PHS100 Introduction to Physiotherapy Clinical Practice (16)

Introduction to Physiotherapy Clinical Practice is the first in a series of subjects utilising a problem based learning pedagogy to develop students' knowledge of, and skills in, physiotherapy practice. Students will progressively integrate and apply acquired theory and practical concepts from foundational biomedical science, and health and rehabilitation subjects, into physiotherapy clinical scenarios.
Foundational physiotherapy concepts and skills, applicable across the breadth of practice settings, are emphasised throughout the subject including: person-focused care; interpersonal communication, legal and ethical principles, clinical reasoning, physical assessment, movement analysis and treatment planning, as it applies to specific clinical cases.
Students will be introduced to people with common pathologies relevant to physiotherapy and will consider the use and application of therapeutic modalities such as therapeutic heat and ice, soft tissue manipulation, exercise prescription, mobility aids, manual handling and education.
Specific learning objectives relating to professional values and cultural and ethical responsibilities will be addressed, including exploration of how privileges affect healthcare delivery and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will include consideration of students' own cultural worldview and how this may impacts healthcare practice.
In this subject the application of physiotherapy skills will explored through a cultural lens.
Students will be introduced to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework, with a focus on a strengths based approach. This will underpin their approach to working with clients.
Health promotion and mental wellbeing within their own practice, will also be embedded in the subject. Students will be introduced to the concept of evidence based physiotherapy and will develop skills in measurement and evaluating outcomes, as well as locating, retrieving and assessing library resources.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Orange Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Orange Campus
Port Macquarie Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHS100. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Community Health

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to gather ideas and information from careful and critical reading, to build the conceptual and factual foundations of physiotherapy
  • be able to plan and apply a physiotherapy assessment using relevant tests, tools and outcome measures across selected clinical scenarios at a foundation level
  • be able to use clinical reasoning processes to explore and explain assessment findings at a foundation level and set goals for client recovery
  • be able to plan and apply safe and effective physiotherapy intervention foundation level case scenarios
  • be able to demonstrate knowledge of the code of conduct, legal obligations, informed consent, and professional behaviour appropriate to physiotherapy practice
  • be able to communicate effectively in written and oral forms with clients and colleagues, in the planning and implementation of physiotherapy
  • be able to reflect upon professional practice and employ feedback to take action to improve knowledge and skills in physiotherapy practice
  • be able to locate, evaluate and use information to develop and guide their own knowledge, learning and practice, and create and deliver presentations to peers
  • be able to collaborate effectively with, and lead, small groups of peers in a professional manner
  • be able to understand your own cultural worldview and how this impact on health care practice
  • be able to understand the social determinants of health and how they impact on Indigenous Australian peoples health care
  • be able to describe the impact of effective communication types, as well as miscommunication, and how this links to health outcomes
  • be able to discuss factors affecting health care and health outcomes for Indigenous Australian peoples and to integrate knowledge


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Scope of physiotherapy practice within Australia; introduction to professional, ethical and evidence based physiotherapy practice
  • Own cultural worldview and implications for health care practice, including the links between effective verbal and non-verbal intercultural communication and health outcomes
  • The concept of privileges and social determinants how this affects health care and health outcomes for Indigenous Australian peoples.
  • The concept of cultural humility as a process of lifelong learning.
  • Frameworks for clinical reasoning
  • Evidence based practice - skills in question formulation and searching for research evidence
  • Applied literacy and numeracy skills
  • Documentation
  • Assessment principles
  • Principles of clinical measurement and outcome measures
  • Physical touch and safe manual handling of patients
  • Appropriate and safe selection of treatment interventions
  • Principles of collaborative SMART goal setting
  • Principles of client education and skills in teaching peers and clients
  • Impacts of common articular conditions upon function and living
  • Introduction to orthopaedics and fracture management
  • Introduction to current theories of pain and pain management

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.