Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Paramedics make decisions that will affect people's lives, therefore it is important that students develop a foundation in clinical-decision making. To develop these skills, PARA118 will provide students with a foundational framework of a paramedic's approach to providing people-centred care. Using case-based learning, students will acquire and experiment with the fundamental knowledge and skills used in paramedicine. The student will learn about the role of a paramedic and the health care system, culturally safe practice, emotional intelligence, the foundations of a clinical decision-making framework, introductory paramedicine skills, and begin to distinguish between wellness and illness. This will aid students in the initial development of both intuitive and analytical decision making within an appropriate paramedicine framework to begin to apply people-centred care, of which students will reflect upon.

The aim of this unit is to provide students with an introduction to paramedicine and the basic foundations of therapeutic, social and reasoning skills that will be utilised with every decision and interaction as a paramedic.

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 - Outline the roles, responsibilities, emotional/social skills, environments and risks of paramedic practice within the Australian Health Care System (GA2)

LO2 - Discuss the use of a paramedic clinical decision-making framework with consideration to emotional/social skills, plus legal and ethical principles inherent in paramedicine whilst maintaining people-centred care (GA9)

LO3 - Apply a safe foundational paramedic decision making framework, incorporating basic clinical assessments and social and reasoning skills to distinguish between wellness and illness (GA1, GA5)

LO4 - Reflect upon the application of a safe foundational paramedic decision making framework incorporating basic clinical assessments and sound, culturally safe social and cognitive skills to distinguish between wellness and illness and associated issues (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA10)

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 

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

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

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: Professional and ethical conduct 

1.1, 1.2, 1.3 

LO1, LO2

Domain 2: Professional communication and collaboration 

2.1, 2.2 

LO1, LO3 

Domain 3: Evidence-based practice and professional learning 

3.1, 3.2 

LO2, LO3, LO4

Domain 4: Safety, risk management and quality assurance 

4.1, 4.2, 4.6 


Domain 5: Paramedicine practice 

5.2, 5.4 

LO2, LO3, LO4

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

LO2, LO3, LO4

Partnering with Consumers


Preventing and Controlling Healthcare-Associated Infection


Medication Safety


Comprehensive Care

LO2, LO3, LO4

Blood Management



Topics will include: 

Paramedicine and the Health Care Systems 

  • Australian Health Care System overview 
  • Paramedic's roles in health care delivery 
  • Introduction to interdisciplinary care 
  • Paramedic environments 
  • Basic legal and ethical concepts 
  • Introduction to professionalism 

Paramedicine, Reasoning and Cognition 

  • Scope of Practice 
  • Risks 
  • Principles of biopsychosocial model and approach 
  • Paramedic clinical decision-making framework 
  • Reasoning used in health care 
  • Introduction to human factors 
  • Situational awareness 
  • Acuity and time criticality 

Paramedicine and Assessments 

  • Principles of wellness and illness 
  • Information gathering techniques 
  • Clinical, social and environmental assessments 
  • Mechanism of injury 
  • Infection risks and control 

Paramedicine and Patient Experiences 

  • Patient dignity and comfort 
  • Applied therapeutic and interprofessional communication 

 Principles of emotional intelligence 

  • Self-awareness 
  • Self-management 
  • Social and Cultural Awareness 
  • Communication for health professional 

 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 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This Unit provides teaching and learning strategies that engage students with materials, concepts and experiences that will support the achievement of the aims and objectives of the Unit, as well as relevant Graduate Attributes and professional capabilities. 

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, to engage in discussion and group work to begin to solve the case-based challenges posed. These challenges are designed with a real-world focus to apply student knowledge to relevant contexts.  

Practical classes will allow students to experiment and apply concepts developed during online content and tutorials. Cases and management plans discussed and created will be further explored and refined, providing the opportunity to develop and enact skills, paramedic clinical decision making, communication strategies and attributes of teamwork. Varying levels of realism will engage student's senses to advance psychomotor, culturally safe, 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. 

Simulations will then provide students with an authentic and engaging opportunity to apply developing skills in a dynamic and challenging, but safe environment. This will allow the student to focus and consolidate knowledge and be optimally prepared to negotiate the challenges encountered in a career in paramedicine. These simulations will be embedded into the weekly practical classes throughout the semester.

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 of 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 their development. 

The concept map provides students with the opportunity to explore, create and relate concepts identified within the content and their studies. It provides students with a visual representation that outlines knowledge on a given topic, thus providing immediate personal feedback on learning. It will also provide the basis for future assessment tasks within this unit and others. Ultimately, it will support student's clinical reasoning and decision-making development, thus assist in caring for those effected by various aetiologies.  

The written assessment will build on the 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 practice portfolio will enable students to demonstrate their practice throughout the unit. Authentic task and requirements within the practice portfolio will be targeted to the learning outcomes of the unit and the student's stage of development.  

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 OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Concept Map 

Enables students to visually identify and create a knowledge network that will assist in comprehension of broad complex topics. 




Assessment Task 2: Written Assessment 

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


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Practice Portfolio 

Allows students to demonstrate and collaborate on learning experiences in a professional manner ensuring that understanding and skills meets culturally safe professional requirements for practice. 


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

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. 

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.  

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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