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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 (RN Standards for Practice 1.3; 3.7; 4.3).
B. Understand and explore the experiences of families and children in relation to birth, health and illness (RN Standards for Practice 1.2; 2.3; 4.3; 6.1).
C. Access and analyse the health status of infants and children, including recognition of the sick child (RN Standards for Practice 1.2; 2.7; 2.8; 3.1; 3.5; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3; 5.1; 5.2; 5.3; 6.2; 7.1; 7.2; 7.3).
D. Analyse the legal, ethical, social and cultural issues that arise in the care of children and their families (RN Standards for Practice 1.4; 1.5; 2.5; 2.9).
E. Demonstrate appropriate NMBA clinical competencies including the ability to communicate in English with patients and staff in the clinical environment (RN Standards for Practice 2.2; 6.5).

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.

Preparation Activities
To get the most out of the on-campus sessions, students are expected to complete the programmed pre-learning activities prior to attending class as these activities will form the basis of group discussion/ practical activity that students will engage in during class.

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 Judgement
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 immerse and engage students into several common paediatric nursing scenarios. This format supports and encourages collaborative learning, critical 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)

Families and family life in Australia, including family formation, structure and development and family assessment techniques.

Nursing care of the childbearing and child rearing families including parenting, promoting and maintaining health and wellbeing in children and families, the impact of chronic illness and disability (including spectrum disorders) for families with children.

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:

Personal care: Nutrition and feeding; Infant care and hygiene; Infant feeding; Safety considerations in feeding and personal care of infants and children

Clinical communication and documentation: Application of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard in relation to Clinical Handover; Therapeutic communication; Admission; Care planning; Recording fluid intake/output; Reporting vital signs; Using and maintaining patient records; Communicating clinical reasoning; Interprofessional communication; Negotiating care with children and families; Managing a group of patients/clients

Clinical assessment and monitoring: Application of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard in relation to patient assessment and deterioration; A - G Assessment; Vital signs: TPR & BP; Pulse oximetry; Using a stethoscope; Respiratory assessment; Pain assessment; Recognition of the deteriorating patient; Assessment of fluid balance; Cardiovascular assessment; Blood glucose monitoring; Neurological assessment; Neurovascular assessment; Nutritional assessment

Clinical interventions and management: Oxygen therapy; Rapid Response escalation

Privacy and dignity: Respectful care; Confidentiality; Cultural and transcultural care; Care of the dying/deceased person; Promoting self-management; Health education and health promotion; Consent and Guardianship

Risk and safety: Mandatory Reporting; Application of the National Safety and Quality Health Service in relation to Risk and Safety; Hand hygiene; Infection control

Medications, intravenous therapy and blood products: Application of the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standard in relation to Medication Safety; Safe checking, administration, documentation and disposal of medications; Medication and fluid calculations; Oral medication administration; Other non-parenteral medications


Assessment task 1: Clinical handover


In the second year of the BN program, the focus shifts to episodic patient 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. The critical importance of accurate and timely communication in the clinical setting is recognised 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 for students to develop and perform a clinical handover and to review another student’s clinical handover - critiquing content and technique.


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

C and E

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

3.0 and 4.0

Weight: 10%

Audio recordings must be 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length. Marks are deducted for recordings less than 2 minutes and greater than 2 minutes 45 seconds.


Handovers will be peer-reviewed and marked by a tutor according to the following marking criteria:

- Use of the ISBAR process as per NSW Ministry of Health ISBAR Application for Paediatric Patients

(I) Clear identification of self and patient

(S) Clear, concise and accurate discussion of Situation

(B) Clear, concise and accurate description of Background

(A) Clear, concise and accurate discussion about Assessments

(R) Accurate recount and identification of Priorities and Recommendations for care

  • Clarity of recording
  • Logical approach and evidence of critical analysis
  • Time to complete handove

Assessment task 2: Case Study


The purpose of this assessment item is to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to plan and organise appropriate nursing care of a sick child and their family; make clinical judgments and demonstrate nursing skills


This assessment task addresses subject learning objective(s):

B, C and E

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

2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and 5.0

Weight: 40%

Part A:
The Part A answer sheet has been made using a table format as a Word document. For Part A, please type your answers directly into the provided answer sheet, using sentences and paragraphs. Part A must be referenced (this includes in-text referencing).

Word limit is restricted by the formatting of the Answer sheet, font size and page restrictions:

1. Word limit is restricted by the structure of the Part A table size,

2. This answer sheet must not exceed 6 pages long (One page for the Cover page; 1 page per patient; and 2 pages are available for your reference list*).

3. Use Arial Font, size 11, single spacing.

You are allowed to change the margins slightly, however; none of the original writing can be changed. Unreasonable changes to the margins will be penalised.

*You can use more than two pages for references list if required.

Part B:
For Part B, you will be allocated a 60 minute time slot in your usual laboratory class time. All components of Part B must be completed within this 60 minute time frame.

Students will be notified of their time slot closer to the assessment time. A maximum of approximately 12 students will complete Assessment 2 Part B at any one time, allowing students to have easy access to mannequins and relevant equipment.


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

Part A: Written Component: Prioritising and planning care for infants and children (20 marks)

  • Priorities for care are safe and appropriate
  • Priorities of care are identified through the A - G assessment framework
  • Rationale is clear, logical and references anatomy and disease pathophysiology
  • Assessments and interventions for identified priorities are relevant and based on current practice.
  • Understanding of the development of the infant/child is demonstrated and taken into account when planning nursing care
  • References are relevant and reflect current best practice

Part B: Practical skills demonstration and documentation (20 marks)

  • Priorities for care are safe and appropriate
  • Priorities of care are identified through the A - G assessment framework
  • Rationale is clear, logical and references anatomy and disease pathophysiology
  • Assessments and interventions for identified priorities are relevant and based on current practice.
  • Vital signs performed accurately
  • Intravenous fluid rate and medication mathematics performed accurately
  • Student correctly identifies patient status in relation to escalation framework

Assessment task 3: Examination


Students will complete an examination that assesses understanding of families in contemporary Australia; nursing care of childbearing families and child-rearing families; nursing care of children with common acute illnesses; care of vulnerable families; guardianship; mandatory reporting; consent; and, medication and intravenous fluid calculation.


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 and 5.0

Weight: 50%

100 multiple choice questions

10 minutes reading time

2 hours exam 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, 5.0 and 6.0

Weight: Mandatory task that does not contribute to subject mark

80 hours

Required texts

All reading material will be provided through UTSOnline; however, please consider the information regarding recommended texts.

Provided material includes excerpts from the recommended textbook; NSW Health clinical practice guidelines on the management of children with acute illness; extracts from relevant nursing and related texts; government and hospital 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.

Recommended texts

The following Textbook is used throughout this unit and is recommended as a life-long reference for those students considering paediatric and/or family nursing and/or midwifery. (NB it is not otherwise necessary to purchase this textbook as all reading material is provided on UTSOnline).

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


Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC) 2011, National safety and quality health service standards, ACSQHC, Sydney, viewed 16 January 2017,

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2016), Registered Nurse Standards for Practice, NMBA, Sydney, viewed 20 January 2017,

Other resources

UTS Student Centre
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.