Cardiorespiratory clinical practice

Thank you Clinical educators for choosing a student from our course. The emphasis of this subject is the application of clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice in the safe and effective assessment and management of individuals with acute and chronic cardiorespiratory conditions in the clinical setting. Students will be provided with opportunities to integrate knowledge and skills in communication, advocacy and education, working as a health professional within a team and with individuals, and with their carers, respecting their rights and choices within the the healthcare setting.

General health in clinics:

Please advise your students of your clinic's policies and procedures regarding Health professionals health whilst in clinics. It is important that they do not transmit any infectious conditions to the patients. When students are at the clinic and if they have a common communicable disease, e.g. chicken pox they must follow the medical advice and policies of the clinic. The students are expected to notify their clinical supervisor ASAP and provide a medical certificate where appropriate. If the student contracts gastroenteritis, it is a health requirement that they are 48 hours symptom free prior to returning to the clinics (or university).

Learning needs:

The Continuous Clinical Assessment Learning Needs form is designed to help you reflect on and identify your own learning needs. There is a copy of this form available for download on the LMS. It encourages students to consider their strengths and weaknesses and to identify the way in which they learn. This is not an assessment form rather a tool to be used to assist students and their supervisor in planning the most advantageous learning experience for you. It is encouraged that students will make time in their first week of the clinical placement to complete their learning needs forms with their clinical supervisor. A copy of the learning needs forms can be found on the LMS and will be included in your manual.


Students must receive a passing mark ( greater than or equal to 50 percent) for both clinical (70 percent) and theoretical (30 percent) components of the assessment in order to pass the subject.

  • Continuous clinical assessment

    The Assessment of Physiotherapy Practice tool is the standardised marking criteria for all clinical streams. The APP is a 20-item instrument tool covering seven domains - professional behaviour, communication, assessment, analysis and planning, intervention, evidence-based practice, and risk management. Non-exhaustive performance indicators accompany each item to guide student learning and provide educators with examples of unambiguous descriptions of observable behaviours that indicate professional practice competence. The domains and their items have been mapped to current Australian Standards for Physiotherapy Practice aligning assessment with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for registration as a physiotherapist. Students are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the APP and assessment criteria. A copy of the full APP form has been included in the manual and you will be given access to the APP linkup which is an electronic version of the APP.

  • Case presentation

    Specific clinics may have additional guidelines as to information to include in the case presentation. Students are advised to check with their supervisors. Below is a list of suggestions for inclusion:

    • Introduction to and information regarding the presenting pathology
    • Medical and pharmacological management (an overview, not minute details)
    • Surgical procedure (where appropriate)
    • Knowledge and interpretation of special investigations
    • Organising and use of X-rays (where appropriate/available)
    • Physiotherapy management

    The case presentation assessment form will be available in the following format -

    Case presentation assessment form

    The student must be aware of maintaining confidentiality at all times.

    Audiovisual and PowerPoint presentations are encouraged.

Risk management:

As a physiotherapist, it is important that we take care of our own health and well-being. It is therefore important that we take into account the activities that we do in our professional practice that have the potential to cause injuries to the therapist while working.

As our work primarily involves moving and handling people it is imperative that students have a comprehensive understanding of normal human movement and the type of movement dysfunction associated with a variety of pathologies. This knowledge will enable students to identify, assess and modify/eliminate risk when working with patients.

Physiotherapists are at risk of injuries to their backs and thumbs in particular through the nature of their work. It is essential that we take a risk management approach to our work.

Problem lists:

During the clinical placement the student will be required to conduct a patient assessment, analyse  assessment findings in view of pathophysiology and evidence based practice, prioritise cardiorespiratory problems and select appropriate forms of intervention to manage these problems. Many students have found that problem lists assist in this process and further enhance their learning.

Students are encouraged to complete problem lists on a regular basis throughout the clinic and to submit them to their clinical supervisors. The frequency of submission of problem lists and level of detail required will vary across different clinics; therefore students should discuss expectations regarding problem lists with their supervisors early in the clinic.



Need Help?

Aiden Smart
Subject Co-ordinator
Dr Selina Parry
Subject Co-ordinator
Dr Debbie Virtue
Clinical Placements Co-ordinator