Credit points: 15

Subject outline

In this subject, students will learn how to plan and deliver gold standard veterinary nursing care to medical ward patients with a broad range of serious complex medical conditions. Students will deepen their understanding of the complex disease processes involved, and will apply this knowledge to plan appropriate personalised holistic veterinary nursing care. Students will also be expected to research current best practice in the veterinary literature, and to integrate this evidence into their plans. Supported via a work integrated learning (WIL) placement, students will critically evaluate nursing care delivered to complex medical cases, including methods of communication with clients, colleagues and the general public alike. Students will learn how to plan the delivery of multiple pharmacological agents and how to recognise potential side-effects with complex medication plans. Finally, this subject will enable students to learn how to best educate clients about the management of complex medical conditions, so that pet owners are able to properly manage the in home care of their pets.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAnthony Gendall

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted in SBVN and have passed VET2IAN and VET2PVN.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsSmall animal internal medicine for veterinary technicians and nursesPrescribedMerrill, L (2012)Wiley-Blackwell

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Plan and evaluate the nursing care of complex medical veterinary cases

Students undertake readings and watch videos on a range of complex medical conditions. During the workshops, student teams are given a range of complex medical condition case studies, and together plan the appropriate nursing care of these conditions. Teams then swap their cases and plans, and critically review the plans which other teams developed.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

02. Evaluate the use of a range of diagnostic and therapeutic modalities in the management of veterinary medical patients

Student teams review the diagnostic and therapeutic modalities that have been used in a number of case studies of medical patient management. They aim to pick up any potential errors or risky choices that may have occurred, either from the perspective of the veterinarian overseeing the case, or by the veterinary nurses carrying out the instructions.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Personal and Professional Skills

03. Plan and evaluate the administration of the pharmacological component of a veterinary patient's care

Student teams develop educational materials - including a handout and video for owners on the home care of a complex medical patient. As part of these discharge information and guidance materials, the students need to develop instructions on how to appropriately administer the pharmacological components which have been prescribed by the veterinarian. They also need to consider how to check that the owners are correctly and effectively able to administer these medications.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Personal and Professional Skills

04. Integrate an evidence based approach into veterinary nursing care strategies.

Students undertake literature research and review of a complex medical condition, and write a report summarizing these findings. They then apply their research findings, when developing nursing care strategies for a patient with that condition.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Personal and Professional Skills
Discipline -Specific Knowledge and Skills

05. Create educational materials for clients that are ethical and culturally sensitive.

Students working together in a team, consider what key aspects need to be included in the discharge information and instructions for a patient with a complex medical condition. They then consider how this information can be communicated in a clear and logical manner, using language which is appropriate for clients, and images/video which help to demonstrate required techniques and suggest how to deal with common difficulties. Students produce a handout and video as an assessed activity.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Literacies and Communication Skills
Personal and Professional Skills
Personal and Professional Skills

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2018, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorAnthony Gendall

Class requirements

WorkShop Week: 31 - 43
One 5.0 hours workshop every two weeks on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Placement - Off Site Week: 31 - 43
Six 7.5 hours placement - off site per study period on any day including weekend from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.
"WIL Placement. Roster-dependent."

Unscheduled Online Class Week: 31 - 43
One 1.0 hours unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via online.
"Delivered as reading material, quizzes, video clips."


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
5 x 10 min pre-workshop online quizzes (850 words equivalent)4% each Fortnightly 20 01, 02, 03
1.5 hour written end of semester examination (1500 words equivalent)Held during examination period30 01, 02, 03, 04
1 x 6 min Case Study oral presentation and 1000-word treatment plan (1600 words total)Part a - Students to research and review and report on the current best practice in the treatment and nursing care of a complex small animal medical condition which they have experienced whilst on clinical placement (25%, 1000 words); Part b - Students to discuss and justify the nursing care required based on their research, and to present this in an oral format to the class (15%, 6 minute presentation, 60040 01, 03, 04
1600 word team patient discharge handout (400 words/student total)Student team of 4 students Students to create evidence based educational materials and instructions to present to clients during the discharge of a patient with a complex serious medical condition (10%, 1600 word written handout with 400 words/student), and which they can refer to once they are home (to guide them with the home care management and to help them understand the condition 10 03, 05