Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


HLSC122 Evidence for Practice

Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning

Unit rationale, description and aim

It is a requirement that all paramedic professionals understand the concepts of professionalisation, governance, interdisciplinary practice, legal precincts, and scope and models of practice underpinning paramedic practice. Such knowledge is essential for paramedics to operate safely within legal and ethical principles and boundaries in a rapidly evolving profession. Changing demographics in paramedic practice and health care delivery in Australia necessitate an understanding of disadvantaged and distinctive population groups.

This unit explores some of the emerging challenges for paramedicine as a health practice discipline with reference to the dynamic nature of this discipline area in contemporary times. It aims to engender in students a deeper understanding of the challenges they may face as paramedics once engaged in practice. Consideration is given to models, scope of practice and governance in the context of changing community needs and challenges to the adequacy of the health system in meeting these needs. Students will be encouraged to plan strategies to engage with communities in preparation for community engagement project work in the unit PARA321 Community Engagement and Paramedic Practice innovations.  

The aim of this unit is to assist students to achieve a wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary issues and challenges in paramedic practice including professionalisation, legal precincts, interdisciplinary practice and the assessment and management of specific and disadvantaged populations.   

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.

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

LO1 - Describe contemporary challenges in paramedic practice including those associated with responding to the needs of special population groups (GA1, GA2) 

LO2 - Develop and apply research skills to explore paramedic practice issue(s) including those related to practice models, scope of practice and governance inclusive of legislation and common law principles (GA4, GA6, GA8, GA10) 

LO3 - Create innovative proposals aimed at addressing contemporary practice challenges in paramedicine (GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10)

LO4 - Act as an advocate for the needs of an identified issue or community group (GA1, GA2)

LO5 - Reflect on issues and develop an appreciation of the need to adapt practice to meet future challenges within a dynamic area of health practice (GA4, GA6)

LO6 - Critically evaluate current approaches to a range of issues within the area of paramedic practice (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 

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

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

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

Paramedicine Board of Australia Professional Capabilities for Registered Paramedics

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

2.1, 2.2, 3.4, 4.6, 5.3, 5.4 


3.3. 4.5


2.1, 3.3


2.1, 3.3


3.3, 4.5, 4.6


3.3, 4.5, 4.6



Topics will include:

  • Professionalisation
  • Registration
  • Technology
  • Scope of practice
  • Models of practice
  • Interdisciplinary practice
  • Changing demographics
  • Multiculturalism
  • Needs of marginalized groups
  • Needs of special population groups
  • Feminisation, casualisation and fractionalisation of work patterns
  • Governance
  • Legal principles governing practice 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Modes of delivery in this unit include tutorials, online activities and self-directed study. Consistent with adult learning principles, the teaching and learning strategies used within these modes of delivery will provide students with advanced knowledge and skills relevant to professional paramedic practice. These strategies will also support students in meeting the aim, learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit and the broader course learning outcomes. Learning and teaching strategies will reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to participate actively with peers.

Located in the second year of the programme, this unit includes some face-to-face teaching hours during which clinical case scenarios and professional case scenarios are used to assist students in linking theory with practice. Tutorials are utilised to convey content and its central principles while computer-assisted learning assists students in applying theory to clinical practice and to build critical reflective skills. The tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions which assist students in applying the theory to clinical practice while also providing an opportunity to consolidate professional knowledge and behaviours. Online materials provide students with the opportunity to manage the significant component of directed, self-motivated study required for graduate practice and life-long learning skills. 

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 and attain the graduate attributes.

Second year sees the students continue their transition toward being an independent learner. The case study engages students with their pending practice environment. The debate provides students with the opportunity to examine and articulate key issues and challenges in paramedic practice. The essay evaluates knowledge and understanding critical to the changing demographic of paramedic practice.

These assessments are required to build student knowledge which, by the conclusion of this programme, will allow the student to graduate as a safe and effective paramedic.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


Enables students to achieve sound communication skills and understanding of key issues in contemporary practice.


LO1, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA4, GA9

Case Study

Enables students to demonstrate understanding of key issues and challenges in the delivery of health care to disadvantaged and distinctive populations or the changing demographics of paramedic practice.


LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA4, GA6, GA8, GA9


Enables students to articulate their knowledge and understanding of contemporary challenges in paramedic practice.


LO2, LO3, LO5, LO6

GA2, GA4, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (2017). National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions. Australian Government. Canberra. Retrieved from 

Bigham, B. L., Kennedy, S.M., Drennan, I., Morrison, L.J. (2013). Expanding Paramedic Scope of Practice in the Community: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Prehospital Emergency Care, 7(3), 361-372. 

Curtis, K., & Ramsden, C. (2016). Emergency and trauma care : for nurses and paramedics (2nd Aust & NZ ed.). Chatswood, NSW : Elsevier Australia

Fraess-Phillips, A.J.(2016). Can Paramedics Safely Refuse Transport of Non-Urgent Patients?   Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 31(6), 667-674. doi:10.1017/S1049023X16000935 

Glover, J., Hetzel, D. & Tennant, S. (2004). The socioeconomic gradient and chronic illness and associated risk factors in Australia. Australia and New Zealand Health Policy 1(8).

Health Workforce Australia (2013) Health LEADS Australia: the Australian Health Leadership Framework. Retrieved from

O’Meara, P. (2012). Would a pre-hospital practitioner model improve patient care in rural Australia? Australasian Journal of Paramedicine 1(3) 199-203

O'Meara, P. F., Furness, S., & Gleeson, R. (2017). Educating paramedics for the future: A holistic approach. Journal of Health & Human Services Administration, 40(2), 219-251.

Talbot, L. & Verinder, G. (2018). Promoting health: The primary health care approach (6th ed.). Chatswood, NSW Elsevier Australia.  

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