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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Demonstrate knowledge of the physiology and biochemical functioning of all body systems 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252109  Demonstrate knowledge of the physiology and biochemical functioning of all body systems 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Promotive Health and Developmental Services 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be useful for people working as clinically focused, service orientated, independent, registered staff nurses, who are able to render basic care to persons with stable and uncomplicated general health problems, as determined by the appropriate legislative framework.

This unit standard will recognise the essential knowledge required to describe the physiology and relevant biochemistry related to all human body systems, and apply that knowledge in clinical practice.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Describe the physiology of the tissues, organs and systems of the human body accurately as related to nursing practice.
  • Describe the biochemistry and biophysics related to all human body systems.
  • Apply knowledge of relevant physiology and related biochemistry in clinical practice. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    The credit calculation is based on the assumption that learners are already competent in terms of the following outcomes or areas of learning when starting to learn towards this unit standard:
  • Biology, Physiology and Science at NQF Level 4 is an advantage. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Specific range statements are provided in the body of the unit standard where they apply to particular specific outcomes or assessment criteria.

    The following scope and context applies to the whole unit standard:
  • Human body systems include skeletal, nervous, respiratory, reproductive, renal, cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, metabolic, sensory, integumentory, reticulo-endothelial and immune.
  • The Nurse functions within the scope of practice of a staff nurse as formulated by the SANC and the Nursing Act. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe the physiology of the tissues, organs and systems of the human body accurately as related to nursing practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The physiology of the tissues, organs, organ systems of the body is accurately described with reference to their general operation, in accordance with accepted medical understanding and usage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The relationship between anatomy, physiology and biophysics is discussed with reference to the structure, purpose and function of, and processes that take place in tissues, organs and systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The normal function of the human body is described and explained in terms of its physiology. Examples provided of key functions are appropriate and accurate. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The way in which normal functions are affected in a state of illness is described and explained with reference to the physiology of the tissues, organs, organ systems of the body. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The pathophysiology of specific diseases is described and explained with reference to its impact on the body's tissues, organs, and organ systems. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Describe the biochemistry and biophysics related to all human body systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The biochemistry and biophysics relevant to the functioning of all body systems are accurately described in accordance with accepted medical usage. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The implications of abnormally high or low levels of certain elements is described with reference to their impact on the body's tissues, organs, and organ systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The operation of medication is explained in terms of its biochemical and biophysical effect on the body's tissues, organs, and organ systems. The operation is explained with reference to its effect at different stages of the cycle. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The impact of treatment interventions is explained with reference to their biochemical effects. Unwanted effects are identified and explained with reference to the consequences for patient health and well being. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Decisions on when to intervene and when to let disease processes run their course are justified in terms of biochemical knowledge and understanding. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Apply knowledge of relevant physiology and related biochemistry in clinical practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The application of the key physiological and biochemical processes and mechanisms in clinical practice is accurately explained in accordance with accepted medical usage. The application is supported by relevant examples drawn from clinical practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The implications of the key physiological and biochemical processes and mechanisms for treatment and care are accurately explained in accordance with accepted clinical practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Treatment and care decisions are supported by relevant physiological and biochemical evidence, and promote the stability and well-being of the patient. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The underlying basis of a selected treatment or approach is explained in physiological and biochemical terms. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Accreditation Options: Providers of learning towards this unit standard will need to meet the accreditation requirements of the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation Option: The moderation requirements of the relevant ETQA must be met in order to award credit to learners for this unit standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    Essential embedded knowledge will be assessed through assessment of the specific outcomes in terms of the stipulated assessment criteria. Candidates are unlikely to achieve all the specific outcomes, to the standards described in the assessment criteria, without knowledge of the listed embedded knowledge. This means that for the most part, the possession or lack of the knowledge can be directly inferred from the quality of the candidate's performance. Where direct assessment of knowledge is required, assessment criteria have been included in the body of the unit standard. 

    UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems and make decisions using critical and creative thinking.
  • Note: Core-decision-making about illness. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as members of a team, group, organisation or community.
  • Note: Nursing care provision is team based. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.

    Note: Critical - meticulous attention to detail w.r.t. patient health. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: Core to the standard-every examination involves recording and analysing information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: Information sharing with patients; gathering and using information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: Important-gathering and using information. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation.
  • Note: The body as a system. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Notes to Assessors:

    Assessors should keep the following general principles in mind when designing and conducting assessments against this unit standard:
  • Focus the assessment activities on gathering evidence in terms of the main outcome expressed in the title to ensure assessment is integrated rather than fragmented. Remember we want to declare the person competent in terms of the title. Where assessment at title level is unmanageable, then focus assessment around each specific outcome, or groups of specific outcomes.
  • Make sure that evidence is gathered across the entire range, wherever it applies. Assessment activities should be as close to the real performance as possible, and where simulations or role-plays are used, there should be supporting evidence to show the candidate is able to perform in the real situation.
  • Do not focus the assessment activities on each assessment criterion. Rather make sure the assessment activities focus on outcomes and are sufficient to enable evidence to be gathered around all the assessment criteria.
  • The assessment criteria provide the specifications against which assessment judgements should be made. In most cases, knowledge can be inferred from the quality of the performances, but in other cases, knowledge and understanding will have to be tested through questioning techniques. Where this is required, there will be assessment criteria to specify the standard required.
  • The task of the assessor is to gather sufficient evidence, of the prescribed type and quality, as specified in this unit standard, that the candidate can achieve the outcomes again and again and again. This means assessors will have to judge how many repeat performances are required before they believe the performance is reproducible.
  • All assessments should be conducted in line with the following well documented principles of assessment: appropriateness, fairness, manageability, integration into work or learning, validity, direct, authentic, sufficient, systematic, open and consistent.

    The following particular issues should be taken into consideration when assessing against this unit standard:
  • The SANC guidelines are used as a reference for integrated assessment.
  • Formative Assessment: A variety of assessment strategies and/or approaches integrating theory and practice must be used. These could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments or any other applicable method.
  • Summative: This could take a form of oral, written and/or practical assessments as agreed to with the relevant ETQA.

    Definition of Terms:

    Terms have been clarified as far as possible through the use of range statements. Further clarification of terms is provided as follows:
  • Pathophysiology: the disease process (from origins to manifestations).
  • The terms "patient" and "health care user" are used interchangeably in this unit standard. The term patient is used internationally, and the term health care user is used in the Nursing Act 33 of 2005, as well as the National Health Act 61 of 2003. 

  • QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  59236   National Diploma: Nursing  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2020-07-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 
    Core  59257   Bachelor of Nursing  Level 7  NQF Level 08  Reregistered  2023-06-30  As per Learning Programmes recorded against this Qual 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.