Credit points



PARA217 Paramedicine in Practice: Medical 1

Unit description and aim

It is vital that paramedics incorporate the theory and principles of caring for people with advanced medical aetiologies and apply appropriate skills and decisions in the clinical environments. To accomplish this, PARA227 will introduce students to clinical assessments, skills, management and decision making required for the advanced medical aetiologies explored in PARA226 Paramedic Theory: Medical 2. This unit will translate knowledge and theory acquired in PARA226 Paramedicine Theory: Medical 1 into practice and environmental context, while building on knowledge and skills developed in PARA216 and PARA217. Continuing with case-based learning, students will explore, experiment, reflect and refine their ability to assess, identify and care for individuals effected by varying medical aetiologies and presentations explored in PARA226. students will extend development and further incorporate therapeutic and social skills into a paramedic decision making framework, both in the laboratory environment and while undertaking clinical experience. This will aid in students support application of patient-centred care within the paramedicine discipline.     


The aim of this unit is to assist students in achieving clinical decisions, management and care of advanced cardiac, neurological, renal, hepatic, endocrine, applied toxicology, and electrolyte related medical presentations.   

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate appropriate clinical assessments and therapeutic, social and cognitive skills that are required to provide care for individuals effected by advanced medical presentations (GA5) 

LO2 -  Assimilate appropriate clinical assessments, therapeutic, social and cognitive skills into a paramedic decision making framework in order to assist people affected by a range of medical aetiologies within the context of clinical paramedicine (GA1, GA5, GA6) 

LO3 - Evaluate your application and adaption of paramedic decision making framework, associated therapeutic skills and professionalism used to care for individuals effected by medical presentations (GA2, GA4) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


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: Professional and ethical conduct 

1.1, 1.2, 1.3 

LO1, LO2, LO3 

Domain 2: Professional communication and collaboration 

2.1, 2.2 

LO1, LO2, LO3 

Domain 3: Evidence-based practice and professional learning 

3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 

LO2, LO3 

Domain 4: Safety, risk management and quality assurance 

4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 

LO1, LO3 

Domain 5: Paramedicine practice 

5.3, 5.4, 5.6 

LO1, LO2, LO3 



Topics will include: 


Advanced cardiology; 





Applied toxicology, and;  

Electrolyte disturbances. 


For the selected lifespans and aetiologies, you will apply the relevant concepts and skills of: 


Approaches and Reasoning 

  • People-centred care for life span health; 
  • Clinical decision-making and reasoning; 
  • Focused clinical assessments; 
  • Relating pathophysiology to presentations;  
  • Differential diagnosis; 
  • Risks; 
  • Acuity. 


Applying Care 

  • Development and application of management and care principles; 
  • Selected therapeutic and social skills; 
  • Applied pharmacotherapy; 
  • Interdisciplinary and team-based care; 
  • Health care and referral pathways; 
  • Advanced Life Support Approach and Cardiac arrest for associated aetiologies.  


Experiences and Outcomes 

  • The individual’s experience of selected medical presentations 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 achievement of the aims and objectives of the Unit as well as relevant Graduate Attributes and professional capabilities. PARA227, coupled with PARA226 Paramedicine Theory: Medical 2, will extend students knowledge of medical care within the discipline of paramedicine. 


Usually situated, in the second 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 knowledge gaps.   


Practical classes will allow students to experiment with concepts developed during PARA226. Cases and management plans discussed and created in PARA226 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 will 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 your 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 learning, they will have the opportunity to explore and apply knowledge and skills of paramedicine in the real-world environment. A total of 120 hours of supervised clinical placement will be provided within an appropriate emergency, urgent care, primary health care, simulated or other 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 your development. 


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


The clinical logbook allows an opportunity for students to document 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 and professionalism within a real-world environment.    


The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is considered important component within the paramedicine profession. It contributes to students learning by providing 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 their 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 the student cannot progress in the course without.  


Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Practice Portfolio 

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



GA5, GA10 

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) 

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



GA1, GA5, GA6 

Clinical Logbook and Reflective Portfolio 

Enables you to demonstrate your ability to record and maintain documentation and develop reflective skills relating to real world application of paramedicine. 



GA2, GA4, GA7 

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. 



Further References  


State ambulance service clinical practice guidelines, drug therapy protocols, and clinical skills sheets. 


Professional Standards, Codes and Guidelines from Paramedicine Board of Australia at: 


See the ACU Library Paramedicine Subject Guide at: 


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