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PARA201 Paramedic Theory: Medical 1 OR PARA216 Paramedicine Theory: Medical 1


PARA210 Paramedic Theory: Medical 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

It is a requirement that the paramedic can link theory with practice and perform clinical duties underpinned by a theoretical understanding. To perform these skills well, the paramedic must be able to reflect critically on their practice and appraise their performance. The unit is complimented by the practical content in PARA227: Paramedic Care in Practice: Medical 2. This unit focuses on theoretical aspects of recognition, assessment and management of persons presenting with cardiac, neurological, renal, gastrointestinal and endocrine conditions in dynamic environments. Additionally, it provides opportunities for students to integrate theoretical and practical knowledge in both face to face and digital forums. Foundational concepts such as critical thinking, clinical reasoning and clinical judgement will be developed, and practice skills will be extended through scenario-based learning in the concurrent unit PARA227.        

The aim of this unit is to assist students to use theory to drive their clinical practice and to understand how clinical decision making is guided by a continual process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation within a clinical decision making framework which is integral in the delivery of paramedic practice  

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
LO1Outline the epidemiology, pathophysiology, implications, acuity, assessment, and management of medical presentationsGC2, GC10
LO2Critique medical presentations and the associated management strategies used to provide patient-centred care for medical aetiologies encountered within the scope of paramedicineGC8, GC9
LO3Apply a paramedic decision making framework underpinned by evidence-based management principles in order to provide a people-centred care approach for people affected by medical aetiologiesGC1, GC7

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 your development with the requirements of a paramedic.  

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 

1.2, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 

LO1, LO3

Domain 2: The communicator and collaborator 



Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 

3.1, 3.2, 3.3 

LO2, LO3

Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner

5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.6 


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

Clinical Governance

LO1, LO2, LO3

Partnering with Consumers

LO1, LO3

Medication Safety

LO2, LO3

Comprehensive Care

LO2, LO3

Communicating for Safety

LO1, LO3

Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration



Topics will include: 

  • Advanced cardiology 
  • Neurological 
  • Renal  
  • Hepatic 
  • Endocrine 
  • Electrolyte disturbances 
  • Applied toxicology 

For the selected aetiologies, students will develop their understanding of relevant concepts and skills relating to: 

  • Epidemiology; 
  • Biopsychosocial considerations; 
  • Clinical reasoning; 
  • Pathophysiology and presentations; 
  • Differential diagnosis; 
  • Risks and implications; 
  • Acuity; 
  • Evidence-based practice; 
  • Theoretical management and care concepts; 
  • Associated pharmacotherapy; 
  • Health care systems and pathways, and; 
  • Continuum of care and patient experiences.  

Continuation of Advanced Life Support approach and cardiac arrest for associated aetiologies 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This Unit provides teaching and learning strategies that engage students with materials, concepts and experiences that will support achievement of the aims and objectives of the Unit as well as relevant Graduate Attributes and professional capabilities. PARA226, coupled with PARA227 Paramedicine in Practice: Medical 2, will extend knowledge of medical conditions and their associated care within the discipline of paramedicine. 

Usually situated in the second year, PARA226 continues to build students skills of becoming both an independent and social learner. Delivery methods will be multi-modal and comprised of virtual/online environments and face to face workshops.   

Online learning will assist students 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 they will have completed the online learnings before attending the face-to-face component.   

The workshops will allow students to use the fundamental concepts acquired from online learning, apply analytical thinking, and engage in discussion and group work so they  can begin to solve the case-based challenges posed. These challenges are designed with a real-world focus to apply learned knowledge to relevant clinical contexts. As students progress through the cycle of theory to practice, the online learning and workshops will have a direct relationship to PARA227 practical classes and clinical placement.   

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 attributes and meet professional capabilities required in paramedicine. With the ethos that assessments support and guide learning, students will see a direct relationship between each task and their development.  

The group task is an effective and powerful way to learn. In addition to the creation of peer-to-peer bonds, the skills that are developed are highly relevant to the workplace: organisation, delegation, effective communication, peer-support, developing students unique voice and perspective in relation to peers, co-operation, and leadership. Situated in the digital environment, this provides contemporary skills that will be transferrable across disciplines, while still being relevant to their development in paramedicine.   

The written assessment will build on students’ previous assessment by further assimilating and analysing key concepts pertinent within paramedicine. It’s context will be centred around real-world problems to a deeper understanding of the profession and practice, while developing communication and critical thinking skills. This enables students to create knowledge and solutions that will be directly relatable to paramedicine.  

The exam allows students to showcase a broad understanding of the knowledge inherent in this unit and its specific application within a professional context, which will direct future practice as a paramedic. These assessments will build students knowledge and skills which, by the conclusion of this programme, will enable the student to graduate as a safe and effective practitioner.     

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: Digital Group Task 

Allows for cooperation and learning to be developed on a contemporary platform that will be integral to student development. 



Assessment Task 2: Written Assessment 

Provides students with the opportunity to identify real-world problems and articulate solutions while supporting the development of academic communication and critical thinking skills. 


LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 3: Examination

Enables students to demonstrate broad understanding of the principles, management and care required for medical aetiologies within the paramedicine context. 


LO1, LO2, LO3

Representative texts and references

Bryant, B., & Knights, K. (2015). Pharmacology for health professionals (5th ed). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Australia. 

Bullock, S., & Hales, M., (2018) Principles of Pathophysiology (2nd ed.). Melbourne, VIC: Pearson Australia. 

Curtis, K., & Ramsden, C. (2019). Emergency and trauma care for nurses and paramedics (3rd ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Australia. 

Hall, J.E., (2015). Guyton And Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology. (13th ed.). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier. 

Phalen, T. (2019) The 12-lead ECG in acute coronary syndromes (4th ed.). St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier   

Talley, N.J. & O’Connor, S. (2018). Talley & O’Connor’s Clinical Examination. (8th ed.). Volumes 1 and 2. Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier. 

Tortora, G., & Derrickson, B. (2016). Principles of anatomy and physiology (15th ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley and Sons. 

Townsend, R., & Luck, M. (2019). Applied paramedic law and ethics (2nd ed.). Australia and New Zealand. Sydney: Elsevier. 

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