University of Technology, Sydney

Staff directory | Webmail | Maps | Newsroom | What's on

92319 Family and Children's Nursing

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular semester, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2015 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Health
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 92024 Medical Surgical Nursing (Graduate Entry) OR 92314 Assessment and Therapeutics in Health Care 2
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject contributes to the student's understanding of families and aspects of family life in contemporary Australian society. Health promotion and primary health care within a family context, family formation and structure, as well as cross-cultural understandings of the family are highlighted. This subject explores nursing issues related to the child bearing family, which include an examination of the family in crisis, parenting styles and the impact of development disability. Key acute and chronic health issues in children and adolescents are a major focus of this subject and child protection, child abuse and neglect, and guardianship issues are covered in the context of children at risk. This subject enables students to develop the personal, professional and intellectual attributes, along with the technical knowledge, required to work with children and families.

Subject objectives

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
A. Understand and explore the concept of family in contemporary Australian society (NMBA 5)
B. Understand and explore the experiences of families and children in relation to birth, health and illness (NMBA 5)
C. Access and analyse the health status of infants and children, including recognition of the sick child (NMBA 5)
D. Analyse the legal, ethical, social and cultural issues that arise in the care of children and their families (NMBA 2)
E. Demonstrate appropriate ANMC clinical competencies including the ability to communicate in English with patients and staff in the clinical environment (NMBA 5.5)

This subject also contributes specifically to the following graduate attributes:

  • Embody a professional disposition committed to excellence, equity and sustainability (1.0)
  • Engage in person-centred care that is appropriately sensitive to the needs of individuals, families and communities (2.0)
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively and respectfully with diverse groups (3.0)
  • Inquire critically to assess a body of evidence to inform practice (4.0)
  • Competently apply knowledge and skills to ensure safe and effective nursing practice (5.0)
  • Demonstrate professional cultural competency which contributes to the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, inclusive of physical, social, emotional and spiritual wellness (6.0)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject will extend students ability to search for and use evidence. Students will learn to synthesise key ideas from the literature and to apply that literature to a nursing context in their assignments. Students will write in ways that are appropriate for different purposes and contexts and will read and produce a range of texts for professional and scholarly purposes. Students will use online discussion forums to foster group communication and learning. Specific communication skills for caring for children and families will be introduced.

Activity sets/key skills addressed in this subject

Personal care:
Nutrition and feeding
Infant feeding
Infant care and hygiene

Privacy and dignity:
Respectful care
Cultural and transcultural care

Clinical Assessment and monitoring:
Vital signs: TPR BP
Using a stethoscope
Pain assessment
Respiratory assessment
Pulse oximetry
Recognition of the deteriorating patient
Assessment of Fluid balance

Clinical Interventions and Management:
*Basic life support
Oxygen therapy

Promoting self management
Health education and health promotion

Risk and Safety:
Hand hygiene
Infection control

Medications, intravenous therapy and blood products
Safe checking, administration, documentation and disposal of medications
Medication and fluid calculations
Oral medication administration
Other non-parenteral medications
Intravenous therapy
Intravenous injections
Promoting self management of medications

Clinical communication and documentation
Clinical handover
Care planning
Reporting care
Reporting vital signs
Recording fluid intake and output
Recording fluid intake output
Using and maintaining patient records
Multidisciplinary communication
Negotiating care with Patient/client and families

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject will be delivered in modular/topic based format using a combination of face to face tutorial and laboratory sessions including simulation, lectures face to face, podcasts, online discussion tutorials and clinical practice experience.

Lecture: 2 hour per week x 10 weeks blended
Laboratory/workshop: 2 hours per week x10 weeks


  • Understanding of families and aspects of family life in contemporary Australia: health promotion and primary health care for families; family in contemporary Australia; family formation, structure and development; family assessment techniques
  • Nursing care of the childbearing family families in crisis; parenting of children; maintaining health and wellbeing in children and families; the impact of developmental and acquired disability on the family
  • Recognition of the sick child: key acute and chronic health issues for children, adolescents and families (preventable illness/injury and chronic illness), planning care, communicating with health care professionals, children and families
  • Children at risk and vulnerable families: child protection; child abuse and neglect, consent and assent to treatment, guardianship; mental health issues


Assessment task 1: Clinical handover


In this assessment item, students have the opportunity to decipher and select essential information from a case study containing a broad range of data.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):


Weight: 10%

The recording must be no longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Assessment task 2: Case Study


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

3.0 and 5.0

Weight: 40%

Assessment task 3: Examination


Students will complete an examination that assesses understanding of families in contemporary Australia, nursing care of childbearing families and childrearing families, disability, vulnerable families and family based assessment.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C and D

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

2.0, 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: 50%

2 hours.

Assessment task 4: Clinical Assessment


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

A, B, C, D and E

This assessment task contributes to the development of graduate attribute(s):

1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Weight: Mandatory task that does not contribute to subject mark

Required texts

Fraser, J., Waters, D., Forster, E. & Brown, N. (eds) 2014, Paediatric nursing in Australia. Principles for practice, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.

Recommended texts

In addition to the textbook, a selection of readings related to the content areas will be made available to students. These will include NSW Health clinical practice guidelines on the management of children with acute illness, extracts from relevant nursing and related texts, government policy documents and discussion papers, and peer reviewed journal articles that address the major content areas. Students will be able to access these documents online via UTS Library.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013, Australian social trends, ABS, Canberra, viewed June 5th 2013,

Australian Government 2008, Families in Australia, DPMC, Canberra, viewed 23rd June 2009, <>

Australian Government 2008, Making progress: the health, development and wellbeing of Australia's children and young people, AIHW, Canberra, viewed 17th February 2009,

Australian Government 2009, A picture of Australia's children, AIFS, Canberra, viewed 30th June 2009,

Australian Government 2009, State of Australia’s Young People, DEERW, Canberra, viewed 22 March 2010, economic_health_and_family_lives_of_young_people.pdf

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council 2006, National competency standards for the registered nurse, ANMC, Canberra.

Franck, L. S. & Callery, P. 2004, 'Re-thinking family-centred care across the continuum of children's healthcare', Child Care, Health and Development, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 265-77.

Fraser, J., Waters, D., Forster, E. & Brown, N. (eds) 2014, Paediatric nursing in Australia. Principles for practice, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.

Garling, P. 2008, Final report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Acute Care Services in New South Wales Public Hospitals 2008, NSW Government, Sydney, viewed 1st December 2008,$file/E_Overview.pdf

Kaakinen, J.R. et al (eds.) 2010, Family health care nursing: Theory, practice and research, F.A. Davis Co., Philadelphia

Murray, S., McKinney, E. & Gorrie, T. 2006, Foundations of maternal-newborn nursing, Elsevier Saunders, St. Louis.

New South Wales Health 2011, Recognition of a sick child in emergency departments, NSW Government, Sydney, viewed 23rd January 2012,

Nystrom, K. & Ohrling, K. 2004, 'Parenthood experiences during the child’s first year: literature review', Journal of Advanced Nursing, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 319-330.

Sandall, J., Devane, D., Soltani, H., Hatem, M. & Gates, S. 2010, 'Improving quality and safety in maternity care: The contribution of midwife-led care', Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, vol. 55, no. 3, pp.255-61.

Shields, L., Pratt, J., Davis, L. M. & Hunter, J. 2007, 'Family-centred care for children in hospital', Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, vol. 3.

Tanner, C. A. 2006, 'Thinking like a nurse: A research-based model of clinical judgment in nursing', Journal of Nursing Education, vol. 45, no. 6, pp. 204-11.

Tanner, L., Agius, K. & Darbyshire, P. 2004, 'Sometimes they run away, that's how scared they feel: the paediatric hospitalisation experiences of Indigenous families from remote areas of Australia', Contemporary Nurse, vol. 18, no. 1-2, pp. 3-17.

World Health Organisation 2008, Child and adolescent health and development: data, statistics and epidemiology, WHO, Geneva, viewed 16th February 2009, <>

Wright, L.M. & Leahey, M. 2009, Nurses and families: A guide to family assessment and intervention, 5th edn, F.A. Davis, Philadelphia.

Other resources

UTS Student Centres

Building 10
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm
Tel: 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887)

Details for student centres:
For other resources/information refer to the Faculty of Health website (, the Health Student Guide ( and UTSOnline at:

Improve your academic and English language skills
Marks for all assessment tasks such as assignments and examinations are given not only for what you write but also for how you write. If you would like the opportunity to improve your academic and English language skills, make an appointment with the HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support) Service in Student Services.

HELPS (Higher Education Language & Presentation Support)
HELPS provides assistance with English language proficiency and academic language. Students who need to develop their written and/or spoken English should make use of the free services offered by HELPS, including academic language workshops, vacation intensive courses, drop-in consultations, individual appointments and Conversations@UTS ( HELPS staff are also available for drop-in consultations at both City and Kuring-gai Libraries. Phone (02) 9514 9733

Please see for additional information on other resources provided to students by UTS.