Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


PARA104 Foundations of Paramedic Practice OR PARA115 Fundamentals of Paramedicine Care OR PARA118 Foundations of Paramedicine

Unit rationale, description and aim

Primary care is typically the first contact an individual with a health concern has with the health system, and as such, it is imperative that paramedics understand their roles, responsibilities and scope of practice involved with providing care to individuals and communities with primary care presentations. Building from the foundational knowledge and skills developed in PARA115 and using case-based learning, student's clinical decision-making abilities will further be developed in this unit. In addition, students will be introduced to the individuals' journey through the health care system. By assimilating the concepts of epidemiology, pathophysiology and evidence-based management for selected range of basic primary care conditions that a paramedic will encounter, students will be able to incorporate this into a paramedic decision-making framework. This unit will be complemented by PARA127: Paramedicine in Practice: Primary Care where students will begin to apply the skills required to assess, identify and manage the presentations introduced in this unit. Additionally, this unit will develop knowledge and skills that prepare students for more complex decision making encountered throughout the degree.

The aim of this unit is to introduce students to the epidemiology, pathophysiology and evidence-based management of primary care presentations that is commonly encountered by a paramedic and allow students to begin to identify the various relevant health care pathways that can be utilised for individuals and their needs

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 - Identify the aetiologies, epidemiology, pathophysiology, presentations, implications and management principles of injuries and illness typical of primary care within the context of paramedicine (GA9)

LO2 - Discuss evidence-based practice principles and appropriate health care pathways that encompasses a biopsychosocial approach to primary care that is within the scope of paramedicine (GA8, GA9)

LO3 - Apply people-centred care, underpinned by a paramedic decision making framework and evidence-based practice principles in order to assist people affected by illness and injury typical of primary care aetiologies (GA3, GA5, GA6)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

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

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

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, LO3 

Domain 2: Professional communication and collaboration 


LO1, LO3 

Domain 3: Evidence-based practice and professional learning 

3.1, 3.2 


Domain 5: Paramedicine practice 

5.2. 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, LO3

Partnering with Consumers

LO1, LO2, LO3

Medication Safety

LO2, LO3

Comprehensive Care

LO2, LO3

Communicating for Safety

LO1, LO2, LO3


Topics will include: 

  • Primary care 
  • Continuum of Care/ Health Pathways 
  • Interdisciplinary roles and teams in primary care 
  • Introduction to technology in health care 
  • Introduction to models of primary care 
  • Prevention and promotion 
  • Reporting systems and documentation 
  • Primary care presentations, epidemiology, pathophysiology, implications of: 
  • Minor Injuries 
  • Falls 
  • Wounds 
  • Burns 
  • Fractures/Dislocation 
  • Minor head injury 
  • Illness 
  • Ear, nose and throat 
  • Introduction to infectious diseases 
  • Pain 
  • Gastroenterological  
  • Urology  
  •  Introductory concepts of fluid loss 
  • Introduction to primary care and associated aetiologies assessments: 
  • Physiological; 
  • Social; 
  • Psychological assessments. 
  • Therapeutic skills and management principles for primary care and associated presentations: 
  • Preventative  
  • Technical 
  • Social 
  • Pharmacological 
  • Cognitive 
  • Introduction to Basic Life Support (BLS) 

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. PARA126, coupled with PARA127 Paramedicine in Practice: Primary Care, will create foundational knowledge of primary care within the discipline of paramedicine. Usually situated in the first year, PARA126 continues to build skills for 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 will 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 students can begin to solve the case-based challenges posed. These challenges are designed with a real-world focus to apply 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 PARA127 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 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 development.

The information sheet provides students with the opportunity to explore, create and relate concepts identified within the content and their studies. It provides a visual representation that outlines and organises students’ 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 clinical reasoning and decision-making development, thus assist in caring for those effected by various aetiologies. 

The written assessment will build on previous assessment by further assimilating and analysing key concepts pertinent within paramedicine. It’s context will be centred around real-world problems to provide 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 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 OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Information Sheet

Enables students to visually organise 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 begin to identify real-world problems and articulate solutions while supporting their development of academic communication and critical thinking skills. 


LO2, LO3

GA3, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3: Exam 

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


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA9

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. 

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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