PMSC20003 - Pharmacological Application in the Critical Care Setting

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit will provide you with advanced knowledge of all aspects of clinical pharmacology to allow you to function safely within the current and emerging critical care context. You will acquire advanced theoretical knowledge and develop advanced clinical judgement for competent critical care pharmacology practice.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 8
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites


PMSC20001 Advanced Clinical Assessment and Decision Making

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 No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 2 - 2022

There are no availabilities for this unit on or after Term 2 - 2022

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 Postgraduate 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. Presentation and Written Assessment 40%
2. Portfolio 30%
3. Online Test 30%

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 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 4 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 14.29% 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 via 'have your say'.
Include some practical critical care paramedic drug calculations.
Review the unit to identify where some drug calculation examples can be included.
Action Taken
Drug calculation questions and answers have been integrated and dispersed within the unit. Students are given a week between questions and answers, with students actively seeking answers for self-monitoring of their progress.
Source: Have Your Say
The assignment tasks could have been a little more specific.
Review assessment task, modify as required, and seek peer review of tasks for the next unit offering.
Action Taken
Source: Have Your Say
The unit had little relevance to managing battle casualties or civilian casualties of active shooter/hostile events scenarios. It would be beneficial if an alternate pharmacology subject was developed to better suit TECC/TCCC principles.
While the unit is designed to cover the breadth of pharmacology required in the critical care management of civilians, feedback will be discussed with our subject matter expert academic regarding any action required.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

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

  1. Describe the indications, actions, routes of administration, contraindications, side effects and precautions of medications and fluids administered at a critical care level, and how you would evaluate the effects of administration
  2. Apply theoretical knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles with regard to medications and fluids administered at a critical care level
  3. Investigate and justify the most effective pharmacological treatment options within the critical care context
  4. Communicate knowledge of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and toxinology within therapeutic relationships.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment
2 - Portfolio
3 - Online Test
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment
2 - Portfolio
3 - Online Test