PMSC12003 - Special Populations in Paramedic Practice

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit you will develop the capacity to engage with, assess, and manage obstetrics and paediatric patients. Upon completion of this unit, you will be able to draw upon your knowledge of pathophysiology, epidemiology, and aetiology to provide professional, situational, and culturally appropriate treatment pathways for managing these special populations.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 2
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre-requisite - PMSC12001 Procedures and Skills in Paramedic Practice, PMSC11004 Paramedic Medical Emergencies 1 and PMSC12004 Advanced Electrophysiology and Coronary Care

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2023

Term 2 - 2023 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Written Assessment 40%
2. Online Quiz(zes) 20%
3. Online Quiz(zes) 40%
4. Practical Assessment 0%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 2 - 2022 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 92.31% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 33.55% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student feedback. 9/32 students who responded to the unit evaluation made comments in this area.
28% of student feedback made reference to the fact that the 3 day residential school is too short to cover the required content.
Extend the PMSC12003 residential school from 3 days to 4 days starting in the 2022 academic year. This issue was addressed midyear and has been approved by Head of Course and timetabling.
Action Taken
2022 saw the introduction of the first four day residential school for PMSC 12003. This allowed improved learning and consolidation across both obstetric and paediatric content.
Source: Student Feedback 1/32
Timetabling needs to be improved in relation to placements.
Early communication with students regarding the complexities of juggling course work with placement commitments. Whilst we have limited control over when these will be timetabled, giving students avenues through CQU for assistance in this area would be beneficial.
Action Taken
Early and regular communication with students from the start of term, highlighting the heavy workload ahead. Regular forum posts and face to face zoom sessions were held in the weeks leading up to placement to further emphasise the need to be organised. Open communication channels were promoted and provided to all students whilst on placement.
Source: Student feedback 1/32
Further assistance with drugs, specifically drawing up and the fine dexterity skills.
Implement a focus on drugs and the specifics of drawing up, drug calculations and dexterity skills into all sessions of residential schools. Extending the residential school to 4 days will also help provide the additional time needed to ensure this is covered well.
Action Taken
The extended residential school allowed for substantial practice and refinement of drug calculations and drawing up skills within each session.
Source: Student Feedback 2/32
Alternative solutions made for those unable to attend residential school due to COVID.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of the hands on practical component of the residential school it is unfeasible at this point in time to offer an alternate solution. What can be achieved is ensuring there is excellent communication regarding this, and changes and accommodations can be made last minute as situations fluidly change. It is also imperative to ensure the mental health of these students as these are unprecedented times adding potential stressors to student.
Action Taken
Regular communication with students around residential schools, including frequent communication with PO students from both 2020 and 2021 leading into residential schools. Flexibility was given to students who had unpredictable and unpreventable issues that arose.
Source: Student Feedback 1/32
Written assignment was not handed back as stated on unit profile and assignment was marked harshly.
Every effort was made to get assessment items back to students on or before time. Feedback was generally positive in this area, with all quizzes back within a few days. The written assessments were held up by 2 days due to unforeseen circumstances of one of the markers. Marking also fell in the middle of residential schools, so this could be addressed moving forward, and will be of particular importance with the movement of residential schools next year. Every effort was made to ensure fair marking of assessments. Clear guidelines were provided by the unit coordinators to all markers prior to marking assessments. All markers who were involved in marking the Written Assessment were provided with the same three assessments to mark blindly prior to commencing marking overall. All markers met and discussed results to ensure consistency and transparency, with issues with the remainder of the marking. Any fail marks were moderated by unit coordinators.
Action Taken
All assessment pieces were handed back within allocated time frames. Time was taken before each assessment piece to ensure their was consistency across markers and that moderation processes were complete.
Source: Student Feedback 1/32
Additional content for students who want further extension.
We are endeavouring to incorporate more videos from midwives and obstetricians alike to give actual de-identified case studies to improve student understanding and application.
Action Taken
A small selection of skills videos were added to the additional resources section of relevant weeks. Further work in this area could be beneficial and will be achievable given adequate workload.
Source: Student Satisfaction Scores
Assessment feedback satisfaction has dipped slightly from 4.8 to 4.7 over the past year.
This will be taken into consideration moving forward, with more streamlined and consistent feedback being provided for all assessments, especially when there are numerous markers of the same assessments. The unit coordinators have already discussed recording a session which details assessment feedback, particularly for the quiz aspect of assessments.
Action Taken
The written assignment was a case study that was broken down into 5 seperate questions, allowing for individual feedback on each section. This was designed to provide more specific feedback.
Source: Student feedback (2 students)
Students reported a lack of time for practical application of paediatric scenarios during the residential school.
Ensure academic-to-student ratios are adhered to on all campuses. Incorporate student led scenarios, allowing for more scenarios to be run concurrently and therefore more exposure in the primary care role for all students.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback (4 students)
Unit reported by students to be content heavy, however, this was offset by well-structured lectures, resources and regular zoom sessions making it manageable.
Maintain communication and encouragement to students to be aware of the content load in PMSC12003, promoting the need to be organised and to stay on top of workload. This is particularly relevant given that most students also attend there first on road placement during this semester.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback (1 student)
Consideration for PMSC12003 to be split into two separate units within the degree structure.
Consider team discussion around the structure of the degree and whether it would be achievable for obstetrics and paediatrics to be covered individually due to the large amount of content covered within each topic.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback (15 students)
Students reported a positive residential school experience outlining clear expectations, structure and learning materials that created an learning environment that was less intimidating than previous residential schools.
Continue to provide clear residential school outlines and incorporate the revision workbooks for all students at the beginning of residential schools. Encourage all campuses to use the smaller group student-run scenarios as this creates a less intimidating environment for learning.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback (6 students)
Students reported a unit structure that flowed easily and assisted with consolidation of knowledge as each week progressed.
Continue to use and build on the current unit structure which was well received by students.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse and apply the pathophysiology to antenatal patients through all stages of pregnancy, including intrapartum and post-partum
  2. Analyse and apply the knowledge of key growth, anatomical and physiological differences when assessing paediatric patients
  3. Integrate theoretical knowledge in the clinical assessment of common and emergent obstetric and paediatric conditions
  4. Demonstrate the application of clinical skills, interventions, and pharmacology in the management of obstetric and paediatric patients in the pre-hospital environment
  5. Employ the principles of effective communication when dealing with paediatric and obstetric patients, with consideration of culturally appropriate, ethical, and professional behaviours required of the registered paramedic.

It is now a requirement of Paramedic registration, to align with the AHPRA accreditation guidelines. These are broken down into five domains. Below aligns the proposed learning outcomes with these domains, with each domain also listed below:

Learning outcome 1 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3 & 5

Learning outcome 2 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3 & 5

Learning outcome 3 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Learning outcome 4 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Learning outcome 5 aligns with professional capabilities for registered paramedics Domain 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Domain 1 – Professional and ethical conduct

· Practice ethically and professionally, consistent with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements

· Provide each patient with an appropriate level of dignity and care

Domain 2 – Professional communication and collaboration

· Communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively with patient and other relevant people

Domain 3 – Evidence-based practice and professional learning

· Make informed and reasonable decisions

· Use clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills to determine clinical judgements and appropriate actions

· Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills in order to make professional judgements

Domain 4 – Safety, risk management and quality assurance

· Protect and enhance patient safety

· Maintain safety of self and others in the work environment

Domain 5 – Paramedicine practice

· Assess and monitor the patient capacity to receive care

· Understand the key concepts of the bodies of knowledge which are specifically relevant to paramedicine practice

· Conduct appropriate diagnostic or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely

· Formulate specific and appropriate patient care and treatment actions

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Quiz(zes)
3 - Online Quiz(zes)
4 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Communication
2 - Problem Solving
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical practice
9 - Social Innovation
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10