VSC450 Clinical Practice 3 (8)

Clinical Practice 3 extends the development of practical clinical skills, clinical reasoning skills professional skills, knowledge and attitudes for the fifth year veterinary student, leading the student to a level of competence which is satisfactory for entering Phase 3 of the program, and performing at a junior intern standard in extramural veterinary practices, under supervision. Students will further develop knowledge and skills in surgical, anaesthetic, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures with small animals, horses, cattle and sheep, including surgical obstetric procedures of the bovine. Students will continue their intramural clinical rotations through the University's veterinary clinics and through visits to local sheep, beef and dairy farms.

Students will complete five weeks of Clinical Extra Mural Studies (CEMS 2) and one week of compulsory ABEMS in an abattoir and will complete a report which will also contribute to the final grade of the subject. A professional portfolio of professional activities is maintained .


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: VSC450. 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 Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science
Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Honours)
Bachelor of Veterinary Science



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to competently perform a clinical examination, identify and interpret deviations from normal and create professionally appropriate and legally acceptable clinical records
  • be able to select, perform, interpret, document and report on a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in companion and production animals.
  • be able to design, implement, monitor, modify, document and justify choices for anaesthesia and pain management in the clinical setting, including pre-, intra- and post-operative care at a novice level, and including in patients with complex needs
  • be able to describe and interpret the significance of normal and abnormal findings in various diagnostic imaging modalities in a variety of species and integrate with other clinical information.
  • be able to integrate novice level clinical reasoning and decision-making with practical skills under supervision in routine and emergency settings. Diagnose and manage/ treat common and uncommon medical conditions (emergent, non-emergent and critical) in a clinical setting.
  • be able to appropriately and professionally plan and perform selected routine aseptic and field surgical procedures, including pre-, intra- and post-operative care
  • be able to display consistently professional behaviour and professional communication skills with clients, staff and other students in clinical workplaces and in practical classes.
  • be able to display an emerging ability to articulate clinical reasoning and relationships between theory and practice in the clinical workplace.
  • be able to identify and discuss risk minimisation relating to public health associated with the processing of food products of animal origin in an abattoir
  • be able to demonstrate and describe the progression of a case in a veterinary hospital, being mindful of legal, client and patient considerations for case progression.
  • be able to demonstrate appropriate time management and organisational skills to permit completion of clinical and assessment responsibilities


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The prescribed number of weeks of Clinical Extramural Studies (for CEMS-2), conducted in vacation time, following the guidelines published in the School's CEMS handbook
  • One week of Abattoir Extramural Studies (ABEMS), following the guidelines published in the School's ABEMS handbook
  • Surgery workshops including orthopaedic and soft tissue surgery
  • Small animal clinical practice
  • Reproduction and obstetrics
  • Caesarean Section of a Bovine
  • Equine clinical practice
  • Bovine clinical practice, including herd health management
  • Ovine clinical practice, including flock health management
  • Anaesthesiology and intensive care (EMST)
  • Bovine teat surgery

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of VSC450 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 %
Equine internal rotation 2
Small animal internal rotation 2
Farm animal internal rotation 2
Dairy internal rotation 2
Anaesthesia internal rotation
Surgery workshops
Cems 2 reports
Abems report
Final exam

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 30 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

The WPL component of this subject involves 5 weeks of Clinical Extra Mural Studies (CEMS 2) at different veterinary practices of the students choice across Australia and overseas and follows 4 weeks of CEMS 1 and precedes 3 weeks of CEMS 3 in Phase 3. There are restrictions on the type of practice. Students must contact the placement and organise suitable dates, complete a Placement Request Form which enables the Placements Officer to contact the Practice and send documents relating to the student's level of knowledge, OH & S requirements and assessment forms.

Abattoir Extra Mural Studies (ABEMS) comprises one week of abattoir placement with the on-plant veterinarian where students learn about the role of the veterinarian in carcass evaluation for disease and suitability for human consumption. The School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences maintains a data base of suitable and accredited abattoirs from which students are able to select a placement.

CEMS 2 and ABEMS are part of the compulsory Clinical Extra Mural Studies component required of all veterinary science courses in Australia and New Zealand.

Special Resources

All veterinary science students are immunised for Q Fever in First Year as a requirement of the course. There are a very small number of students who, for medical reasons, have not been immunised. These students are provided with extra biosecurity personal protective equipment where appropriate.

Students must make their own travel arrangements to the CEMS placements (which are self chosen) and to the ABEMS placement (which is arranged by the School), as well as organise their own accommodation at these placements.

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.