NURS 2004 Complex Care 1

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 401036

Coordinator Farnoosh Asghar Vahedi Opens in new window

Description This subject introduces students to complexities in health that emerge during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postnatal period which require additional care when the health of the mother and/or neonate may be compromised. This module also focuses on the midwifery care of the sick neonate.

School Nursing & Midwifery

Discipline Midwifery

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Pre-requisite(s) NURS 2022 AND
NURS 2025

Co-requisite(s) NURS 2026


Students must be enrolled in 4684 Bachelor of Midwifery.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

1. Recognise biological and physiological complications that may emerge during pregnancy, labour and birth, and during the postpartum period or post surgical period for the woman.
2. Identify, discuss and act on abnormal laboratory test results; antenatal screening investigations; and maternal and fetal assessment for growth and wellbeing.
3. Discuss the assessment, planning and implementation of specific midwifery care for women and neonates with complexities 
4. Justify the midwife’s role in the education and referral of the woman and her family in the ongoing care and safety of newborns with complex needs, and support services available using a Primary Health Care framework.
5. Apply knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics and medicines in clinical practice for the common medications used in emerging complex maternal and neonatal conditions.

Subject Content

1. Complexities that may emerge during pregnancy, labour and /or birth
- Complications in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy (such as ectopic pregnancy, abortion, hyperemesis)
- Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy
- Maternal infections/sepsis
- Diabetes in pregnancy
- Haemorrhage - antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum
- Pre-term labour and birth, premature rupture of membranes
- Disordered uterine action
- Induction/augmentation
- Malpresentations - face/brow presentations/transverse lie
- Multiple pregnancy
- Maternal obesity

2. Maternal complexities in the postnatal and post surgical period
- Postnatal complications such as perineal trauma, urinary retention, infections
- Managing care of the post surgical complex woman eg hysterectomy

3. Vulnerable newborns and their care
- Premature newborns
- Neonatal jaundice
- Respiratory distress
- Neonatal infection
- Hypothermia
- Hypoglycaemia
- Kangaroo care

4. Breastfeeding challenges for women with vulnerable newborns
- Multiple births/premature infants
- A newborn in a special care unit/separation

5. Pharmacology for complex conditions
- Describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications used in complex maternal and neonatal conditions
- Describe the effect of medications on the fetus, the neonate and breastmilk
- Quality use of medicine for complex conditions


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Portfolio 1600 words 40 N Individual
Portfolio Revision is of the 1600 words. Reflection 400 words 20 N Individual
Final Exam 2 hours 40 N Individual
Participation Weekly tutorial participation S/U Y Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Robson, S.E., & Waugh, J. (2013). Medical disorders in pregnancy: A manual for midwives. (2nd ed.). London, UK: Blackwell Publishing.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2024)

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Farnoosh Asghar Vahedi Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

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