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PHTY91-410: Principles of Physiotherapy


This subject will establish a platform for the remaining subjects in the program.  Students will be introduced to the principles and practice of problem based learning and will develop an understanding of effective strategies for life-long learning.  Historical and contemporary health care and health workforce issues will be discussed with reference to individual, local, national and international perspectives.  Professional standards and ethics, and medico-legal responsibilities of physiotherapists will be explored.  Students will develop an understanding of the generic physiotherapy approaches to preventative care and management of clients in order to  maximise outcomes.  Communication skills relevant to health practitioners will be developed and practised, and a client-centred approach to practice will be emphasised whilst students develop an awareness of cultural differences.  An evidence based approach to physiotherapy practice will be introduced and skills relevant to locating, evaluating and applying pertinent clinical evidence to client assessment and management will be developed.  Students will review and advance their anatomical and physiological knowledge relevant to physiotherapy clients, and the role of pharmacology in patient management.  Clinical areas of workplace health and safety, manual handling, infection control and clinical record keeping will be discussed and appropriate clinical skills developed.  The role of the physiotherapist in primary health care and future challenges of extended scope practice will be explored.  There will be an emphasis throughout this subject on physiotherapy management across the lifespan encouraging respect for individuality and diversity.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Health Sciences & Medicine
Study areas
  • Health Sciences
Subject fees
  • Commencing in 2020: $10,920

Learning outcomes

1. Produce learning outcomes following a problem based learning model
2. Describe the historical development of the physiotherapy profession in Australia and the context of contemporary physiotherapy practice in Australia and other parts of the world
3. Apply ethical and legal allied health practices relevant to a physiotherapist
4. Derive the quality of an information source using the principles of evidence based practice
5. Apply Allied Health workplace health and safety measures (notably infection control and manual handling), when dealing with clients
6. Relate the roles and responsibilities of health professionals in the Australian health care system with specific regard to physiotherapists
7. Distinguish the anatomy of the body systems with particular emphasis on the musculo-skeletal, cardio-vascular, respiratory and neurological systems and apply anatomical knowledge to principles of physiotherapy assessment
8. Summarise the processes that occur in human tissue with respect to healing and repair
9. Explain the basic mechanisms of action of pharmacological agents and the changes in function that result following their introduction
10. Apply communication skills and a subjective examination to obtain a client history
11. Apply the International Classification of Function, Disability and Health framework to given patient scenarios
12. Discuss the acquisition and modification of movement skills
13. Analyse the posture and gait of a client and distinguish the various cycles and measures of gait
14. Select and perform physiotherapy measurement procedures to assess joint and muscle range of motion and muscle strength
15. Select and perform basic physiotherapy massage / soft tissue manipulation techniques on a client safely and effectively
16. Apply basic manual therapy techniques on a client safely and effectively
17. Outline the concepts governing, and application of, hydrotherapy / aquatic physiotherapy as a treatment option
18. Apply electrotherapy modality theory and demonstrate its use on a client safely and effectively
19. Propose and perform the appropriate method of supporting a body segment safely and effectively
20. Compare variations in anatomical, physiological, cognitive and biomechanics associated with age across the lifespan

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?
  • Study Abroad Students

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.