Unit of competency details

HLTAH302C - Assist with the application and removal of a plaster cast (Release 1)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
1 1 (this release)Current 25/Mar/2011

Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to HLTAH2A - Assist in the application and/or removal of a plaster castUnit updated in V4 - equivalent competency outcome 24/Mar/2011
Is superseded by and equivalent to HLTAH302D - Assist with the application and removal of a plaster cast 06/May/2012

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 060301 General Nursing  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 060301 General Nursing  04/Nov/2011 
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Modification History

Not Applicable

Unit Descriptor


This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to assist in the preparation, application and removal of a plaster cast

Application of the Unit


Work performed requires a range of well developed skills where some discretion and judgement is required and individuals will take responsibility for their own outputs

This unit of competency requires work under the supervision of an allied health professional and in accordance with a prescribed treatment plan

Allied Health Assistants operate within the scope of their defined roles and responsibilities and under supervision of an allied health professional

For training and assessment pathways, experience in workplace application of the skills and knowledge identified in this competency unit should be provided as required to support allied health professions

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not Applicable


Not Applicable

Employability Skills Information

Employability Skills 

This unit contains Employability Skills

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements define the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

The Performance Criteria specify the level of performance required to demonstrate achievement of the Element. Terms in italics are elaborated in the Range Statement.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Prepare to apply plaster

1.1 Confirm requirements for applying plaster with relevant personnel 

1.2 Assemble equipment  for applying plaster cast and check to ensure it is in working order

1.3 Explain procedures to client  and answer any questions

1.4 Take appropriate action to ensure client comfort and safety

1.5 Follow infection control guidelines  throughout the procedure

2. Apply/remove plaster

2.1 Assist with the application  and removal of plaster cast according to instructions and organisation policies and procedures

2.2 Seek clarification/feedback from supervisor as required

2.3 Take appropriate action to ensure client comfort and safety is maintained

3. Undertake post-application procedures

3.1 Provide advice to client regarding care of plaster cast

3.2 Clean client according to organisation policies and procedures

3.3 Arrange appropriate support  for client at completion of procedures

3.4 Provide assistance with the application of traction devices if required

4. Clean working environment

4.1 Dispose of waste according to relevant guidelines 

4.2 Clean equipment according to manufacturer specifications and store safely in appropriate place

4.3 Clean work surfaces according to infection control guidelines

Required Skills and Knowledge


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:

  • Fundamental anatomy and physiology
  • Infection control policy and procedures
  • Interpreting documentation relevant to application of plaster
  • OHS work practices and procedures
  • Organisation policies and procedures

Essential skills :

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

  • Complete all activities accurately and in a timely and safe manner
  • Complete work systematically with attention to detail without harm to client/personnel
  • Comply with enterprise requirements, OHS legislation, infection control, manual handling procedures and relevant health regulations
  • Demonstrate effective coordination of required processes
  • Use correct techniques for the application and removal of plaster (subject to organisation policies and procedures)

In addition, the candidate must be able 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:

  • Assemble, use and clean equipment according to manufacturer specifications
  • Assist with the application and removal of plaster casts safely and according to organisation and infection control policies and procedures
  • Inform client about the procedure and cast care
  • Maintain client comfort and safety throughout the procedures
  • Take into account opportunities to address waste minimisation, environmental responsibility and sustainable practice issues

Evidence Guide


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 :

  • The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills
  • Observation of workplace performance is preferred for assessment of this unit
  • Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace
  • Where, for reasons of safety, space, or access to equipment and resources, assessment takes place away from the workplace, the assessment environment should represent workplace conditions as closely as possible

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 in the workplace is preferred
  • Relevant guidelines, standards and procedures
  • Resources essential for assessment include:
  • Equipment for the application and removal of plaster cast
  • Plaster and other relevant materials
  • CSD as required
  • Infection control procedures
  • Workplace health and safety guidelines
  • Other organisation policies and procedures

Method of assessment 

  • Observation of some applications in the work place (as is appropriate/possible)
  • Written assignments/projects or questioning should be used to assess knowledge
  • Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice.
  • Clinical skills involving direct client care are to be assessed initially in a simulated clinical setting (laboratory). If appropriate, a second assessment may be conducted during workplace application under direct supervision

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.

Supervision refers to :

  • Instructing, advising, and monitoring another person in order to ensure safe and effective performance in carrying out the duties of their position
  • The nature of supervision is flexible and may be conducted by various means including:
  • in person
  • through use of electronic communications media such as telephone or video conferencing
  • Frequency of supervision will be determined by factors such as:
  • the task maturity of the person in that position or clinical placement
  • the need to review and assess client conditions and progress in order to establish or alter treatment plans in case of students and assistants
  • the need to correct and develop non clinical aspects such as time management, organisation requirements, communication skills, and other factors supporting the provision of clinical care and working within a team
  • A person under supervision does not require direct (immediate) and continuous personal interaction, but the method and frequency will be determined by factors outlined above

Relevant personnel may include :

  • Medical and nursing staff
  • Other health professionals

Equipment may include :

  • Vice
  • Saw with vacuum
  • Spreaders
  • Scissors

Clients may include :

  • Inpatients
  • Outpatients

Application of plaster may occur in :

  • Theatre
  • Emergency department
  • Ward
  • Outpatients department
  • Multi purpose centre

Appropriate support may include :

  • Crutches
  • Wheelchairs
  • Other walking aids
  • Collars and slings
  • Plaster boots

Relevant guidelines may include :

  • Organisation policies and procedures
  • OHS policies and procedures
  • Manufacturer specifications

Unit Sector(s)

Not Applicable

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