PHS301 Acute Care Physiotherapy Practice (8)

Students completing this subject will develop knowledge and skills required for physiotherapy practice in acute care settings. Assessment, clinical reasoning and practical skills relevant to the physiotherapy management of health problems affecting individuals admitted to acute care settings such as hospitals, will be addressed. Additionally, students will evaluate the experience of a client in accessing and utilising health care services. A major component of this subject will address core competencies expected of entry-level practice in the specialist area of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice. Students enrolling in this subject are expected to have achieved a substantive level of background knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the cardiorespiratory system, and foundation levels of knowledge of physiotherapy practice.


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

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHS301. 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



One session


School of Community Health

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Physiotherapy and Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to plan and apply a range of physiotherapy assessment and evaluation techniques using tests, tools and outcome measures relevant to cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice
  • be able to demonstrate and articulate sound clinical reasoning processes which explore, explain and analyse assessment findings
  • be able to plan and apply safe and effective physiotherapy intervention for cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice
  • be able to demonstrate professional behaviour appropriate to cardiorespiratory physiotherapy practice
  • be able to communicate effectively to involve the client and relevant others in the planning and implementation of acute care physiotherapy
  • be able to reflect on professional practice to determine the actions they need to undertake to continually improve; to recognise situations outside their competence; and to take timely and appropriate action
  • be able to collaborate effectively with peers to critically evaluate information and derive recommendations for the target client group, using the best available evidence


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Cardiorespiratory anatomy, pathophysiology and function
  • Characteristics of physiotherapy in acute care settings
  • Conducting a cardiorespiratory physiotherapy assessment
  • Obtaining and interpreting supplementary clinical information available in the acute care settings including chest x-rays, medication charts, ECGs, auscultation and arterial blood gases
  • Application of physiotherapy skills in the assessment and management of diseases, and dysfunction of the cardiorespiratory system for adults and children
  • Common presentations and pathology of common cardiorespiratory disorders
  • Clinical reasoning in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy
  • Identifying goals of physiotherapy and physiotherapy intervention strategies as relevant to cardiorespiratory physiotherapy
  • Legal and ethical requirements of acute care practice
  • Evidence-based practice in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHS301 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Module 1 theory exam
Group presentation - recommendations for practice
Objective structured clinical examination (osce)

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.