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PARA202 Paramedic Practice: Medical 1 OR PARA217 Paramedicine in Practice: Medical 1


PARA302 Paramedic Practice: Population Variances

Unit rationale, description and aim

Paramedics encounter situations and problems that require expedient, insightful and competent decision making to achieve optimal outcomes for people and communities. In this unit students will utilise a paramedic clinical decision-making framework to apply individualized management plans for populations across the lifespan. This content complements the unit PARA316 Paramedicine Theory: Lifespan Health where students will apply the theory both in the practical laboratory environment and during clinical placement. Skills developed in this unit assist students to start building an understanding of paramedic management of groups whose presentations, needs and management vary from the general population.  

The aim of this unit is to assist students to achieve advanced assessment management skills and care principles of groups whose presentations and needs vary from the general population. 

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
LO1Demonstrate appropriate clinical assessments and therapeutic, social and cognitive skills that are required to provide culturally safe care for individuals across the lifespanGC2, GC8
LO2Integrate appropriate clinical assessments, therapeutic, social and cognitive skills into a paramedic decision making framework in order to assist people affected by a range of aetiologies within the context of clinical paramedicineGC2, GC4, GC7
LO3Evaluate the application and adaption of paramedic decision making framework, associated therapeutic skills and professionalism used to care for individuals throughout the life-spanGC1, GC12

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 

1.1, 1.2, 1.3 

LO1, LO2, LO3

Domain 2: The communicator and collaborator 

2.1, 2.2 

LO1, LO2, LO3

Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 

LO2, LO3

Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 

4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 

LO1, LO3

Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner

5.3, 5.4, 5.6 

LO1, LO2, LO3

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

Partnering with Consumers

LO1, LO2

Medication Safety

LO1, LO2

Comprehensive Care

LO1, LO2

Communicating for Safety

LO1, LO2

Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration

LO1, LO2


Topics will include:

  • The older adult 
  • Reproductive systems 
  • Obstetrics 
  • Neonatal 
  • Paediatrics 

For the selected lifespans and aetiologies within the context of paramedicine, students will apply the relevant concepts and skills of: 

  • Approaches and Reasoning:
  • People-centred, culturally safe care for life span health
  • Clinical decision-making and reasoning
  • Focused clinical assessments
  • Relating pathophysiology to presentations
  • Risks
  • Acuity
  • Applying Care 
  • Development and application of management and care principles; 
  • Selected therapeutic and social skills; 
  • Applied pharmacotherapy; 
  • Interprofessional education and interdisciplinary and team-based care; 
  • Health care and referral pathways; 
  • Advanced Life Support Approach and Cardiac arrest for associated life-span health presentations. 
  • Experiences and Outcomes 
  • The individual’s experience of selected life-span health and interactions with health care, including those from Australian First Peoples’ experiences and perspectives; 
  • Debrief, reflection and evaluation. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This Unit provides teaching and learning strategies that engage students with materials, concepts and experiences that will support students’ achievement of the aims and objectives of the Unit as well as relevant Graduate Attributes and professional capabilities. PARA317, coupled with PARA316 Paramedicine Theory: Lifespan Health, will develop students’ understanding and apply the approach necessary for patient centred care across a lifespan. 

Usually situated, in the third year, this Unit will be predominately delivered in a face-to-face style and the clinical practice environment. This, combined with online delivery, will provide opportunities for both independent and social learning.  

Online learning materials will assist in priming students for practice and will aid in reflection and conceptualisation. The materials will include readings and exercises that will support application of theory and help self-identify student knowledge gaps.  

Practical classes will allow students to experiment with concepts developed during PARA316. Cases and management plans discussed and created in PARA316 will be further explored and refined by providing students with the opportunity to develop and enact skills, paramedic clinical decision making, communication strategies and attributes of teamwork. Varying levels of realism will engage students’ senses to advance psychomotor, emotional, social and cognitive skills. Within the practical class environment, methods of learning may include skills stations, role-play, facilitated scenarios and simulations, peer-to-peer learning, audio and visual practice recordings analysis, and/or structured feedback and debriefs.   

The tutorial will capstone both theoretical and practical units by building on students’ knowledge and experiences created throughout the unit and degree. This process will be structured yet organic. It will be facilitated to promote discussion and provide clarification and guidance for examining and reflecting upon student experimentation and application of patient care plans, skills, emotions and paramedic clinical decision making. 

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

To extend students’ leaning, they will have the opportunity to explore and apply knowledge and skills of paramedicine in the real-world environment. Supervised clinical placement will be provided within an appropriate emergency, urgent care, primary health care, simulated or another relevant environment.  The supervised and facilitated clinical placement provides a safe environment where students can provide People-centred  care which is essential for successful practice within paramedicine. Clinical placement experience will enable students to reflect on practice and the principles of paramedicine.   

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 the 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 student development. 

The practice portfolio will enable students to demonstrate students practice throughout the unit. Authentic tasks and requirements within the practice portfolio with be targeted to the learning outcomes of the unit and stage of development. The practice portfolio will provide students a strong foundation to further integrate skills into a paramedic-decision making framework and application within the clinical environment.  

The Work Integrated Learning (WIL) portfolio allows an opportunity for students to document their clinical placement experience, receive feedback and develop good record management skills. This is imperative for students to achieve as a registered paramedic. Furthermore, reflection is a cornerstone attribute of a health professional. Thus, the associated reflection gives students the opportunity to reflect and subsequently develop the application of decision-making skills, therapeutic skills, culturally safe practice and professionalism within a real-world environment.   

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is considered important component within the paramedicine profession. It contributes to learning by providing students the opportunity to apply theory, demonstrate skills in an isolated manner and or integrated within decision-making framework and practice. It aims to emulate real-world clinical presentations and problems where students will be tasked with providing solutions and care for. The OSCE allows for quick feedback on student stage of development and competencies, which will assist with future clinical practice.  

Given the nature of paramedicine and its associated risks, it is pertinent that students can demonstrate that they are fit and safe to practice within in the clinical practice environment. Thus, passing all three assessments in this unit are a hurdle requirement. These hurdles assess knowledge that is essential to the unit of study that students cannot progress in the course without.  

Assessment Task 1 is an ungraded hurdle task with unlimited attempts.

Assessment Task 2 is an ungraded hurdle task with a maximum of two attempts.

Assessment Task 3 is an ungraded hurdle task. Students must demonstrate they have met the learning outcomes associated with their clinical placement experience and are allowed unlimited attempts to submit a satisfactory WIL portfolio.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Practice Portfolio (Ungraded Hurdle)

Allows students to showcase and collaborate on learning experiences in a professional manner ensuring that their understanding and skills meets the professional requirements for practice



Assessment Task 2: Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) (Ungraded Hurdle)

Enables students to demonstrate competency and incorporation of therapeutic, psychomotor, social and cognitive skills into culturally safe paramedic practice to address presenting clinical challenges



Assessment Task 3: Work Integrated Learning (WIL) Portfolio (Ungraded Hurdle)

Enables students to demon strate ability to record and maintain documentation and develop reflective skills relating to real world application of paramedicine



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. 

Samuels, M., & Wieteska, S. (Eds). (2017). Advanced paediatric life support: A practical approach to emergencies (4th Aust. NZ ed.). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons Inc. 

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. 

Weiner, G.M., Zaichkin, J., & Kattwinkel, J. (Eds.). (2016). Textbook of neonatal resuscitation (7th ed.). Elks Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Paediatrics. 

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