Confirm physical health status

This unit of competency describes a detailed level of knowledge of anatomy and physiology required to confirm physical health status


The application of knowledge and skills described in this competency unit may relate to functions such as providing information to clients or assisting in the provision of health care services

Work at this level may require guidance and/or supervision, especially where provision of direct client services are involved

Some disciplines may require a state/territory regulatory determination regarding delegation and supervision


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Obtain information about physical health status

1.1 Work with a detailed understanding of the structure and functioning of body systems

1.2 Take into account the range of factors that may have impacted on an identified physical condition

1.3 Obtain information through observation and/or questioning to identify any actual or potential problems regarding health status

2. Check physical health status

2.1 Use detailed knowledge of the structure and functioning of body systems to check health status prior to delivering health intervention or service in line with plan of care

2.2 Clarify the significance of physical health status in relation to a particular intervention in line with job role and organisation requirements

2.3 Consult appropriate person to clarify implications and significance of physical health status in the case of uncertainty or limits on own capability or authority

3. Identify variations from normal physical health status

3.1 Identify a range of signs and symptoms of variations from normal health status using standard methods and protocols

3.2 Identify potential factors responsible for significant variations from normal health status

3.3 Identify potential risk factors associated with variations from normal health status

3.4 Recognise and refer potentially serious issues in line with organisation requirements

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes knowledge of:

Common and medical anatomical terminology

Concepts underpinning human anatomy and physiology, including:

levels of structural organisation of body systems

human life processes

homeostasis and the relationship between homeostatic imbalance and disease

Structure, physiology of normal functioning of body systems, including:

cells, tissues and organs

cardiovascular system

respiratory system

musculo-skeletal system

endocrine system

digestive system

urinary system

reproductive system

integumentary system

lymphatic system

nervous system, including sensory systems - eye and ear

the special senses - smell, taste, vision, equilibrium and hearing

immune system

Processes of metabolism, nutrition, body temperature regulation, biological maturation, inheritance and aging

Causes of disease:


inherited genetic conditions

trauma, toxins and other environmental hazards

nutritional factors

degenerative changes in vital organ systems

the loss of normal control mechanisms such as the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells

Defence systems and immunity responses in relation to the whole body and the individual body systems.

Common disorders, problems and complaints associated with each body system and its components, especially where relevant to specific health care services to be provided.

Potential impacts of a range of factors, both internal (such as physical, mental, emotional factors) and external (e.g. in relation to specific health interventions) in relation to identified body systems and their components.

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

This includes the ability to:

Accurately use and articulate medical and/or paramedical terminology related to human anatomy and physiology and associated health issues in the context of providing specific health care services.

Explain in clear language relevant aspects of the structure and functioning of the body systems with particular reference to specific health care services to be provided.

Describe the major components of each body system and their location in relation to other structures.

Explain the principles of functional anatomy in relation to each body system using concepts and principles specific to the nature of particular health care to be provided.

Explain the key factors necessary to healthy functioning of each body system and inter-relationships between body systems needed to maintain overall health.

Explain common problems associated with each body system and its components using terms relevant to specific health care to be provided.

Recognise variations from normal functioning and determine an appropriate response in terms of:

referral to an appropriate medical, nursing or allied health professional

provision of appropriate health care services.

Refer to or seek assistance from an appropriate medical or paramedical authority in relation to variations from normal functioning.

Articulate scope of practice and boundaries for each individual team member

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this competency unit:

Candidates must demonstrate their ability to apply Essential Knowledge identified for this competency unit before undertaking workplace application

This competency unit should be assessed in conjunction with competency unit(s) related to specific health care services (e.g. complementary therapies, enrolled nursing, dental or out-of-hospital care)

Evidence must demonstrate the individual's ability to apply their knowledge within the requirements of an identified aspect of delivering health care or health care support services

Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of workplace situations relevant to an identified work role

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in the health industry should be aware of access and equity issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

Assessment should replicate workplace conditions as far as possible.

Where, for reasons of safety, assessment takes place away from the workplace, simulations should be used to represent workplace conditions as closely as possible.

Simulation assessment should be carried out prior to workplace assessment.

Resources for assessment may include access to materials and space as required to demonstrate competence, such as:

Relevant organisation policies and procedures

Anatomical models, charts and/or diagrams as required to support explanations

Relevant equipment

Workplace and simulated work environment.

Method of assessment may include:

Observation in the work place with questioning to address appropriate application of knowledge

Written assignments/projects

Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice

Questioning - verbal and/or written

Role-play / simulation

Related units:

This unit must be assessed in conjunction with competency units related to assessment of clients for a particular area of health care delivery (e.g. units in assessing clients for care involving complementary therapies, enrolled nursing, dental or ambulance response)

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Major body systems include:

Cardiovascular system

Respiratory system

Musculo-skeletal system

Endocrine system

Nervous system, including sensory system - eye and ear

Digestive system

Urinary system

Reproductive system

Integumentary system

Lymphatic system

The special senses - smell, taste, vision, equilibrium and hearing

Immune system

Common problems to be identified may include:

Cardio vascular problems , such as

congestive cardiac failure

angina pectoris

cardiac arrest


Dental problems, such as:



Digestive system problems, such as:

gastro-intestinal bleeding


Ear health conditions, such as:

otitis media


Endocrine system problems, such as:

diabetes mellitus

Eye problems, such as:




Gastro-intestinal and abdominal conditions, such as:




continued ...

Common problems to be identified may include:

Genitourinary conditions, such as:




prostatic cancer

Integumentary system problems, such as:


open wounds

wound infection

Musculo-skeletal system problems, such as:

soft tissue injury


Nervous system problems, such as:

cerebrovascular accident



Reproductive system problems, such as:

obstetric emergencies

Respiratory system problems, such as:

bronchospasm (asthma and anaphylaxis)

upper respiratory tract infection

Skin condition, infections and wounds, such as:



Factors with potential to impact physical health may include but are not limited to:

External factors, such as:

diet and nutritional factors

use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances

environmental factors impacting health

level and type of physical activity

Internal factors, such as:

inter-relationship between body systems

emotional responses

patterns of thinking

disease process


Organisation requirements may include but are not limited to:

Clinical practice guidelines


Organisation policies and/or procedures

Own capability or authority may include but is not limited to:

Authority to practice

Organisation policies

Observation and/or questioning may depend upon:

Status of client (may be under anaesthetic or even deceased, depending on particular area of practice)

Health history may include:

History of any presenting problem (character, severity and duration of symptoms)

History of any actual or potential problems associated with activities of daily living

Client concerns and beliefs regarding their problems

Past health history, including use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances

Medications being taken


Family circumstances, including identifying environmental health factors that may contribute to client's health issues

Basic dietary information, including diet history to determine food and drink intake

Factors responsible for abnormal readings may include:

Differences in temperature measurements due to a range of internal and external body factors

Effect of exertion and anxiety on pulse rate and blood pressure

Faulty equipment or improper use of equipment

Failure to correctly calibrate equipment

Impact of environmental factors on equipment

Information provided to client may include:

Summary of health assessment findings

Information about potential impact of a range of internal and external factors on health.

Information on likely causes and management of uncomplicated health conditions.

Information on strategies to maintain good health and manage chronic health problems.

Information on specific health issues and available health care services/treatments.


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable