POPLPRAC 722 : Symptom Management in Palliative Care

Medical and Health Sciences

2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Assessment and management of pain, nausea and vomiting, respiratory symptoms, delirium, and other symptoms commonly encountered in palliative care and at the end of life, together with an overview of palliative care emergencies, the role of radiotherapy in symptom management, and issues around nutrition and hydration at the end of life.

Course Overview

This course is one of four core courses in the postgraduate Palliative Care specialisation. Due to its strong focus on clinical pain and symptom management it is specifically aimed towards clinically based health professionals who work with patients living with life threatening disease and those who are dying e.g palliative care nurses, aged-care nurses, GPs etc. The overall aim of the course is to provide students with a good understanding the principles of palliative care, and of the key issues around the assessment and management of common symptoms within this population. The course seeks to assist students to become effective advocates for palliative care and symptom management in their respective areas of practice. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

Course Director; Dr. Elaine Rogers, Email: es.rogers@auckland.ac.nz
Professional Teaching Fellow; Dr. Oleg Kiriaev, Email: o.kiriaev@auckland.ac.nz

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Health Sciences

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an ability to effectively manage pain using a recognised holistic palliative care approach when reviewing and writing up a clinical case. (Capability 1.2)
  2. Evaluate and critically reflect on care and treatment with regard to a patient case. (Capability 2.1)
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and application of current best practice and treatment options for common symptoms within the palliative care population. (Capability 3.1)
  4. Demonstrate the application of an holistic palliative care assessment mode, leading to a recognised treatment, and best practice decision. (Capability 4.2)
  5. Evaluate nd critically reflect on his or her own personal and/or professional role and practice with regard to a patient case. (Capability 5.1)
  6. Demonstrate appropriate application of cultural safety within your practice. (Capability 6.2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Case Studies 10% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 15% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 20% Individual Coursework
Case Studies 25% Individual Coursework
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Case Studies
Case Studies
Case Studies
Case Studies

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 8-10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect a block of two and half days of lectures, 8-10 hours per week of reading and thinking about the content and work on assignments.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including participating in an interactive clinical case to complete components of the course.
Lectures will NOT be available as recordings. Other learning activities including powerpoint presentations will be available.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Other Information

Where possible, visiting lecturers are invited to discuss specific topics.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

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