PMSC13012 - Paramedic Medical Emergencies 3

General Information

Unit Synopsis

In this unit, you will study the pathophysiology, presentation, and pre-hospital management of various environmental, toxicological and toxinological emergencies. You will learn how to discriminate between similar conditions and confounding presentations. Through case-based learning, you will develop the critical thinking and clinical judgement skills to confidently reach diagnoses and determine the most appropriate clinical management in accordance with contemporary industry guidelines and protocols. A residential school consolidates knowledge with practice in high-fidelity simulation case management exercises.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 3
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


  • PMSC12005 Paramedic Medical Emergencies 2
  • PMSC12004 Advanced Electrophysiology and Coronary Care

Please note: Any student who has not successfully completed a PMSC residential school within the preceding 12 months or undertaken a clinical placement unit, must complete a PMSC12001 Procedures & Skills refresher. This ensures currency with all contemporary skills and procedures in line with industry standards and professional capabilities.

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 3 - 2023

Term 1 - 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 50%
2. Online Test 50%
3. 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 1 - 2023 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 90.91% (`Agree` and `Strongly Agree` responses), based on a 23.24% 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: Unit evaluation responses
Students wished for more time to complete the online quiz.
At the start of term students were advised of the duration of the quiz and the need to have good content understanding to complete all questions in time. It was explained to students that clear knowledge of content was required to enable comfortable completion, but that there was not enough time to look up every answer in this open-book test. In that manner the quiz differentiates between students who have completed deep-learning of content, and those with only shallow recall that needed to reference information more frequently. This was later reiterated in tutorials preceding the quiz. The quiz duration and workload is suitable for third-year level, and the majority of students did pass the quiz, many with HD-level results.
Action Taken
Students were again given comprehensive instructions for the quiz, including a practice quiz with exemplar responses for all various question formats. No students ran out of time or experienced significant technical difficulties with the quiz, and overall results were well-distributed. As such the quiz duration was not changed, but support resources were improved and questions were refined to ensure clarity of wording and content.
Source: Unit evaluation responses
The unit was well-paced, and tutorials were extremely useful in contextualising and applying weekly content.
The unit has run for several years now, and the content is indeed evenly distributed throughout the term. Although live tutorial attendance is typically low, the high uptake of tutorial recordings as well as student feedback attests to the value of these sessions. They shall continue to be run in this manner, which applies case-based learning with discussion of pathophysioslogy, pharmacology, and clinical decision-making skills.
Action Taken
Content was able to be spread out over more weeks this year due to residential schools being timetabled after week twelve. This eased student workload during the earlier weeks when they were completing graded assessments as well as undertaking clinical placement.
Source: Student emails; verbal feedback during tutorials
The guide to outlining and structuring academic papers was very well-received. Students reported that this helped them to plan out their written report, and to break the task down into manageable pieces that could be completed around clinical placement shifts.
The guide to writing has been provided in other third-year units, and was adapted this year to suit the PME3 written report assessment task. It shall continue to be provided in this unit to support academic writing skills, and shall be supplemented in 2023 with a second document explaining APA style formatting and layout for a written report.
Action Taken
The guide was refreshed and provided again this year, as well as recorded video instructions on approaching the written task. Where questions were asked in the forums that required a more detailed response, short video responses were provided as well as a text version of the question answer. A good number of students did make direct contact for guidance on their written task, and all responses were provided within 24hrs to best support their assessment completion.
Source: SUTE Unit Comments Report. Many similar comments received in-person, via email, and during Zoom tutorials.
"The one aspect of this unit that stood out the most that in my opinion made the learning experience so much better then others, was the ability to download audio files. This made studying for me so much easier as I was able to listen through lectures whilst driving or at work."
It is recommended that audio versions of all lectures continue to be provided, as well as for the tutorial sessions. Where some lectures were longer, or covered multiple conditions or focus areas, the audio files were split into parts for easier navigation. It was very simple to add these additional resources for students, and I received very positive feedback on this initiative throughout term from students who appreciated the flexibility of audio content delivery.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit Comments Report; forum request during term.
Requests for self-test question sheets and quizzes weekly to help with study and revision.
Self-test revision prompt questions were provided for those weeks at the start of term that covered a larger number of conditions that were easy to confuse. Towards the end of term, a practice online quiz was also provided to help with both assessment preparation and revision. It is recommended that these resources are expanded to cover all weeks, and that consideration is given to providing additional practice quizzes as well. To avoid a sense of overwhelm in a unit that does already cover a huge number of conditions and at sometimes great depth, it is further recommended that labels explicitly state that these are not core content resources but optional review material for use at any time.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit Comments Report; similar comments received in-person, via email, and during Zoom tutorials.
"PME3 was a well presented unit. The lectures were very well done with an extensive amount of high quality peer-reviewed content which was presented effectively. Having to deliver a time-intensive research assignment during placement was annoying, however, the fact that Lisa has clearly put a lot of work into delivering similar content in her lectures made me feel better about it as everyone was being held to the same high standard."
Based upon the extremely positive student feedback, it is recommended that the remaining content is also with new green screen lectures. Consider also restructuring and re-recording any new lectures that ran longer than thirty minutes. Most content lectures were created fresh for this year, and utilised greenscreen technology for a cleaner presentation with increased sense of transactional presence without extraneous clutter. Students provided very positive feedback on the lecture content and presentation, and appreciated that all slides were supported by citations with a full reference list. I do take the time to ensure that all citations and the references are presented to the exact high standard we demand of our students in their written reports, and I can also point to my own work as examples of citing and referencing various material.
Action Taken
Source: Self-reflection; student comments received in-person.
Video responses to forum questions.
It is recommended to continue the practice of providing video responses in addition to text responses to forum questions. I introduced short video responses to student questions or comments posted in the forum to provide greater transactional presence to students and a more engaging interaction. This worked very well and was well-received by students. Initially this did feel like it took a bit more time, but with hindsight I realised that I often spend a lot of time ensuring clarity and comprehensive information within my written responses anyway. Videos allowed me to talk to the student in a direct (albeit asynchronous) sense, and I also added text dot-points as a summary or for those unable to view video.
Action Taken
Source: SUTE Unit Evaluations chart; SUTE Comments Report
Request for more real-life examples; request for video examples of case management.
The request for video examples of case management (or staff demonstrations during residential schools) was received during residential school, as well as later within SUTE comments. I explained at the time that it would be difficult to choose which (of several dozen) conditions to provide an example of case management for, given how specific clinical management is for each presentation. Examplars could also create assessment issues and a perception of disparity if that case type were used to assess some students, whilst other students were assessed on a condition for which I did not create a case management video. I recommended further consideration around providing video exemplars for the general approach to the poisoned patient. These could support continued use of real-life examples of case management for tutorial discussions, and will continue to source case reports as reading material for the eReading List.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Evaluate patients systematically and comprehensively to formulate a provisional diagnosis associated with toxicology, toxinology and environmental emergencies
  2. Justify the provisional diagnosis by integrating knowledge of underpinning physiological changes associated with acute toxicology, toxinology and environmental presentations
  3. Practice critical thinking in case management to justify clinical decisions with an evidence-based rationale
  4. Develop and implement clinically appropriate management interventions through comprehensive knowledge and implementation of evidence-based practice, incorporating the principles of safe, culturally sensitive, and ethical practice.

It is a requirement of the Paramedicine Board of Australia that units align with the AHPRA professional capabilities for registered paramedics. These are broken down into five (5) domains. Below aligns the proposed 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 practising in Australia. These standards and relevant domains are articulated in the Professional capabilities for registered paramedics document. The learning outcomes of the unit are matched to the relevant capabilities.

Standard/Attribute/Criteria Learning Outcome
Domain 1: The professional and ethical practitioner 1.1.1, 1.1.2, 1.1.3, 1.1.4, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.10, 1.1.11, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.5, 1.2.5, 1.3.1, 1.3.3, 1.4.1, 1.4.2 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
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 LO3, LO4
Domain 3: The evidence-based practitioner 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4, 3.2.5, 3.2.6, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.4 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Domain 4: The safety and risk management practitioner 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3 LO3, LO4
Domain 5: The paramedicine practitioner 5.2.1, 5.2.2, 5.2.4, 5.2.5, 5.3.1, 5.3.4, 5.3.6, 5.4.1, 5.4.2, 5.4.3, 5.4.4, 5.4.5, 5.4.6 LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
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 LO3, LO4
Partnering with Consumers LO3, LO4
Preventing and Controlling Infections LO3, LO4
Medication Safety LO3, LO4
Comprehensive Care LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
Communicating for Safety LO3, LO4
Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration LO3, LO4

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Written Assessment
2 - Online Test
3 - Practical Assessment
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
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
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