with the clinical reasoning process and principles of treatment selection. This knowledge forms the beginnings of clinical competencies in the assessment, diagnosis and clinical management of individuals presenting with movement problems. The unit will also provide students with a basic understanding of the conservative and surgical management of arthritis, fractures and common orthopaedic conditions and procedures Unit material is presented to students in three streams.

PHTY211 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (Lower Limb)
Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of PHTY102, PHTY122, PHTY123 and BMS103
Co requisites: PHTY212, PHTY213, PHTY214

This unit is dedicated to musculoskeletal pathologies of the lower limb. The unit will provide students with knowledge and understanding of lower limb musculoskeletal pathologies, the physical manifestations of such problems, the clinical reasoning process in clinical assessment and diagnosis, physiotherapy treatment options and rationales for treatment selection. Skills will be developed in biomechanical analysis of static and dynamic postures (e.g. gait), neural examination, joint examination, specific ligamentous stress testing, muscle length and performance, and examination of other specific structures. Specific needs associated with sport, work, other repetitive use and inflammatory and degenerative conditions will be explored. Students will develop the communication and practical skills needed to: competently assess, and safely and effectively treat clients with lower limb musculoskeletal disorders; predict and evaluate outcomes; and develop programs for the prevention of injury or re-injury to the lower limb.

PHTY212 Clinical Orthopaedics
Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of PHTY102, PHTY122, PHTY123 and BMS103
Co-requisites: PHTY211, PHTY213, PHTY214

This unit introduces the concepts underpinning contemporary models of health and how to assess, document and apply a clinical reasoning process to achieve optimal outcomes with clients. These skills will be learned within the context of common orthopaedic inpatient conditions and burns/lower limb amputation. Students will gain knowledge of the pathophysiology, assessment and management of these conditions. The pathology and implications for management of a range of presentations will be covered and will include fracture and fracture management, joint replacement, soft tissue repair, inflammatory arthritides, burns and amputation rehabilitation strategies. Students will consider both theoretical aspects behind these presentations as well practical classes in which techniques and goals in management of these presentations will be investigated.

PHTY213 Medical Sciences
Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of PHTY102, PHTY122, PHTY123 and BMS103.
Co requisites: All units in the semester of study in accordance with the Course Regulations for the Bachelor of Physiotherapy or Bachelor of Physiotherapy/Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science.

This unit builds upon the foundational concepts of pathology, injury, tissue healing and repair. It provides students with detailed knowledge of the pathology underlying various conditions commonly encountered by physiotherapists. Areas addressed will include the constructs of disease; inflammation; soft tissue, muscular and bony trauma; joint pathology; infection and infectious diseases; pulmonary and circulatory disturbances; pathological basis of brain trauma and disease; atrophy and hypertrophy of muscles; metabolic disease; neoplasia and pathology of old age. It also provides students with understanding with respect to physiotherapy of areas of the medical sciences that are integral to the management of many pathologies; namely pharmacology and radiology.

PHTY214 Applied Neuroscience
Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of PHTY102, PHTY122, PHTY123 and BMS103.
Co-requisites: PHTY211, PHTY212, PHTY213

This unit aims to develop physiotherapists as movement scientists. This process will be facilitated by introducing the student to the process of deducing clinical implications from theoretical and clinical database material. Students will be exposed to key theoretical information in the neurosciences and the integration of this information into clinical practice. In addition, students will gain insight into the physical, psychological and social influences on pain and movement dysfunction and how these interact and manifest as illness behaviours. The rationales for physiotherapy management of pain and movement dysfunction are considered along with the clinical reasoning process and principles of treatment selection. This knowledge forms the beginnings of expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and clinical management of individuals presenting with pain and movement problems.

PHTY221 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (Upper Limb)
Pre-Requisites: Successful completion of PHTY202, PHTY211, PHTY212, PHTY213 and PHTY214
Co requisites: PHTY204, PHTY223, PHTY224

The unit will provide students with knowledge and understanding of upper limb musculoskeletal pathologies, the clinical reasoning process in clinical assessment and diagnosis, physiotherapy treatment options and rationales for treatment selection. Skills will be developed in static and dynamic biomechanical analysis, neural examination, joint examination, specific ligamentous stress testing, muscle length and performance, and examination of other specific structures. Specific needs associated with sport, work, other repetitive use and inflammatory and degenerative conditions will be explored. Students will develop the communication and practical skills needed to competently, safely and effectively assess and treat clients with upper limb musculoskeletal disorders, burns or following hand surgery or orthopaedic surgery; to predict and evaluate outcomes and to develop programs for the prevention of injury or re-injury to the upper limb.

PHTY223 Physiotherapy in Gerontology and Gender Health
Pre-Requisites: At least one year of Physiotherapy Program
This unit involves two separate modules in gerontology and gender health.

The Gerontology module will provide the student with knowledge and understanding of the functional implications of the ageing process and common pathologies associated with ageing. It will develop skills in physiotherapy assessment and management of the older client across areas of practice, including acute, community and long term care. The student will examine personal attitudes to ageing and older people.

Gender Health – this module will develop students’ knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of physiotherapy in relation to conditions that are unique to women (pregnancy and childbirth), more common in women (pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence, osteoporosis), more serious in women (breast oncology) or require special management in women (pelvic oncology). The presentation and physiotherapeutic management of pelvic floor dysfunction, pelvic oncology and osteoporosis in the male population will also be considered along with a study of the role of exercise through life in both genders.

PHTY224 Clinical Education 1
Pre-Requisites: All academic content up to Year 2, Semester 2
This unit will provide an opportunity for students to develop a broad understanding of the provision of physiotherapy services in a variety of health care settings.  Students may work with a range of clients across the lifespan in this unit and will undertake clinical practice in acute, rehabilitation and community sectors of the health care system, which may include the private sector.   Students will develop physiotherapy competencies that flow from integration of knowledge and the application of problem solving strategies and technical skills in the management of a wide range of clinical problems where physiotherapy intervention is appropriate.  Communication development and modelling of appropriate professional behaviour is an integral part of this unit.  In addition, the emphasis of the clinical placement is on assisting students to develop aspects of physiotherapy assessment, clinical reasoning skills, treatment planning, and implementation and record keeping, along with evaluation of outcomes appropriate to the specific area of practice.

PHTY311 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (Spinal 1)
Pre-Requisite: At least two years Physiotherapy coursework
This unit will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the musculoskeletal problems of the lumbar spine and pelvis. The lecture content will introduce students to the problem of low back pain and its impact on the individual. There will be a comprehensive overview of the low back pain experience and an introduction to the different presentations seen in clinical practice using a physiotherapy specific clinical reasoning model. The practical classes will integrate this information and equip the students with the skills necessary to comprehensively assess and manage mechanical lumbopelvic pain problems as well as develop programs for promotion of good musculoskeletal health. Assessment skills will include effective communication and questioning, biomechanical analyses of static and dynamic postures, regional and segmental joint examination, examination of the nervous system, assessment of muscle and motor control and evaluation of the psychosocial aspects of the low back pain experience. In addition the specialty areas of work related low back pain, ergonomics and manual handling will be explored in both lectures and practical classes. The multidisciplinary nature of care of lumbar spine disorders will be discussed and the physiotherapist’s role and responsibilities in the health care team will be explored. 

PHTY313 Physiotherapy in Paediatrics
Pre-Requisites: At least two years Physiotherapy coursework
This unit will provide the student with core knowledge of neurosensory motor development of posture and movement from infancy through childhood, as well as the most common abnormalities in the neurological, cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal systems associated with compromised movement or function experienced by infants, children and adolescents.The student will develop basic skills in neurodevelopmental assessment, intervention and management of acute and lifelong childhood disability.

PHTY314 Rehabilitation for the Neurosciences
Pre-Requisites: At least two years Physiotherapy coursework
This unit will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of assessment procedures and treatment techniques used in the physiotherapy management of individuals with neurological impairment.  Principles of both acute management and rehabilitation of the client with neurological impairment will be studied. Skills in assessment, analysis, problem solving, treatment planning, and handling skills, along with an understanding of outcome measurements will be developed. Students will develop specific knowledge of a variety of neurological disorders.  Specific impairments will be defined and studied and the treatment principles of these impairments reviewed along with current clinical practise and evidence based on research.  An awareness of the role of other members of the health care team will also be fostered

PHTY321 Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy (Spinal II)
Pre-Requisites: At least two years Physiotherapy coursework
The course will provide students with knowledge and understanding of the musculoskeletal problems of the cervical spine, thoracic spine and craniomandibular region. This will include the physical manifestations of upper quadrant spinal dysfunction, differential diagnosis within this region, the clinical reasoning, assessment and diagnostic processes relevant to the region, and physiotherapy treatment options and rationales. Specific information, including biomechanical analyses of static and dynamic postures of the upper quadrant, cervical and thoracic segmental joint examination, examination of the nervous system and examination of muscle and motor control will be covered for the cervical and thoracic spines and craniomandibular systems.  In addition, specific needs of specialty areas of work and ergonomics, sport, overuse, poor use and inflammatory and degenerative conditions will be explored, as will be behavioural issues of chronic cervical pain. Students will develop the communication and practical skills needed to competently assess and safely and effectively treat clients with cervical, thoracic and craniomandibular disorders, to predict and evaluate outcomes as well as develop programs for promotion of good musculoskeletal health for the prevention of injury or the prevention of recurrence of injury to the cervical and thoracic spines. The multidisciplinary nature of care of disorders will be discussed and the physiotherapist’s role and responsibilities in the health care team will be explored.

PHTY325 Cardiorespiratory Sciences II
Pre-Requisites: At least two years Physiotherapy coursework
This unit will provide students with essential knowledge and skills in the area of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy to underpin preparation for clinical practice. Clinical reasoning, evidence-based and problem-based learning strategies will assist the student with development to entry level competency standard. This unit which builds on the introduction to cardiorespiratory assessment and basic cardiorespiratory physiotherapy treatment techniques, which were the focus of the PHTY202 unit.

PHTY326 Clinical Education II
Pre-Requisites: All academic content up to Semester 2, Year 3
This unit will provide an opportunity for students to further develop the application of their clinical knowledge and skills in the provision of physiotherapy services within a variety of health care settings. The unit builds on the knowledge, attributes and competencies gained across all previous theoretical and clinical education units.  Supervised clinical placements occur in acute, rehabilitation and community sectors of the health care system, which may include the private sector.  Students will further develop physiotherapy competencies that flow from integration of knowledge and the application of problem solving strategies and technical skills in the management of a wide range of clinical problems for which physiotherapy intervention is appropriate.  Communication development and modelling of appropriate professional behaviour is an integral part of this unit.  In addition, the emphasis of the clinical placement is on assisting students to develop aspects of physiotherapy assessment, clinical reasoning skills, treatment planning, and implementation and record keeping, along with evaluation of outcomes appropriate to the specific area of practice.

PHTY412 Clinical Education III
Pre-requisites: Successful completion of all academic content of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programme in Year 3
The unit aims to provide students with core competencies in the physiotherapy clinical management of patients presenting within a wide range of community based/primary care settings or specialist settings in a secondary or tertiary hospital. Under supervised practice in these clinical settings students will use evidence based practice to further develop skills in professional communication, clinical assessment, clinical reasoning, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation aligned with the expectations of a new graduate under the Australian Standards for Physiotherapy. The requirement exists to integrate all relevant knowledge and skills from the earlier years of the undergraduate program so extension can occur. The course promotes caring attitudes and facilitates the development of ethical and professional behaviours necessary for effective practice as a physiotherapy clinician.

PHTY422 Clinical Education IV
Pre-requisites: Successful completion of all academic content of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programme in Year 3
The unit aims to provide students with core competencies in the physiotherapy clinical management of patients presenting within a wide range of community based/primary care settings or specialist settings in a secondary or tertiary hospital. Under supervised practice in these clinical settings students will use evidence based practice to further develop skills in professional communication, clinical assessment, clinical reasoning, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation aligned with the expectations of a new graduate under the Australian Standards for Physiotherapy. The requirement exists to integrate all relevant knowledge and skills from the earlier years of the undergraduate program so extension can occur. The course promotes caring attitudes and facilitates the development of ethical and professional behaviours necessary for effective practice as a physiotherapy clinician.

PHTY432 Clinical Education V
Pre-requisites: Successful completion of all academic content of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programme in Year 3
The unit aims to provide students with core competencies in the physiotherapy clinical management of patients presenting within a wide range of community based/primary care settings or specialist settings in a secondary or tertiary hospital. Under supervised practice in these clinical settings students will use evidence based practice to further develop skills in professional communication, clinical assessment, clinical reasoning, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation aligned with the expectations of a new graduate under the Australian Standards for Physiotherapy. The requirement exists to integrate all relevant knowledge and skills from the earlier years of the undergraduate program so extension can occur. The course promotes caring attitudes and facilitates the development of ethical and professional behaviours necessary for effective practice as a physiotherapy clinician.

PHTY442 Clinical Education VI
Pre-requisites: Successful completion of all academic content of the Bachelor of Physiotherapy Programme in Year 3
The unit aims to provide students with core competencies in the physiotherapy clinical management of patients presenting within a wide range of community based/primary care settings or specialist settings in a secondary or tertiary hospital. Under supervised practice in these clinical settings students will use evidence based practice to further develop skills in professional communication, clinical assessment, clinical reasoning, treatment planning, intervention and evaluation aligned with the expectations of a new graduate under the Australian Standards for Physiotherapy. The requirement exists to integrate all relevant knowledge and skills from the earlier years of the undergraduate program so extension can occur. The course promotes caring attitudes and facilitates the development of ethical and professional behaviours necessary for effective practice as a physiotherapy clinician.

PHTY452 Complex Cases and Professional Issues
Pre-Requisites: All academic content up to Semester 2, Year 4
The aim of this unit of study is to enable students to develop their skills in analysing and planning the management of clients with complex and/or multi-system problems. Students are required to integrate material from the core areas of musculoskeletal, cardiorespiratory, neurological physiotherapy and physiotherapy across the lifespan.  The unit involves in-depth discussion of a small number of studies in tutorial/practical sessions.  Case studies will be developed to accommodate the wide range of complex cases encountered in clinical practice.  It will be an opportunity for students to debrief after their intensive clinical education program and to expand their knowledge and skills in targeted areas. In addition, issues related to medical ethics, complex medico-legal cases and other professional issues of interest to the students will be addressed.