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 - 2024

Term 2 - 2024 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 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 92.86% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 27.27% 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 (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
Equal time was allocated at residential school for both obstetrics and paediatrics to ensure all students had the same amount of practice for the scenarios. All students were encouraged to participate and lead scenarios. There was also time allocated for students to do student-led scenarios for paediatric and/or obstetric scenarios, or participate in student-led study.
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
Students were encouraged to stay on top of the workload and to contact staff if any concerns or issues, especially surrounding workload. All efforts were made to cater to those struggling with the content, including granting extensions and communicating with students as needed.
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
This is a discussion that will continue with the paramedic science team.
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
Residential schools were run in a very similar way to previous deliveries, to ensure there were clear expectations with a solid structure for learning.
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
The unit structure was maintained and built upon, which was received well by students.
Source: Student Feedback
Inconsistencies were identified between academics at residential school
All academics teaching in the unit will receive identical explicit instruction. A Zoom meeting will be held before residential school to ensure all academics are consistently trained in assessment facilitation.
Action Taken
Source: Student Feedback
There was limited opportunity to complete enough scenarios at residential school due to large group numbers
Attempt to employ more casual staff members to ensure appropriate academic/student ratios to assist students in getting exposure to scenarios.
Action Taken
Source: Student Feedback
Unit layout was well received by students, with equal time allocated to obstetric and paediatric patients
Keep the layout similar in future deliveries of the unit.
Action Taken
Source: Student Feedback/Unit Coordinator reflection
The time limit for the first quiz was very tight. An extra 10 - 15 minutes would be beneficial
Increase the allocated time for the first quiz.
Action Taken
Source: Unit Coordinator reflection/student feedback
Some students struggled with the understanding and interpretation of the written assessment details.
Provide extra discussion around the written assessment to ensure understanding from students.
Action Taken
Source: Student feedback
More tutorial sessions would be useful.
Schedule more tutorial sessions throughout the unit.
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 a requirement of the Paramedicine Board of Australia that units align with the Australian Health and Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) Professional Capabilities for Registered Paramedics. These are broken down into five (5) domains. Below aligns the learning outcomes with these domains. In addition, the learning outcomes have also been aligned with the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

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.
Standard/Attribute/Criteria Learning Outcomes
Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.6, 1.1.7, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.10, 1.1.11, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4, 1.2.5, 1.2.6, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Domain 2: The communicator and collaborator 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.1.7, 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3, 2.2.5, 2.2.6 LO4, LO5
Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5, 3.2.6, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.4, 3.4.2 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.2.1, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.3.2, 4.5.3 LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Domain 5: The paramedic practitioner 5.1.1, 5.1.2, 5.1.3, 5.1.4, 5.1.5, 5.2.1, 5.2.3, 5.2.4, 5.2.5, 5.3.1, 5.3.2, 5.3.4, 5.3.5, 5.3.6, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 5.4.3, 5.4.4, 5.4.5, 5.4.6, 5.6.1, 5.6.2, 5.6.3, 5.6.4 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Standards developed in this unit are:

Standard Learning Outcomes
Clinical Governance LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Partnering with Consumers LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Preventing and Controlling Infections LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Medication Safety LO4, LO5
Comprehensive Care LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5
Communicating for Safety LO4, LO5
Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration LO3, LO4, LO5

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