Covering the Ins and Outs of Aboriginal Primary Healthcare

Our wide range of modules cover everything that’s essential for healthcare professionals, but we go one better too. On top of compulsory education, we offer modules designed to feed the curiosity of employees, so they learn more, develop their skills, and fulfil their potential.

See All Our Topics in a Snapshot

We understand you have to be sure we offer what you need before signing up, so we’ve laid bare all the subjects covered by our modules. Look at everything your employees can learn with AMSED below, and if there’s anything you can’t find our experts are on hand to help.



Peritonitis is inflammation of the peritoneal membrane, which is usually the result of an infection. It is a common and a potentially life-threatening complication of peritoneal dialysis.

It is essential that Aboriginal health practitioners and workers, and nurses understand the risk factors for peritonitis and how it may be prevented. This module discusses risks, prevention strategies, signs and symptoms, and treatment options for peritonitis.

This module is for all clinicians who care for patients in an Aboriginal health service undergoing peritoneal dialysis for their renal disease.

Elder abuse happens in all communities and is on the rise in Australia. It is far more common than people think or acknowledge.

It can be a single act or can be repeated. It can be neglecting to do something that ought to be done and it can be deliberate or unintentional.

This module provides training on what elder abuse is, the main forms it takes, and what the appropriate response is.

Who is this module for?

Everyone working in an Aboriginal health service requires annual training on working with vulnerable people.

This module is targeted at those requiring core learning in elder abuse. There is an advanced module for those who are directly involved in the delivery of client care services to older clients (for example, nurses, doctors, Aboriginal health practitioners, managers).

People who this module may be appropriate for are:

  • Some program workers
  • Receptionists
  • Administration or corporate service staff
  • Drivers
  • Environmental health workers
  • Gardeners and cleaners

If you work in direct client care or are a clinician or manager, please consider undertaking the advanced module.

Elder abuse is often defined as:

‘…an intentional single or repeated act, or a lack of appropriate action, occurring within a relationship where trust is expected or implied, that causes or creates a risk of harm or distress for an older person’ (WHO 2008). 

It is far more common that what has often been acknowledged.

This module provides training on what elder abuse is, the main forms it takes, the risk factors for elder abuse, its identification, and the initial response expected from those working in an Aboriginal health service who identify or suspect elder abuse. It discusses the principles that underpin prevention and response strategies and identifies some of the reasons the rate of elder abuse is likely to increase.

Who is this module for?

Everyone working in an Aboriginal health service requires annual training on working with vulnerable people. This module is targeted at those who provide direct client care to older people. There is a shorter module available ‘Elder abuse – core learning’. The core learning module is for all those working at the AMS who do not provide direct care to older people. People who this module may be appropriate for are:

  • Clinicians including doctors, nurses, Aboriginal health workers.
  • Allied health professionals.
  • Those working in programs that are directed at older people (for example HACC/NDIS workers although consider the core module for some workers as a starting point).
  • Counsellors and social and emotional team members who may, as part of their role, provide services to older people.
  • Managers – managers and team leaders of clinical care areas or programs directed at older people.
  • Senior managers and CEOs – who all require advanced knowledge of elder abuse.

Participants should choose one Elder abuse module – not both. Choose either:

  • Elder abuse – Core learning.
  • Elder abuse – Advanced learning.

This is a long module. Participants may exit the module and recommence where you left off anytime.

Volatile substances release fumes at room temperature. These include products such as petrol, paint, and glue. A large number of volatile substances are readily available, affordable, and easy to use. Misuse occurs when the fumes are deliberately inhaled to achieve intoxication.

Volatile substance use typically occurs in young adolescents engaged in short-term or occasional experimental use and marginalised young people who tend to be longer-term habitual users. There is no safe level of volatile substance use, which can have devastating effects on the health of users. Impacts also extend to the family and the wider community, often causing disruption disproportionate to the number of users. There are no medications available to treat inhalant dependence, with acute management consisting largely of monitoring, supportive, and symptomatic care.

It is important that all those working with at-risk groups, understand the impact of volatile substance use.

It is equally necessary to be able to recognise signs of possible substance misuse. Coordinated, early intervention responses may assist in minimising the harm to individuals, the spread of use through a community and the subsequent, sometimes devasting effects of volatile substance use on an entire community. This module is aimed at anyone working in an Aboriginal health service who provides care to those at risk or who are misusing volatile substances.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is very prevalent in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, especially those in rural and remote areas.

Many Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS) patients will eventually require treatment for end-stage kidney disease.

Treatment options include kidney transplant, dialysis and/or supportive care. If dialysis is required, it may be performed at a renal unit or at home. Home dialysis is beneficial because it promotes independence and quality of life.

It is particularly useful for those who live in rural and remote areas, as they can return home faster from distant renal centres.

While home dialysis is usually self-managed, support from AMS staff may help to improve outcomes and quality of life for patients and families.

This module provides an overview of home dialysis. It aims to provide the clinical information required to support patients and families on home dialysis.

This module provides details on the steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of exposure to bloodborne viruses associated with the use of needles and other sharps.

It provides information on the immediate steps to take when an occupational exposure occurs. It then discusses the management protocols for an occupational exposure to bloodborne viruses.

This module is aimed at all clinical and non-clinical employees of an Aboriginal health service who are required to use needles and sharps in their work, or handle used needles and sharps.

Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It has several presentations, the most common being acute otitis media, with or without perforation of the eardrum. Other forms include recurrent acute otitis media, chronic suppurative otitis media, and otitis media with effusion, which can be either episodic or persistent.

Otitis media is most common in early childhood but can also occur in adults. This module covers the assessment and management of the various forms of otitis media in the primary care setting. Given the prevalence of otitis media in Aboriginal people, there will be circumstances where individualised and tailored approaches to treatment and care are required to meet the patient’s needs. This module, where appropriate, identifies specific treatment and care recommendations for Aboriginal communities.

This module is especially relevant to nurses, child health nurses, Aboriginal health care practitioners and any allied health professional providing clinical care to children.

Smoking is a major challenge for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. It is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population and more than 50% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children live with a daily smoker, which leads to secondhand smoke exposure. Despite government funding and a range of programs underway to support quitting, there is still limited evidence to determine what works for people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

We do know that support for quitting smoking needs to be comprehensive and include multiple culturally appropriate interventions, targeted to the individual smoker. Given the challenges of quitting smoking, many health practitioners wonder what they can do to help.

The following module will offer useful tips to help motivate others to quit smoking, and information about a range of quit smoking interventions like brief interventions, social media and marketing, group support, medications, and quitlines.

Evidence supports the view that reviews, recalls, and reminders play an important role in reducing the risk of harm to patients and in preventative healthcare. They increase the rate of attendance for appointments and follow-up care. Routine follow-up through reviews, recalls, and reminders can have a significant impact on the health, well-being, and decision making of patients and families.

Healthcare standards require all healthcare providers to have in place effective systems for reviews, recalls, and reminders. There are numerous published research articles, conceptual frameworks and theories that discuss and confirm the effectiveness of these methods in improving health outcomes.

Yet, evidence has shown that recall and reminder systems, while effective when used properly, are often underutilised or misused leading to loss of efficiencies and failure to achieve the desired outcomes – getting the patient to attend.

The purpose of this module is to help staff understand the general principles of follow-up in clinic settings and identify their role in ensuring effective follow-up is part of routine practice. It is aimed at all those involved (or who should be involved) in patient reviews, recalls, and reminders.

Open disclosure is about openly discussing with patients, their family, carers and other support persons, incidents that result in harm to a patient while receiving health care.

Since 2003 all Australian governments have endorsed a policy of open disclosure in health care. Open disclosure is part of standard 1 of the Australian Quality and Safety Commission’s National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. In December 2013, the Australian Quality and Safety Commission released the Australian Open Disclosure Framework. All Australian governments and numerous health profession bodies have endorsed the Framework. The Framework was introduced for the purpose of providing consistency across all health services in the country, not just those requiring accreditation pursuant to the NSQHS standards.

What this means is that The Australian Open Disclosure Framework is intended for use by all health services in Australia including Aboriginal community controlled health services.

This module discusses the framework and sets out the steps to take when an incident occurs that causes harm to a patient.

What is required of each individual within the health service will depend on the role of the individual. What is required of clinicians involved in an incident, as well as requirements for managers and CEOs is outlined. Links are provided to important documents that should be referenced when an incident occurs.

The module is aimed at all clinicians and managers within an Aboriginal health service. In the context of open disclosure, the term ‘clinicians’ includes registered and non-registered clinicians, allied health workers and students working under the supervision of clinicians.

This module is based on the resources provided by the Australian Quality and Safety Commission. All information has been adapted from or taken directly from the Commission’s resources. To view the resources and for more information go to and refer to the references.

Most people working in an Aboriginal health service (and any other health facility) will identify with the suggestion that you can ask 10 different people the following questions:

  • Who should record in the patient record?
  • What should be recorded?
  • How should it be recorded?
  • When should it be recorded?

You will often end up with 10 different answers for every question – and you could quite possibly get different answers from the same person depending on the day. The ‘why do we record in patient records?’ is less challenging although nonetheless inconsistency is still found.

Answers to the why? can range from: ‘medico-legal reasons’, ‘continuity of care’, ‘it’s a requirement of accreditation’, ‘it’s the policy of this health service’, ‘we need it for data collection’, ‘it’s a contract requirement’. Of course, all of these answers are correct, yet none seem to be sufficient in assisting to understand the principles enough to translate to consistent, good practice.

This module attempts to demystify the patient records debate. It offers practical guidance on who should create a patient record, when it should be created, and where the record should be documented. The module is NOT about patient privacy and a separate module is available on patient privacy.

This module is aimed at all those who create patient records – doctors, Aboriginal health practitioners and workers, nurses, midwives, drivers, allied health practitioners, counsellors, program workers, receptionists, environmental health workers and anyone else in the AMS providing client care.

Workplace flexibility allows employers and employees to make arrangements that suit them. This helps employees maintain their work/life balance and can improve business productivity and efficiency.

This course will show you how to make flexibility work for your business. It is aimed at all managers.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

Starting a new job can be an exciting time. It can also be a little nerve-wracking.

This short course will assist you to get off to the best possible start at work. It will help you understand:

This course will provide you with general guidance about starting a new job. For specific advice and assistance contact the Fair Work Ombudsman or your union.

This course is recommended for all new employees and all those involved in orientating new employees in the workplace.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

To be a high performing business you need to have high performing employees. As an employer or manager, there are steps you can take to maintain good performance, as well as deal with underperformance issues if they arise.

This module is aimed at all managers.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

Good employee management is linked to lower staff turnover, higher productivity and business success.

This course will help you develop your people management skills, so you can build a high performing team and help your business achieve its goals.

It is aimed at all those involved in management.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

This course provides general guidance on hiring a new employee.

It is aimed at anyone engaged in the hiring of employees.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

A diverse and inclusive workforce is good for business. It encourages acceptance and respectful behaviour and minimises the risk of discrimination.

This course will show you how to promote diversity and prevent discrimination in your workplace.

The course is aimed at all managers.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

Good record-keeping practices are vital for employers to meet their legal obligations, keep track of how their business is going and make informed decisions about the future.

This course will teach you how to make, update and manage employment records for your business. It is aimed at all managers.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman. CPD points have been assigned based on the estimated time provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman within the learning module.

Most people enjoy good relationships at work. However, even in the best workplace, disagreements can occur. When this happens it’s best to address the issue early and talk about it with your staff.

This course will help managers prepare you for a difficult conversation in the workplace and provide advice on how to handle the conversation well.

Remember, if there is something wrong, most people would prefer to resolve it quickly so both of you can get on with the job.

This course is aimed at all managers.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

Many workplace issues can be resolved quickly and informally if you discuss them with your manager.

This course will help you gain the skills and confidence you need to discuss workplace issues when they arise. It is aimed at all employees.

This module is provided by The Fair Work Ombudsman.

There are many different models of care for a childbearing woman in Australia. These include a range of midwife-led continuity of care models, as well as medical-led models, and shared care between midwives, obstetricians, and general practitioners.

In 2016, a Cochrane review of available evidence found that midwife-led continuity of care models provide additional benefits compared to other models, with no adverse events. As a result, there has been growing support to expand the implementation of this model across Australia.

This module provides an overview of the midwife-led continuity of care model. It is intended for midwives and midwifery and child health program managers working in Aboriginal health services. Aboriginal medical services generally use multidisciplinary team care models of care that include Aboriginal health practitioners, support workers, and other staff. This module may assist all those involved in the care of expectant mothers and newborns in the Aboriginal health environment.

Basic anatomy is a core knowledge area for all those providing clinical care to patients that involves any kind of physical assessment. This module provides a brief review of the skeletal system. It is not intended as an in-depth anatomy class, but rather, a simple refresher.

This module is aimed at any clinician who conducts physical assessments.

Privacy is an important element in the trust between health service providers and patients. It is every person’s right to be able to share personal health information and to have the information provided kept private. It is a serious breach of trust when this right is not respected.

Every employee of an Aboriginal health service will come across personal health information of patients at some time – it may be by accident, or as part of your role. It may be because someone tells you something they shouldn’t and it may be because you have taken a phone message to pass on to a clinician. Regardless, you need to know what your responsibility is and how you work with the rest of your colleagues to respect the right of every single Patient of your Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS).

This module is aimed at everyone working in an AMS who provides support other than direct clinical care. It is for drivers, receptionists, environmental health workers, cleaners, finance officers, and IT support officers. Depending on the program, it may be appropriate for some program workers. For all those providing direct clinical care and managers of clinical care workers, there is another module called ‘Privacy of Personal Health Information for Client Care Staff’.

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is a complex, chronic medical condition where blood pressure is consistently above the normal range. Known as the ‘silent killer’, patients usually have no symptoms, which can lead to delays in detection and treatment, and to serious complications. If left untreated or uncontrolled, hypertension is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and the onset of vascular and kidney damage.

In 2012–13, 6 million Australian adults (34%) had hypertension, defined as a blood pressure of 140/90 mmHg or more, or were taking antihypertensive medication. Of these, more than 4.1 million (68%) had uncontrolled or untreated hypertension. It is estimated that at least 25% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults have untreated or uncontrolled hypertension and hypertension is the most commonly managed problem in general practice in Australia.

This module is designed for nurses and Aboriginal health practitioners working in primary health care. These practitioners have a key role in identifying hypertension, and in supporting patients to manage the condition. This module looks at the diagnosis and management of hypertension in adults, with a focus on measuring blood pressure and educating patients.

Whilst opioids have assisted tremendously in relieving pain in those with pain in terminal illness or those with acute pain, there is increasing misuse of pharmaceutical opioids resulting in rising accidental deaths and growing social and economic harm globally. There are 13 opioids available for use in Australia, the most commonly prescribed include codeine, oxycodone, and tramadol.

Over the past 25 years there has been a four-fold increase in the number of prescribed opioids per head of population and there are a number of theories suggested as to why.

This module discusses the risks associated with the over prescribing of opioids and the current research indicating that opioids are being prescribed in circumstances where the evidence suggests they will not be useful in pain management.

This module is aimed at Aboriginal health workers and practitioners, nurses, social and emotional wellbeing team members and doctors. It raises important issues about the public health concerns related to opioid misuse.

In Australia, Work Health and Safety (WH&S) requirements are based on a set of ‘model’ laws designed by Safe Work Australia. The laws a include WH&S Act, WH&S regulations, and Codes of Practice. Since 2011, these laws have been implemented by the Commonwealth and most states and territories (except Victoria and Western Australia). This means that most WH&S legislation is the same across the country. The purpose of WH&S legislation is to protect the health and safety of workers and workplaces.

This is the first module in a three-part series on Work Health and Safety. It provides an overview of WH&S principles in Australia.

The second module provides a guide to risk management in Aboriginal Medical Services (AMSs). It is aligned with Safe Work Australia’s model Code of Practice for How to manage work health and safety risks.

The final module focuses on what to do if an accident or injury occurs at work.

All of these modules are designed for staff and managers.

Trials of care coordination have been underway in Australia since at least the late 1990s.Many services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have included care coordination in an effort to improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease. Still, many health professionals and community members struggle to understand the concept of care coordination and why it may be useful for them. This module provides an overview of what is care coordination? who does it? and how can it help improve access to coordinated, multidisciplinary care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?

This module is suitable for all those providing care to clients in an Aboriginal Medical Service (AMS). It will provide useful information to Aboriginal health workers and practitioners, nurses, allied health care professionals, and doctors. It will be very informative for managers and will assist managers’ understanding of the elements required in planning for coordinated care service.

As a healthcare worker, you play a vital role in:

  • helping the healthcare service deliver its services
  • protecting the patient and the public from harm and
  • valuing all aspects of equality and diversity

What you do has a big impact on the quality of healthcare for people who use the service. In this module, you will review a set of guiding principles that guide conduct of all employees of health services. The principles are referred to as a “code of conduct”. The code is a list of statements that set the standard for how you should work on a day-to-day basis. It discusses attitudes as well as actions.

This module applies to all those working in health services.

This module aims to assist all those working in health care to identify bullying in the workplace and appreciate the effect it can have on anyone who is being bullied. It details what can be done to prevent or stop bullying and the most appropriate way to deal with it, both from within and from outside an organisation.

This module is recommended for anyone working in health care and all managers. It is also a useful guide for those who may or may not realise that their actions are distressing or harmful to their colleagues.

Hazardous manual tasks are the most common cause of workplace injuries in Australia. Those who work in healthcare are regularly asked to perform manual tasks as part of their routine practice.

This module is designed for everyone working in Aboriginal health services. The purpose of this module is to provide an overview of hazardous manual tasks and assist all those employed at the AMS to identify, assess and control the risks associated with performing these tasks. It is suitable for everyone working in a healthcare setting.

In 2016, Safe Work Australia published their new Code of Practice, replacing the former ‘Manual Handling’ Code of Practice with the new ‘Hazardous Manual Tasks’ Code of Practice. This module incorporates all of the changes made that may have an impact on those working in healthcare and performing hazardous manual tasks.

The practice incentives program (PIP) for Indigenous health is a key aspect of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) commitment to Closing the Gap. It provides additional funding to general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS or Aboriginal Medical Services, AMS’s) for practice sign-on, patient registration, and completion of outcomes. Patient registration is dependent on the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander status, and the offer or completion of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health check (MBS item 715). Outcomes include completion and follow-up of a General Practitioner Management Plan (GPMP, MBS item 721) or Team Care Arrangement (TCA, MBS item 723).

Despite the complex health needs of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and the additional funding offered through the PIP, completion of the requirements for this incentive remains low across Australia. Approximately half of all clinical records in general practice do not include an identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients and in 2013-14, only 21.3% of eligible people completed a 715. This affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and funding for essential health services. Even though morbidity rates in Aboriginal populations are more than double non-Aboriginal populations, per person MBS expenditure remains higher for non-Aboriginal people, across the country.

The following module outlines the basic components of the PIP Indigenous Health Incentive, common barriers to comprehensive assessments including the 715, 721 and 723, and possible interventions to increase the rates of program completion in practice. This module is appropriate for practice nurses, practice managers, general practitioners, allied health professionals, Aboriginal health practitioners and Aboriginal health workers employed in a primary health care setting.

This module will provide you with the information you need to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to care for your own safety and that of your colleagues and clients in the event of a fire. All those working in health care services need to be aware of the elements required to start a fire and to understand the processes involved in managing and extinguishing small fires, including the appropriate use of equipment.

This module is designed to enable all those working in primary healthcare to act quickly and appropriately if they encounter a fire as the right, rapid response can save lives and property.

It explains what to do in the event of a fire, what techniques to use on different types of fires, and the correct method to manage or extinguish a small fire in the workplace. It also discusses the use of fire hose reels and fire safety blankets. Finally, it outlines the circumstance in which the safest option is to evacuate and call for emergency assistance.

This module does not necessarily replace onsite fire and emergency procedure training but will enhance and compliment any onsite training provided.

This module describes difficult and challenging behaviours commonly exhibited by clients and their families or friends in health care settings, how best to respond to these behaviours and the most effective ways to manage incidents. It provides step-by-step guidance to defusing tension and preventing the escalation of an incident, with examples of practical interventions that could be applied in a variety of circumstances.

This module is limited to the conduct of clients and visitors and the scope of this module does not extend to difficult or challenging behaviours of colleagues.

This module is directed at anyone working in health care who may encounter difficult or challenging behaviours.

All health care services attract complaints or negative feedback from time to time, and many staff dread having to deal with such situations. If they are handled sensitively and skillfully, however, complaints can be positive experiences that play a crucial part in informing risk-management and quality-improvement processes.

This module explains the benefits of implementing an effective system to manage complaints and encourage feedback, and how to achieve this. It also outlines a number of communication strategies staff can use to reassure complainants that their grievances have been taken seriously and will be dealt with efficiently, which can help to ensure a positive outcome for all involved.

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are the most common complication for patients in health care settings. They are caused by infectious microorganisms and can be prevented using standardised infection control procedures adhered to by all participants in the health care system. HAIs pose an unnecessary risk to patients, causing pain and suffering, prolonged hospital stays and increased health care costs. Reducing the spread of infection by prevention and control practices is essential for effective clinical care.

Infection prevention and control procedures vary between health care environments. The underlying principles of standard and transmission based precautions, risk management, and patient-centred care can be applied in all settings. Standard precautions are integral to infection control measures and must be used routinely in all health care settings. They involve a range of techniques including regular hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).

This module is the first in a series on Infection Prevention and Control: Standard Precautions. It begins by explaining the risks associated with HAIs and the modes of microorganism transmission. It reviews the two primary components of standard precautions: hand hygiene and personal protective equipment. A step-by-step guide of best practice techniques for when to perform hand hygiene and the donning and removal of PPE is included. This module is aimed at all people working in health care and is recommended as an annual update and refresher.

As the scope and complexity of health services increase, so does the potential for adverse events. One of the most powerful tools available to reduce the incidence and impact of adverse events is a comprehensive accident and incident reporting system. All organisations can learn from their mistakes, and in health care settings this is vital.

This module examines the processes involved in accident and incident reporting, ways to create an improved culture of reporting, the legal obligations of health facilities and the practical steps that need to be taken to implement an effective system. This makes it particularly suitable for those new to management, but it also covers the key elements of capturing meaningful information and the core components necessary for effective accident and incident documentation by all staff.

This module, which is consistent with the Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare, provides practical guidance on managing blood and body fluid spills in a health care environment.

Health care associated infections (HAIs) are the most common complications to affect patients in Australian hospitals. There are approximately 200,000 documented HAIs a year causing unnecessary pain and suffering, prolonged hospital stays and increased cost to the health system.
This module outlines the current guidelines for the management of blood and body fluid spills as part of infection prevention and control in any health care facility. It is the responsibility of participants to familiarise themselves with their own organisation setting-specific guidelines.

Basic interventions, including airway management, high-quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillation (AED), saves lives. The purpose of this module is to update participants on the principles of basic life support, to ensure standardised, up-to-date resuscitation techniques can be implemented by all healthcare workers, as required.

Please note that in addition to participation in this interactive online module, most employers require a practical assessment of the steps of basic life support, as outlined in the module. Please refer to your local areas of employment for further guidance regarding the components and frequency of basic life support certification in your setting.

This brief module provides an overview of the use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen in paediatrics. It is commonly used for pain management and has antipyretic and anti-inflammatory properties.

This module provides an overview of the pharmacology, mode of action and indications. It discusses the precautions, adverse effects and interactions. There are several special considerations when administering ibuprofen that are discussed.

Antipsychotics are used to relieve the symptoms experienced during psychosis such as hallucinations, delusions or abnormal behaviour. Clozapine is an antipsychotic used for patients who have treatment resistant schizophrenia.

This short module provides an overview of what Clozapine is and its use in the treatment of psychosis. The use of Clozapine is restricted due to its unique adverse profile, and this module will discuss the contraindications, precautions and adverse effects.

This module will then discuss the dosages and monitoring requirements for people prescribed clozapine and action to take based on monitoring outcomes.

This module is suitable for any healthcare practitioner providing care to a patient prescribed clozapine.

The development of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during pregnancy, over the long term, increases the risk for the development of type 2 diabetes in the mother. It also increases the risk for obesity and glucose in the child. Those women with a history of GDM will have an increased risk of hyperglycemia during subsequent pregnancies and approximately 50% of women who develop GDM will develop type 2 diabetes mellitus within 20 years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are at a higher risk of developing GDM and develop GDM at a rate of 1.5 times that of non-Aboriginal Australian women. A lack of local services, geographical isolation in more remote areas, cost and transport barriers and language or cultural barriers may all contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women not accessing appropriate health care for the treatment of diabetes when needed.

These factors, combined with higher rates of overweight and obesity, more births per mother and a propensity towards developing diabetes, place Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women at higher risk of GDM and their babies at greater risk of associated complications.

This brief module provides an overview of the guidelines for screening and treatment for GDM. The new guidelines are likely to increase the number of women diagnosed with GDM by 50%, having a significant impact on primary health care and interventions.

This module is the second in a two-part series that aims to assist health care professionals identify and assist people who misuse alcohol. The first module discusses the effects of alcohol on individuals and the community and explains the basis for calculating units of alcohol in common alcoholic beverages and what level of alcohol consumption constitutes dangerous or risky drinking behaviour. The first module is the basis for proceeding to this module and is strongly recommended before undertaking this module.

It examines alcohol misuse as a physical, mental and social issue and a risk factor for preventable disease and death. This module forms the basis of the knowledge required to assist health care professionals to provide professional, evidenced based interventions. In particular, it provides an introduction to the effects of alcohol on the body and explains the basis for calculating how many alcohol units are present in common alcoholic beverages.

This module is recommended for anyone working in primary or community health care, or those working in tertiary or secondary facilities where assessment of alcohol use is relevant to care. All of these situations are ideal opportunities for interventions that assist in reducing the risk or preventing risky and dangerous drinking behaviours.

This module is the first in a two-part series that aims to assist health care professionals identify and assist people who misuse alcohol. It examines alcohol misuse as a physical, mental and social issue and a risk factor for preventable disease and death. This module forms the basis of the knowledge required to assist health care professionals to provide professional, evidenced based interventions. In particular, it provides an introduction to the effects of alcohol on the body and explains the basis for calculating how many alcohol units are present in common alcoholic beverages.

It is recommended for anyone working in primary or community health care, or those working in tertiary or secondary facilities where assessment of alcohol use is relevant to care. All of these situations are ideal opportunities for interventions that assist in reducing the risk or preventing risky and dangerous drinking behaviours.

The second module provides instruction on appropriate assessment for alcohol use and recommendations for interventions when an individual is assessed as being at risk of dangerous or risky alcohol use. It provides a useful guide for healthcare professionals on how to provide a brief intervention for those drinking at dangerous levels who may be at risk of harms.

There are a number of medications that are effected by one or more types of foods, if consumed by a person taking the medication. This brief module identifies some of the interactions that may occur and the adverse effects that may result.

This module is suitable for any person involved in the prescribing, or administration, of medications. It is useful for Aboriginal health practitioners, midwives and nurses who may be involved in patient education, follow up and support.

Paracetamol can be an effective analgesic for mild to moderate pain and when used correctly has minimal side effects. As a first line agent for managing pain in children it is important for all nurses and anyone providing care to children to understand the indications for use, correct dosing, contraindications and any potential adverse effects.

This module provides an update on the use of paracetamol to treat mild to moderate pain in paediatrics.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a significant public health problem that has been diagnosed in more than 1.7 million Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are at significantly higher risk of developing CKD.

CKD ranges from early to late stage, and patients will ultimately require dialysis or renal transplant in order to maintain life. Treatment for CKD is aimed at optimising outcomes and delaying disease progression. Lifestyle modifications including nutritional changes are a significant component of CKD management. Nutritional interventions may help to improve biochemistry, nutritional status and body weight, and may delay the progression of renal disease.

This module is aimed at anyone working in an AMS who provides nutritional guidance to people with CKD. It is intended to be an introduction to less experienced staff and a refresher for those with advanced knowledge of dietary interventions used to treat CKD, for patients not on dialysis. The information in this module forms the basis for a future module that will be based on a case study.

Women who are pregnant will often require medication, but using medicines in pregnancy should involve carefully considered decisions due to the potential for harm to the foetus. This module provides an overview of the risks associated with taking some medications in pregnancy. Australia has a categorisation system for prescribing medications that has been based on the evidence available. The module provides the definitions of each category.

Child abuse and neglect is an alarmingly common occurrence in many countries around the world. Health care professionals are in a unique position to identify potential child abuse and neglect so many in Australia are required to report such concerns.

This module describes the four main types of child abuse and neglect and the signs and symptoms that might indicate that children are being harmed in this way. It aims to give health care professionals greater confidence in identifying the warning signs of child abuse and neglect, and briefly outlines their obligation to report it to the relevant authorities.

This module does not detail the requirements for mandatory reporters in each state and territory. A separate module – Child Abuse and Neglect: Legal Responsibilities for Mandatory Reporters – is dedicated to this topic.

It is estimated that approximately one million adults and 100,000 younger people live with depression every year in Australia. Although some people have only one depressive episode during their lives, for many the illness is characterised by multiple episodes.

Depression effects a disproportionate number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people compared to non Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. A sound understanding of this illness is an important foundation for the provision of care in the primary health context.

This short module provides an overview of depression, the risk factors and known biological causes. It then briefly discusses diagnosis criteria and treatment options.

This module is intended as a brief overview of those with little to no experience working with clients who may be diagnosed with depression.

Liver function tests (LFTs) are a panel of several blood tests used to assess and monitor potential abnormalities in the liver and hepatic system. Abnormal results may be due to one of two causes: damage to the liver itself, or a disruption in bile flow to or from the liver.

This module provides an overview of the indications for liver function tests and how to interpret the results. It is aimed at any healthcare worker involved in conducting the test or providing care to a person having a liver function test.

Headaches in the paediatric population are challenging for all healthcare practitioners working in a primary health care environment, such as in Aboriginal health services. Skilled assessment is required as potential causes range from benign to life threatening and management varies from basic analgesia to emergency medical interventions. Rare, but potentially life threatening causes of headaches in children include intracranial haemorrhage, meningococcal septicaemia, space occupying lesions and pseudo tumour cerebri (IIH). Management in the primary health care environment involves identifying red flags on patient assessment and history and commencing medical treatment.

This module will discuss headaches in children. It begins with an overview of causes and the clinical classifications of a headache. It will then review a focused paediatric patient assessment and highlight red flags, which may suggest a severe condition and potential for patient deterioration. Clinical scenarios will be used to consolidate learning.

This module is suitable for any clinician working in an Aboriginal health service who assesses children.

In the year 2011-2012, approximately 5.6 million adult Australians were estimated to have a total cholesterol over 4 mmol/L. High total cholesterol is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women in Australia. According to the Australia Bureau of Statistics, in the year 2012-2013, 25% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had abnormal or high total cholesterol levels according to their blood test results.

According to the Heart Foundation, one Australian dies every 12 minutes of cardiovascular disease. In addition, in the year 2011-2012, cardiovascular disease was the main cause of 524,000 hospitalisations Australia wide, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women and accounts for more than one third of all deaths in Australia. Apart from the personal cost, the rate of cardiovascular disease places a substantial burden on the health care system, accounting for more than 3% of all visits to the general practitioner.

This brief module provides an introduction to cholesterol and triglycerides and the blood tests used for measuring them. It is not intended as a comprehensive analysis of the effect of cholesterol and triglycerides on cardiovascular disease, but rather as an overview of what cholesterol and triglycerides are and what is tested when blood tests are ordered.

It is aimed at anyone providing client care services in an Aboriginal primary health care setting, community; or any other healthcare worker involved in cholesterol and triglycerides blood testing.

This module discusses the law of negligence in health care. The laws governing medical negligence have evolved over time and continue to be substantially common law although legislation has been introduced in states and territories that relate to the law of negligence.

This module explains what negligence is and the legal standard of care required when delivering health care services. Case law is used to explain the issues discussed to illustrate the application of the law in client service provision.

This module is aimed at anyone providing health care services to clients and is intended to provide an insight into the law of negligence as it relates to the provision of health services by health care practitioners in Australia.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex chronic disease that affects millions of Australians. Optimal management is required to prevent micro- and macro-vascular complications including cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, limb amputations, and blindness.

The value of a patient-centred, multidisciplinary approach to diabetes care has been reiterated in the literature. This may be implemented using tailored treatment plans, designed to meet the unique needs and goals of each patient. Based on these plans, healthcare professionals may assist patients to identify their priorities in care, appropriately manage medications, improve treatment compliance and prevent complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

The following module offers learning through a case study. It highlights an example of a tailored treatment plan for type 2 diabetes and identifies patient specific factors, which may be used to guide individualised treatment. It is aimed at any healthcare professional working in an Aboriginal health service and providing care to people with type 2 diabetes.

Major depressive disorder is an often under-diagnosed and devastating condition affecting around one in five Australians at some point in their lives. However, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the rate of depression is estimated to be one in three people.

This module describes the treatment of major depressive disorder, including anti-depressant medications and psychological therapies. It discusses the role of healthcare professionals in the treatment of depression.

This module focuses specifically on the management and treatment of the individual. It does not address the causes or wider scope of depression for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the communities in which they live.

This module is aimed at all healthcare professionals and those working in social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal primary health care services.

This module discusses the obligations to report certain conduct pursuant to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009 (the National Law). Anyone registered with one of the 14 National Boards is bound by the legislation. Employers and education providers are also bound by the legislation. Whilst students of one of the professions are not mandatory reporters under the legislation, their conduct may be the subject of a mandatory report.

The legislation requires that particular conduct be reported where the public is placed at risk of harm. The focus of the requirement is the protection of the public. Each state and territory has enacted enabling legislation consistent with the National Law.

This module is aimed at any person who is a mandatory reporter and students. It is recommended for all healthcare professionals, managers, employers, educators and any person involved in external auditing, investigation and review processes that relate to areas where a healthcare professional is employed.

This module discusses the obligations associated with being a mandatory reporter. A mandatory reporter is a person who is required by law to report certain activities or abuses. This module explains when a report is to be made and how. It describes what constitutes physical and sexual abuse. It also aims to assist registered healthcare practitioners and any other person required to make a report, in understanding what protections are available to them if they report suspected abuse and what their responsibilities are in the event that there is a conflict between their employer’s policies and protocols and legal requirements.

This module is aimed at any person who is a mandatory reporter and any other person working with children who may wish to make a voluntary report at some time.

Failure to thrive is a term used to describe children who fail to achieve their expected growth potential. Risk factors for failure to thrive include feeding difficulties, food insecurity, chronic ill health, behavioural difficulties, carer neglect and many social determinants of health such as inadequate housing, overcrowding, poor hygiene, lack of education and unemployment. These risk factors disproportionally effect Aboriginal communities in Australia and as such, the rate of children with failure to thrive is much higher amongst Aboriginal children than non-Aboriginal children.

In order to prevent or overcome failure to thrive, children will require access to culturally appropriate primary health care. Ideally, this will be in the context of the holistic services provided by Aboriginal community controlled health services. By accessing care in Aboriginal health services, opportunities present for the family to understand the causes of failure to thrive and families can be appropriately and adequately supported to address these issues.

This module provides a brief overview of the causes of failure to thrive and the assessment and management of it.

This module is aimed at anyone working in an Aboriginal health care service who is providing services to parents and children. It will be particularly relevant to Aboriginal health practitioners, registered nurses, midwives and child health nurses. Given the importance of promoting access to AMSs within an Aboriginal community, it is also relevant to Aboriginal health workers and social and emotional wellbeing counsellors and mental health workers. Anyone working in the area of preventative lifestyle activities such as smoking cessation will find it informative. Given the importance of environmental health in preventing failure to thrive, this module is also recommended for any environmental health workers.

One of the most significant breakthroughs of recent years has been the development of second-generation direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C. The new treatment has limited complications and improved efficacy. The drugs represent a new paradigm of care for patients suffering from this prevalent and potentially fatal disease. With the new treatment comes the hope that chronic HCV can be all but removed from the population. The availability of these treatments on the PBS is helping to overcome barriers of cost, and ensures that every Australian resident suffering from the disease can gain access to potentially lifesaving therapies.

Hepatitis C effects a disproportionate number of Aboriginal people in Australia and the rate of Hepatitis C is between 2 and 10 times that of non-Aboriginal people, depending on location. The new treatments will represent a significant and long term improvement in the quality of life of those with hepatitis C.

Given the significance of this treatment and the impact it is likely to have on the millions of people word wide with chronic hepatitis C, this module is designed for all those working in health care. It is not limited to those working in infectious diseases or primary health care, although it is particularly useful to those people. Everyone in health care will benefit from understanding this break though in treatment.

Trachoma is an infectious disease of the eye caused by certain strains of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is the leading cause of preventable infectious blindness in the world. Australia is the only developed country that has endemic rates (5% or more) of active trachoma.

This module is designed for all healthcare professionals working in Aboriginal primary health care services. The focus of this module is the identification and assessment of trachoma.

Given the high rates of diabetes and other health issues facing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, basic wound care is an integral part of all practitioner’s work in Aboriginal health services. Nurses and Aboriginal health care practitioners take a leading role in the assessment and management of wounds in any primary health care environments. Individualised care plans are required to optimise healing, however, the basic principles of wound care are applied in all approaches to wound care.

This module is intended as a brief refresher for all nurses and Aboriginal health care practitioners. It discusses the principles of wound care including a collaborative approach to care; comprehensive patient assessment; care planning; appropriate selection and implementation of a wound management technique; and detailed documentation.

Family and domestic violence is a crime and an important issue for the general population, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia. Aboriginal medical service staff in urban, regional and remote communities are often the first point of contact for survivors who are seeking help as a result of abuse or violence. It is responsibility of all practitioners, including aboriginal health workers, nurses and physicians to be prepared to respond to disclosures of family violence and support individuals as required.

The following module is designed to help prepare clinic staff for the screening and assessment of family violence. It does not discuss the reporting of particular acts or suspicions and participants should refer to the mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect module for information on this.

Whilst the use of honey for wound care dates back thousands of years, the evidence for use in paediatric wound care in the modern health care environment is somewhat scant.

This module discusses the use of honey in wound care: How it works and indications for use. It goes on to provide an overview of the available evidence for use in paediatric wound care.

Whilst subject to some controversy over a number of years, Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) is now used as a diagnostic tool in diagnosing diabetes as well as being a monitoring tool.

This short module provides an overview of what HbA1c is, how it is used and the benefits and limitations of it as a diagnostic and monitoring tool. It provides the current guidelines and conditions for diagnosis of diabetes. Recently Australia changed its reporting of HbA1c from percentages to mmol/mol. This module provides the new measures.

This module is aimed at anyone providing clinical care and patient education to people at risk of developing diabetes or with diabetes.

Urine dipstick testing is one of the most common forms of tests conducted in an Aboriginal medical service. It may be performed by a nurse, Aboriginal health practitioner, qualified Aboriginal health worker, midwife or doctor. It is a simple and affordable test that provides rapid results and is invaluable as a screening tool for all practitioners.

This module briefly outlines the indicators for a urine dipstick test and what tests are conducted when performing a urine dipstick. It provides a brief overview of the significance of the tests for the patient. The test is not without limitations, and the module briefly discusses some of the limitations associated with urine dipstick testing.

The module is aimed at all practitioners in an Aboriginal health service.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver and a major international public health concern. It has the potential to cause life threatening, acute and chronic liver disease. Those at risk include people living in endemic areas, individuals participating in high-risk activities, and healthcare workers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are four times more likely to contract hepatitis B than other Australians.

This module begins with an overview of the incidence and prevalence of hepatitis B. It goes on to discuss transmission and those at most risk of contracting the infection. An update is provided of the types of hepatitis and the diagnosis. The module then discusses treatment and prevention strategies.

This module is aimed at Aboriginal health practitioners, Aboriginal health workers, registered nurses, midwives, doctors and other clinicians. Given the prevalence of hepatitis B within the Aboriginal community it is likely that all those involved in nursing care will come into contact with people with hepatitis B. The prevention strategies are effective when applied and will become increasingly effective with the commitment to national and international strategies.

Aboriginal health services and those working in them can play a significant part in reversing the current trends of increasing infection rates of hepatitis B amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Diabetic ulcers are an increasingly common complication of diabetes and a sign of serious, progressive disease. Complications can be catastrophic and lead to amputation and in some case death. They have a significant impact on an individual including limiting self-care and independence. Many Aboriginal people have multiple diagnoses, many of which will increase the chances of complications arising from diabetes and may increase the risk associated with diabetic foot ulcers if they occur. For this reason, the responsibility for care and treatment is very high within an Aboriginal health service.

This module focuses on primary wound care for a diabetic ulcer. It is aimed at all those providing care to a patient with a diabetic foot ulcer.

Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA, Depo-Provera or Depo-Ralovera) is a hormonal contraceptive, effective in the prevention of pregnancy. It is also used for the treatment of endometriosis and certain types of cancer. Although it is a highly effective contraceptive agent, its use varies as a result of its method of administration and potential for long term effects.

It is used widely in the primary health care setting, including in Aboriginal health services.

This module is aimed at anyone working in an Aboriginal health service who provides clinical or counselling services to women considering the use of depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.

In Australia, obesity in pregnancy is one of the most significant concerns for maternity care clinicians, effecting approximately half of all new pregnancies. The onset of adverse events related to maternal obesity can occur at any stage of pregnancy including preconception, during antenatal care, intrapartum, and postpartum. For Aboriginal people, obesity generally is thought to contribute 16% of the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the total Australian population.

Obesity during pregnancy increases the risk of gestational diabetes and therefore the increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risks associated with obesity during pregnancy extend beyond the mother to the fetus and neonate as there are increased lifelong risks for some diseases for the child. Midwives, Aboriginal health practitioners, Aboriginal health workers, nurses and doctors involved in maternal health care in Aboriginal health services will regularly provide care to women who are either pregnant or hoping to become pregnant and who are also obese. It is essential that of those providing care understand obesity during pregnancy and how they can assist and advise women in a positive, supportive, and empowering way.

This module is brief and provides an overview of the risks associated with obesity during pregnancy. It is directed at all those involved in the care of women who are pregnant or seeking to become pregnant.

Medicines are the most common treatment used in health care. When used appropriately their benefits in improving health care and health outcomes are well known. Their safe prescribing, dispensing, and administration are critical in preventing adverse events associated with error. When errors do occur, the results can be catastrophic. In fact, medications are associated with more errors and adverse events than any other aspect of health care. While the rate of catastrophic injury or death associated with medication errors is low, less serious adverse effects on health outcomes and injury do occur, are costly and mostly avoidable.

The Australian Safety and Quality Council of Australia has made the safe use of medicines a priority and medication safety is a National Safety and Quality Health Service standard. This is no surprise given that the rate of hospital admissions in Australia associated with medications has remained relatively constant at 2%-3%. However, the rate increases to 20%-30% for people aged over 65 years. The cost of medication related admissions were estimated to be $1.2 billion in 2011. The concern extends to the community and the rate of people seeing a general practitioner as a result of medication error is also constant and thought to be at least 10%.

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care has identified improving the safety and quality of medication usage in Australia as one of its priorities. Reducing errors and harm from medicines is a national priority and should be a priority for all healthcare providers and workers. For anyone involved in prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications, the ability to do so safely is essential.

This module is aimed at all people at the Aboriginal health service who are involved in medication administration. Its focus is on medication calculations however the first part of the module discusses briefly the evidence of medication errors in Australia and provides brief tips for systems improvements. The module then recaps on the eight rights of medication administration. The second part of the module is about medication calculations. The module provides a guide for correctly calculating doses for oral tablets, oral liquids, injectable solutions, and intravenous infusions. The medication calculation test focuses on calculations performed in an Aboriginal health service.

Following the module, there is a quiz. The quiz requires a 100% pass mark. Participants are provided only one opportunity to provide the correct answer.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious and potentially life-threatening metabolic disturbance that may occur as a result of hyperglycaemia in patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

This short module provides an overview of what DKA is, the pathophysiology of it, signs and diagnosis and the treatment of DKA. It briefly considers preventative measures. Given the disproportionately high rate of diabetes amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it is even more important of those working in Aboriginal health services to be alert to this potentially life threatening condition. Within the context of primary health care it is particularly important to understand how this condition can be prevented.

The module is aimed at all those providing clinical care to clients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. It is appropriate for Aboriginal health practitioners, Aboriginal health workers, nurses, midwives, dietitians and doctors.

Esomeprazole is the second most prescribed medication in Australia. It is a proton pump inhibitor prescribed to treat reflux oesophagitis (heartburn), peptic ulcers.

Recent research published in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open, indicates a significant association between the use of proton pump inhibitors and the risk of all cause mortality (death).

This brief module provides an outline of the uses, indications, doses, contraindications, and adverse effects of esomeprazole.

It is recommended for Aboriginal health practitioners, nurses, midwives, doctors, pharmacists, and Aboriginal health workers.

AMSED has helped create and foster an organisational culture of continuous learning and development, facilitating active, flexible and independent learning for all employees.

New and updated modules, ensures our employees are adequately equipped with the knowledge and skills to perform their roles effectively.


HR Manager, Carnarvon Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation

New Modules are Always on the Way

We’ve got our finger on the pulse of new medical developments, so we’re constantly creating new modules to cover the latest advances in health and safety, patient diagnosis, treatment, medicine, and more. With AMSED, you’ll never be left behind in the fast-moving world of healthcare.

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