Continence management | Australian College of Nursing

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Continence management

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Urinary and faecal incontinence affect many patients across the age span; therefore, nurses working across a diversity of practice settings require an understanding of continence management to sensitively plan and implement care. This unit of study identifies key aspects of continence management and addresses myths and barriers, relevant anatomy, physiology and function, assessment, causes and types of incontinence, management, appliances and aids, and community resources. Students are referred to current literature and best practice models to critically evaluate current clinical practice. Clinical placement should occur between weeks 4 & 8 of each term.

Continence Management

Unit of study code



Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Aged Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Stomal Therapy Nursing 

PG unit of study





Fee*Tier 4

Clinical Placement Requirements

There is a compulsory 40 hours clinical placement for this unit of study. Each state and territory has its own documentation requirements. Any costs associated with clinical placement obtaining the correct documentation, uniform and travel costs are the student’s responsibility.

Prescribed texts:

Getliffe, K & Dolman, M (eds) 2007, Promoting continence. A clinical research resource, 3rd edn, Baillière Tindall, London.

Norton, C & Chelvanayagam, S (eds) 2004, Bowel continence nursing, Beaconsfield Publishing Ltd, Beaconsfield UK.

Co-ordinated by: Kath Sharples 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: Anatomy and physiology

a) Examine and reflect upon both personal and societal attitudes to incontinence and how they impact on the nursing care of clients experiencing incontinence

Assessment 1a Quiz

Assessment 1b Quiz

Assessment 1c Short answer essay (600 words)







Theme 2: Epidemiology

b) Describe normal anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems and apply this knowledge to clinical assessment findings

Assessment 2 Case analysis (2000 words)



Theme 3: Types and causes of incontinence

c) Examine continence assessment tools and evaluate their use in clinical practice

Assessment 3 Reflective essay (1500 words)



Theme 4: Assessment

d) Evaluate psychosocial issues relating to urinary and faecal incontinence to provide individualized care




Theme 5: Barriers to seeking help

e) Develop a collaborative problem solving approach to provide holistic evidence based nursing care




Theme 6: Education

d) Critically analyse current nursing practices and treatments for incontinence against current literature and evidence based practice guidelines.




Units commencing or have commenced in 2017

Tier 1$2,035
Tier 2$2,345
Tier 3$2,725
Tier 4$3,275

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.