SAQA 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.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Manage minor ailments and common illnesses 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
252111  Manage minor ailments and common illnesses 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Nursing 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 09 - Health Sciences and Social Services Curative Health 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  16 
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 and skills required to carry out comprehensive health assessments of an individual of any age and formulate appropriate differential diagnoses for minor clinical problems in primary care.

People credited with this unit standard are able to:
  • Carry out a comprehensive assessment and examination for both adults and children for minor ailments and common illnesses.
  • Formulate an accurate diagnosis for a minor ailment.
  • Prescribe appropriate treatment, care and management of minor ailments.
  • Administer treatment, and monitor patients with minor ailments and common illnesses.
  • Make referrals to other health team members. 

  • 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:
  • ID 252098: Use basic communication skills to establish and maintain a supportive relationship.
  • Data collection interviews.
  • Understanding and application of history taking skills.
  • Understanding and applications of mental status examination.
  • Foundations of biomedical sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biophysics, microbiology, and pharmacology).
  • Ethics of confidentiality and informed consent. 

  • 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:
  • Nurses function within the scope of practice of a nurse as formulated by the SANC regulations, and institutional policies.
  • Minor ailments include: coughs, runny noses; nappy rashes; scabies; fever; lice; colds; diarrhoea and dehydration.
  • Common ailments include: hypertension, TB, diabetes, HIV/AIDS.
  • Manage means: diagnose and decide on treatment for minor ailments; administer treatment, and monitor patients and treatment regimes for minor and common; and refer in the event of changed conditions. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Carry out a comprehensive assessment and examination for both adults and children for minor ailments. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Examinations include:
  • Physical, neurological, mental state assessment. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Inspection, palpation, percussion and auscultation techniques are appropriately integrated and applied in an examination of all body systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Examination principles and techniques are applied in accordance with health authority guidelines and established protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Assessment procedures are adapted to the age of the client, according to guidelines and protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Assessment of client problems is accurate in terms of the available information and selected examination techniques. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Formulate an accurate diagnosis for a minor ailment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The diagnostic criteria for minor ailments are explained with reference to their meaning and required evidence, in accordance with accepted medical usage and classifications. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Criteria include:
  • Minor ailments as specified in the EDL (Essential Drugs List) and relevant policy documents.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The formulation of the diagnosis of minor ailments is accurate in terms of the diagnostic criteria for each ailment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Diagnostic and assessment tools and/or tests are appropriate in terms of the signs and symptoms presented, and current guidelines and protocols. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Tests include:
  • Urine tests; blood tests (finger prick); vital signs; rapid tests.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Diagnostic and assessment tools and/or tests are applied correctly, in accordance with their purpose and procedures for use. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Prescribe appropriate treatment, care and management of minor ailments according to protocols. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Treatment includes:
  • Oral dehydration; anti-diarrhoea treatment; management of fever, cough, scabies and runny nose. 

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The application of a range of non-pharmacological and pharmacologic interventions and treatments are explained with reference to their action, effectiveness, and related advantages and disadvantages. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Therapies are applied correctly in response to specific diagnoses of minor ailments, according to treatment protocols and guidelines. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Monitoring and assessment is carried out at scheduled intervals to determine the effectiveness of treatment. Instances where treatment is not effective are identified and referred to the relevant health professional according to established procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Complications are identified against protocol and guidelines, and referred to appropriate authorities without delay. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Administer treatment, and monitor patients with minor ailments and common illnesses. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Minor ailments and common illnesses within own context are identified and treatment plans accessed to determine expected and appropriate responses within that context. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Minor ailments include:
  • Coughs; colds; flu; diarrhoea; runny noses; nappy rashes; scabies; fever; lice infestation; dehydration.

    Common ailments include:
  • Hypertension; TB; HIV/AIDS; diabetes; other long term illnesses.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Treatment of minor ailments and common illnesses is consistent with the provisions of the treatment plan, as established by relevant doctors and protocols. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Own practice complies with generally accepted practice and guidelines issued by health authorities. Limits of own scope of competence and authority are identified, and conditions beyond own scope are referred to appropriate practitioners. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Judgements and decisions are supported by evidence gathered from records and own observations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The implications of own actions are described with reference to the intended outcome, as well as the consequences of mistakes or errors of judgement. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Make referrals to other health team members. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The scope and limitations of own competence and/or scope of authority is identified in accordance with the scope of nursing practice and institutional policies and procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Referral of clients beyond own scope as a staff nurse is prompt and appropriate in terms of the context, need, and availability of expertise. Referral complies with existing referral systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Treatment guidelines and protocols for managing minor ailments and common illnesses are followed correctly within organisational constraints. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Referrals are documented in accordance with institutional procedures. Records are detailed, and provide an adequate basis for decision making about subsequent treatment. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Accreditation Option: 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 
    The following 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.
  • Understanding and application of assessment models.
  • Understanding and applying components of medical consultation and physical examination.
  • Understanding and application of physical examination skills.
  • Understanding and application of basic diagnostic equipment.
  • Knowledge of minor ailments and common illnesses. 

  • 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: Identifying disease and implementing health care solutions implies problem-solving and effective decision making. 

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

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage themselves and their activities responsibly and effectively.
  • Note: Implementing health care requires effective organisation. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information.
  • Note: Central to monitoring and evaluation components. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively, using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written presentations.
  • Note: Core competence. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others.
  • Note: Used in assessment and monitoring. 

  • 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: Body as a system; part of the broader health care 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:
  • Formative: A pro-rata calculation of a minimum of 3 assessments for every 16 credits: This could be tests, assignments, projects, demonstrations or clinical assessments.
  • Summative: A pro-rata calculation for every 16 theory credits, a minimum of one written paper and a clinical examination if applicable.

    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:
  • 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.