Assessment of the older person | Australian College of Nursing

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Assessment of the older person

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This unit of study takes a case study approach to clinical assessment to promote a better understanding of the ageing process, theories of ageing and changes in physiology. It is designed to provide the student with the skills and knowledge that will be needed to effectively assess older people. This unit of study includes methods of clinical assessment for older people, evaluation of a variety of assessment tools and the interpretation and integration of assessment findings relevant to care. This unit of study encourages the student to look at the older person in their clinical setting by critically examining their practice and the assessment tools they currently use, reflecting on their current knowledge and skills related to the assessment of older people, and referring to current literature and best practice models to critically evaluate current clinical practice.

Assessment of the older person

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing 

Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Orthopaedic Nursing

PG unit of study





Fee*Tier 2

Prescribed text:

Meiner, SE (ed) 2011, Gerontologic nursing, 4th edn, Elsevier Mosby, Missouri.

Co-ordinated by: Trish Lowe MACN



Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program


After completing this subject, the learner will be able to:-

Assessment Tasks

Type of assessment

Not the completed assessment item. E.g. Assessment 1. Online discussion 


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Introduction to clinical assessment

a) Analyse and discuss normal ageing and the associated physiological changes that occur and apply this knowledge to the interpretation of clinical assessment findings

Assessment 1 Online discussions x 2



Theme 2: Case study 1

b) Differentiate normal ageing processes from abnormal pathology in the interpretation of clinical assessment findings

Assessment 2 Reflective essay (2000 words)



Theme 3: Case study 2

c) Analyse the current theories of ageing and discuss the implications of each of the major theories for the assessment and management of the older person

Assessment 3 Case analysis (2500 words)



Theme 4: Case Study 3

d) Describe methods of clinical assessment and apply them to clinical practice




Theme 5: Case study 4

e) Critically analyse the use of clinical assessment tools in gathering data to make informed decision in relation to nursing care





f) Critically reflect on EBP in relation to current literature and evidence in assessing and planning care for the older person





g) Demonstrate ability to identify and analyse health risks and problems that require ongoing management from a comprehensive clinical assessment of an older person




Units commencing in 2018

Tier 1$2,100
Tier 2$2,420
Tier 3$2,800
Tier 4$3,375

*Fees are subject to change without notice.