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Unit rationale, description and aim

It is essential for any health professional, especially paramedics, to have a strong foundation in emotional intelligence and social skills. Being both self-aware and socially-aware provides the fundamental basis to develop and employ skills in self-development and management, self-care and relationship management so the student can be successful in their professional lives. Students will begin to develop positive and professional habits that are required to be a healthy, caring and competent paramedic and will also explore and start to understand how these concepts and skills influence the health of work colleagues, communities and patients. Using learning devices such as case-studies, self-assessment, role-play, and interviewing, students will assimilate these concepts, apply skills and reflect, in order to develop a deeper understanding of self, others and relationships to health care. This unit will support the development of essential skills as a health practitioner as it will assist them with the ability to define goals, create positive habits, communicate effectively with diverse populations, and perform successfully within a team which is a core component of being able to improve communities. These foundations will be further explored and developed in the rest of the paramedicine course.

The aim of this unit is to develop a foundation of self-awareness, self-care, social awareness, culturally safe and relationship management skills that will be integral to a career in paramedicine.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe how being self-aware, culturally aware and occupationally aware effect self-development, health and relationships within the context of health careGC5, GC6
LO2Integrate self-care, self-development and social and cultural-awareness techniques to achieve a team-based goal centred around being a healthy and competent paramedic practitionerGC1, GC4
LO3Reflect on how self-awareness, self-management, self-care and social-awareness influence one's own wellbeing, development, relationships and paramedic practiceGC7, GC9

Professional Capabilities for a Registered Paramedic

The Paramedicine Board of Australia is responsible for assessing, consulting on and setting the standards for paramedics practicing in Australia. These standards and relevant domains are articulated in the Professional Capabilities for a Registered Paramedic document. The learning outcomes of this unit are matched to the relevant capabilities, in order to align students’ development with the requirements of a paramedic.  

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 

1.1, 1.2  

LO1, LO2, LO3

Domain 2: The communicator and collaborator 

2.1, 2.2 

LO1, LO2 

Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 



Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 

4.2, 4.5, 4.6

LO1, LO2, LO3 

Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner

5.3, 5.4


National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (Second Edition)

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards developed in this unit are:

Standards/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Communicating for Safety

LO2, LO3


Topics will include: 

  • Emotional intelligence 
  • Principles of self-awareness 
  • Physical 
  • Psychological 
  • Social and cultural 
  • Philosophical and spiritual 
  • Principles of self-development and self-management:  
  • Self-care 
  • Behaviour change theories 
  • Strategies and techniques  
  • Principles of social and introduction cultural awareness: 
  • Perceiving, empathy and compassion 
  • Diverse populations and cultures 
  • Cultural Safety and Australian First People’s Knowings and perspectives 
  • Networks and communities 
  • Principles of effective communication:  
  • Theory 
  • Listening 
  • Language 
  • Style  
  • Context  
  • Preparation for practice and placement 
  • Principles of professional relationships 
  • Teamwork 
  • Introduction to leadership and followership 
  • Occupational injuries  
  • Manual Handling:  
  • Biomechanics 
  • Assessment and risk 
  • Equipment 
  • Strategies 
  • Reflective practice for learning and development 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit fosters student-centred active learning and accommodates diverse student needs. Teaching and learning strategies are chosen to engage the student with materials, concepts and experiences that will support achievement of the aims and objectives of the Unit as well as relevant Graduate Capabilities and professional capabilities. Usually located in the first year, PARA114 provides the key foundational knowledge and skills of being a competent, adaptable, culturally safe, capable and healthy paramedic. To support this early development, delivery methods will be multi-modal and comprised of virtual/online environments and face to face resource sessions and workshops.  

Online learning will assist in acquiring the fundamental theoretical concepts necessary for paramedicine. The information, delivery and exercises will be constructed in digestible portions which will allow for ease of understanding, flexibility and respect for individual learning styles. As students begin to apply the concepts in the subsequent workshops, it is expected that students will have completed the online learning before attending the face-to-face component.  

The workshops will allow the use of the fundamental concepts acquired from online learning. By beginning to think, engaging in discussion, and participating in group work, the students will begin to develop the knowledge and skills required for this unit. Learning will be centred around real-world problems that allow for self-development and begin to solve problems in the professional context. 

Early and additional feedback on learning, and tailored support, are provided to facilitate students’ transition to university.

As the practice of paramedicine relies heavily on social interaction and cooperation, it is expected that students will emulate this within the learning environments.  

It is expected that students will undertake a total 150 hours of study for this unit. The hours will comprise of the face-to-face methods, online learning and self-directed study in which students will engage with a range of online resources, readings, and prepare for and/or undertake assessments.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment items consistent with University assessment requirements and policy will be used to ensure students achieve the unit learning outcomes, attain the Graduate Capabilities and meet the professional capabilities required in paramedicine. With the ethos that assessments support and guide learning, students will see a direct relationship between each task and development. 

An early written task allows for an introduction into the content and academic writing with early feedback. This will assist students in acquiring knowledge that becomes the basis for the rest of the unit and the degree. Additionally, the early feedback will allow students to incorporate learning into subsequent assessments.    

The group task is an effective and powerful way to learn, especially within the first year. In addition to the creation of early peer-peer bonds the skills that are developed are highly relevant to the workplace: organisation, delegation, effective communication, peer-support, developing the student's unique voice and perspective in relation to peers, co-operation, leadership, and following. Project management skills such as breaking complex tasks into parts and steps as well as collaboratively managing time and work processes across group members are also developed. All of these skills are important in the practice of paramedicine. The group task will also provide students with personal and interpersonal experiences that can be used in a reflective journal to help develop self-awareness, self-development, social and cultural awareness and relationship management.  

Reflective practice will play an important role during the degree and throughout students’ professional career and personal endeavours. with the opportunity to contemplate thoughts, feelings and experiences in relation to the course content and interactions. For PARA114, it will be an important tool to develop emotional intelligence and help anticipate future learning challenges.

To pass the unit, students must demonstrate that they have achieved each learning outcome and obtained a total mark of 50% in the unit as the minimum standard.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Written Assessment 

An early written task allows for an introduction to the content and academic writing with early feedback. This will assist students in acquiring knowledge that becomes the basis for the rest of the unit and the degree. 



Assessment Task 2: Group Assessment 

Allows students to incorporate learning from written task one to achieve team-based goals. Furthermore, it provides students with personal and interpersonal experiences that can be used in their reflective journal.


LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 3: Reflective Journal 

To reflect and develop self-awareness, self-development, social and cultural awareness and relationship management with regards to the course material and experiences.  


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

O’Toole, G. (2016). Communication: Core interpersonal skills for health professionals (3rd ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.  

Stein-Parbury, J. (2017). Patient & person: Interpersonal skills in nursing (6th ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier.  

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