Symptom management in advanced disease states
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This unit of study is designed for nurses working in a variety of settings such as general wards, specialist oncology and haematology units, outpatient departments, acute care, palliative care and the community. Content covers symptoms and complications experienced in advanced diseases, including various forms of pain, problems related to respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, wound care and the psychological and cognitive effect on patients. Strategies are explored to develop nursing skills in holistic assessment and planning appropriate evidence based care, such as assessment and management of pain and pain relief strategies. Psychological and social effects of advanced disease on the patient and their family/significant others are examined and appropriate strategies to minimise the effect on the patient’s health and well-being discussed. The physical, psychosocial and cultural aspects of the dying process are explored and the need for self-care and support for nurses addressed.

Symptom management in advanced disease states
Unit of study code 092
Availability Graduate Certificate in Acute Care Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Breast Cancer Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Cancer Nursing

Graduate Certificate in Community and Primary Health Care Nursing

PG single unit of study

Pre-requisite N/A
Fee* Tier 1
Prescribed texts Kuebler, K, Heidrich, D & Esper, P 2007, Palliative and end-of-Life care: Clinical practice guidelines, 2nd edn, Saunders Elsevier, Missouri.
Co-ordinated by Diva Madan


Intended learning outcomes for this subject/program

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

Assessment Tasks
Type of assessment

Note the completed assessment item (e.g. Assessment 1: Online discussion)


(% of total marks)

When assessed – academic week

(e.g. Week 8)

Theme 1: Context of care a) compare and contrast the various strategies and models of care available for managing patients with advanced disease in a range of environments and services Assessment 1: Online discussions  x4 20% 2, 6, 8, 10
Theme 2: Pain b) describe the breadth and complexity of symptoms experienced by patients with advanced disease by reviewing the literature Assessment 2: Short answer essay (1,750 words) 30% 4
Theme 3: Specific symptoms – clinical assessment and management strategies c) identify types of pain and demonstrate understanding of the total pain concept and mechanisms of pain through reviewing and reflecting on current practice Assessment 3: Case analysis (3,000 words) 50% 9
Theme 4: End of life issues d) discuss appropriate management strategies in relation to advanced disease states through analysis of case scenarios and evaluation of clinical assessment findings
Theme 5: Patient, family and carer support e) identify common symptoms of the dying process and discuss appropriate management strategies in the context of individual patient, family and cultural needs
f) discuss the process of loss, grief and bereavement for patients with advanced disease and their carers’ and family
g) demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity towards indigenous and cultural and linguistic diverse (CALD) beliefs and practices
h) reflect on your own values and beliefs in relation to the care of patients with advanced disease
i) assess your ability to communicate with patients experiencing advanced disease states and develop strategies to improve interpersonal skills in patient-nurse relationships.
Tiers2019 Non-member price2019 Member price
(10% discount)
Tier 1$2,165.00$1,948.50
Tier 2$2,475.00$2,227.50
Tier 3$2,915.00$2,623.50
Tier 4$3,475.00$3,127.50

*Fees are subject to change without notice.