Credit points


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PARA104 Foundations of Paramedic Practice OR PARA115 Fundamentals of Paramedicine Care

Unit rationale, description and aim

Paramedics encounter situations and problems that require insightful and competent decision making to achieve optimal care outcomes for individuals and communities. To ensure robust decisions are performed by students, this first practice unit will assist in building knowledge and skills of paramedic practice with regards to people-centred care and the clinical environment. This unit will translate introductory knowledge and theory acquired in PARA126 Paramedicine Theory: Primary Care into practice and clinical context. Continuing with case-based learning, students will explore, experiment, reflect and refine their ability to assess, identify and care for individuals affected by primary care aetiologies and presentations explored in PARA126. Students will begin to incorporate therapeutic and social skills into a paramedic decision making framework, underpinned by theory and evidence, both in the laboratory environment and while undertaking clinical placement.

The aim of this unit is to impart the knowledge and skills allowing student to assess, recognise and apply people-centred care principles for various introductory primary health presentations within practice and clinical context.

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 - Demonstrate appropriate clinical assessments, therapeutic, social and cognitive skills for the management and culturally safe care of people affected by illnesses and injuries typical of primary care presentations within the context of clinical paramedicine (GA5, GA10)

LO2 - Integrate appropriate clinical assessments, therapeutic, social and cognitive skills into a paramedic decision making framework in order to assist people affected by illnesses and injuries typical of primary care presentations within the context of clinical paramedicine (GA1, GA5)

LO3 - Reflect upon the application of a paramedic decision making framework, therapeutic/social/cultural skills and professionalism in the clinical environment (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 

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, 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 

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


Medication Safety

LO1, LO2

Comprehensive Care

LO1, LO2, LO3

Communicating for Safety


Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration



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 health care 
  • Prevention and promotion 
  • Reporting systems and documentation 
  • Primary care presentations, clinical-decision making and applied management principles: 
  • 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 
  • Applying primary care and associated aetiologies assessments: 
  • Physiological; 
  • Social; 
  • Psychological assessments. 
  • Foundational therapeutic skills to support primary care:  
  • Principles of safe drug administration  
  • Intravenous access 
  • Intramuscular administration 
  • Intranasal administration 
  • Introduction drug dose calculation 
  • Analgesic agents 
  • Antiemetic agents 
  • Fluid therapy 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Introduction to Basic Life Support (BLS) 
  • Airway clearance techniques 
  • Primary airway adjuncts  
  • Oxygenation 
  • Ventilation 
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation 
  • Defibrillation 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit utilises teaching and learning strategies that will enable students to engage with materials, concepts and experiences to support the achievement of the aims and objectives of the unit as well as relevant Graduate Attributes and professional capabilities. PARA127, coupled with PARA126 Paramedicine Theory: Primary Care, will create foundational knowledge of primary care within the discipline of paramedicine. 

Usually situated in the first year, this unit will be predominately delivered in a face-to-face style and will introduce 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 to self-identify knowledge gaps.  

Practical classes will allow students to experiment with concepts developed during PARA126. Cases and management plans discussed and created in PARA126 will be further explored and refined by providing 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 actively integrate both theoretical and practical units by building on 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 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 learning, students 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 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 culturally safe practice within paramedicine. Clinical placement experiences will enable students to reflect on practice and the principles of paramedicine.  

It is expected that students will undertake a total of 150 hours of study and complete the additional placement hours required for this unit. The hours will comprise of face-to-face classes, online learning and self-directed study in which students will engage with a range of online resources and readings in preparation for 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 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 summative quiz will enable students to demonstrate their acquisition of knowledge throughout the unit and provide a strong foundation to further integrate skills into a paramedic-decision making framework and application within the clinical environment.  Students will engage in three formative quizzes throughout the semester, prior to the summative quiz. The formative quizzes will provide students with an understanding of how their learning is progressing within the unit. The final summative quiz formally assesses the student's knowledge and students are required to meet the requisite standard to pass this assessment. Students will have a total of two attempts to successfully pass this assessment.

The Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) is considered an important component within the paramedicine profession. It contributes to learning by providing the opportunity to apply theory and demonstrate skills in an isolated manner and/or integrated within a 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. The OSCE allows for quick feedback on the students’ stage of development and competencies, which will assist with future clinical practice. Students will have a total of two attempts to successfully pass this assessment.

The clinical logbook allows an opportunity for students to document their clinical placement experience, receive feedback and develop good record management skills. Accurate and professional record management skills are essential attributes of a registered paramedic. Furthermore, reflection is a cornerstone attribute of a health professional. Thus, the associated reflection gives the opportunity to reflect and subsequently develop application of decision-making skills, therapeutic skills and professionalism within a real-world environment. Students must pass this assessment on the first attempt.

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

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 (Hurdle): Summative Quiz

Enables students to demonstrate appropriate clinical assessments, therapeutic, social, and cognitive skills for the management and care of people affected by illnesses and injuries typical of primary care presentations.



GA5, GA10

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

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


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA5, GA10

Assessment Task 3 (Hurdle): Clinical Logbook and Reflective Portfolio 

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



GA2, GA4

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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