Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitDepartment of Community Emergency Health and Paramedics
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Ms Janet Curtis


Paramedics encounter an abundance of pharmaceutical agents within their practice. This unit is designed to assist students to develop foundational knowledge, skills and judgements regarding pharmacotherapy within community-based emergency health. The social, political, legal and ethical implications of drug use and abuse within the individual, family and community will also be examined. These concepts will be developed further in third year. Three of the course themes will be integrated throughout this unit:

  • Population health and illness in society;
  • Foundations of the paramedic clinician; and
  • Science knowledge and evidence.


By the completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic principles of pharmacology, drug administration and monitoring as they relate to paramedic practice;
  2. Identify routes of administration, absorption rates and safe work practices as they relate to paramedic practice;
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in calculation of drug dosages for administration of medications by paramedics by a variety of routes;
  4. Describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of chemicals and substances introduced into the body;
  5. Examine legal responsibilities associated with the administration and safe keeping of drugs within paramedic practice;
  6. Discuss common pharmaceutical agents encountered within the pre-hospital setting;
  7. Analyse the social, political, cultural, legal and ethical implications of drug abuse in relation to legal and illegal drugs;
  8. Describe the role of community pharmacists and the implications of this role for paramedic practice.


Worksheet: Fortnightly online MCQ quizzes (15%)
Drug calculations exam (15%)
Written report: Magazine article (30%)
Final examination (40%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

6 hours per week involving lectures, tutorials and practical exercises.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in course 3445.