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 session, 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 2017 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 learning objectives (SLOs)

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 NMBA clinical competencies including the ability to communicate in English with patients and staff in the clinical environment (NMBA 5.5)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

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)

Teaching and learning strategies

In this subject, students participate in a range of teaching and learning strategies that are designed to encourage engagement with the nursing care of children and families.

Case studies
In laboratories, students are introduced to a range of case scenarios based on infants, children and young people with different conditions. Cases are used to help students explore family and children's nursing scenarios in clinical or community situations. Students use these scenarios to learn concepts, interpret information, form clinical judgements and develop solutions. Critical thinking is developed through analysis, interpretation of and reflection on issues or situations.

Clinical skills, Communication and Clinical Judgment
Students participate in clinical laboratory sessions that focus on integration of key concepts and skills. In these sessions, students are introduced to a range of skills including assessment and intervention, initially in a task based way, and then increasingly in integrated simulation based activities.

Simulation and Debrief
Use of low and high fidelity simulation will be used to immerse and engage students into several common paediatric nursing scenarios. This format supports and encourages collaborative learning, ctitical analysis, formulation and implementation of interventions and evaluation. Debriefing will be carried out as part of the simulation process to enable reflective learning and reflective practice, and provides opportunities for regular and timely feedback.

Regular Feedback
Facilitated in-class quizzes and interactive critical-thinking based case studies will be used to provide opportunities for students to practice their existing and newly acquired skills, and to identify areas for improvement. Feedback will be provided to ensure students can identify areas for development and areas of sufficient expertise.

Clinical placement
In this subject, students complete 80 hours of clinical placement experience in a range of contexts including acute care settings, child care and child focused developmental disability settings. Students explore infant, child or adolescent growth and development, consider approaches to nursing care that recognise the differences in infants and children and work with teams to develop and consolidate their knowledge, skills and attributes relevant to family and children's nursing.

Lecture and online learning material
Both real-time delivery of content and access to online resources including podcasts, videos and learning modules is provided. In face-to-face lectures students are able to quickly clarify complex descriptions and terminology, and engage with sensitive and confronting topics such as child protection and wellbeing.

Content (topics)

  • 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

Activity sets/key skills addressed in this subject include:

  • Personal care: Nutrition and feeding; Infant feeding; and Infant care and hygiene.
  • Privacy and dignity: Respectful care; Confidentiality; and 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; and Assessment of Fluid balance.
  • Clinical Interventions and Management: Basic life support (mastery); and Oxygen therapy.
  • Promoting self management: Health education and health promotion.
  • Risk and Safety: Hand hygiene; and 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; and 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; and Negotiating care with Patient/client and families.


Assessment task 1: Clinical handover


The critical importance of accurate and timely communication in the clinical setting is recognized as an important factor in quality health care. Communication breakdown has been recognized as a significant contributing factor in up to 70% of sentinel events in Australian health care settings (ACSQHC 2012). The purpose of this assessment item is to enable students to perform clinical handover, receive other student’s clinical handover and to give and receive feedback to peers on their clinical handover technique.

In the first year of the Bachelor of Nursing (BN) program, the focus is on patient assessment. In the second year of the BN program, the focus shifts to episodic care, including communication of nursing care with other health care professionals. Furthermore, second year students must identify priorities for nursing care, plan nursing care, and intervene accordingly. Students are provided with detailed patient information and changing scenarios, and are expected to identify and respond to these changes accordingly.

In this assessment, students are required to prepare and submit an audio recording of a clinical handover for peer review. Students are asked to decipher and select essential information from a case study containing a broad range of data, including important and extraneous information. Students will be required to record a clinical handover (maximum of 2 and ½ minutes) that reflects this important data within the case study and submit to their assigned peer reviewer for marking. Peers will provide constructive feedback as to the handover technique and framework and the transfer of essential data. Lecturers will be auditing a proportion of handovers and the grades awarded, and thus may moderate marks awarded for this assessment item accordingly.


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.


Handovers will be peer-reviewed according to the following marking criteria:

  • Identification of self and patient
  • Clear and concise presentation of situation and background
  • Accuracy of assessment recount
  • Priorities of care are identified and addressed.
  • Clarity of recording
  • Time to complete handover

Assessment task 2: Case Study


In the first year of the Bachelor of Nursing program, two key areas of student learning were assessment and therapeutic intervention in health care and development across of the life span. In second year, the focus moves to episodic care. In this assignment students will draw on their knowledge of assessment and therapeutic intervention relevant to children and child development to plan episodic nursing care of sick children and their families. The purpose of this assessment item is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to plan and organize appropriate nursing care of a sick child and their family, make clinical judgments and demonstrate nursing skills.

For this assessment, students are required to prepare for the in-class case study assessment over several weeks.


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%

Students are allocated the following time periods:

Part A - Written (pre-prepared written section): Relevant content will be released onto UTSOnline in Week 5. This information is used to complete Part A.

Part B - Simulated Patient: Students will spend 50 minutes at the bedside of a simulated unwell patient: to assess the patient and assess and prepare interventions.


Case study responses will be graded according to the criteria below:

  • Part A: Prioritising and planning care for infants and children (20 marks)
    • Priorities for care are appropriate
    • Rationale is clear and logical
    • Assessments and interventions for identified priorities are relevant and based on current practice.
    • Understanding of the development of the infant/child is demonstrated
    • Planned nursing interventions support the development of the infant/child
  • Part B: Nursing assessment, and clinical judgment for infants and children (20 marks)
    • Nursing assessments and/or interventions are accurate and rationale is satisfactory

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 exam time

10 minutes reading time

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

Hockenberry, M. J., & Wilson, D. (eds) 2015, Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children, 10th edn, Elsevier Mosby, St. Louis.

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 and UTSOnline.


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)

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

UTS Library
The Library has a wide range of resources, facilities and services to support you including textbooks, subject readings, old exam papers, academic writing guides, health literature databases, workshops, a gaming room and bookable group study rooms. There is also a team of librarians to help you with all your questions.
W:, Facebook: utslibrary, Twitter: @utslibrary Tel: (02) 9514 3666

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 the UTS Library. Phone (02) 9514 9733

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