This unit will introduce students to the foundational concepts health sociology and non-technical skills. In this unit, students learn to identify social aspects of health issues by exploring the health and wellbeing of the self and of diverse communities and examine how health disadvantages experienced by particular groups are rooted in wider historical and current inequalities, including those based on ethnicity, gender and class. Additionally, students will learn the fundamentals of non-technical skills such as communication, health literacy, situational awareness, leadership and decision making, which they will continue to develop as they progress through both their student and professional careers. This unit will explore concepts such as prehospital health service delivery and professionalism, ambulance history, and self-care.

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Review the history and development of paramedicine and prehospital health service delivery as a discipline;  
  2. Work collaboratively to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes related to non-technical skills in health care and patient encounters;  
  3. Examine the social construction, production and distribution of health and illness, and discuss major theoretical perspectives in health sociology; and  
  4. Examine and discuss approaches to emotional and death related work, and paramedic health and wellbeing;  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Virtual Simulated Patient Resource Modules 20%
Presentation Group Presentation (10 minutes) 30%
Test Test (90 minutes duration) 50%

Required reading

Communication: Core Interpersonal Skills for Health Professionals 3rd ed.
O'Toole, G. (2016)
Chatswood, NSW. Elsevier Australia

RECOMMENDED TEXTS Germov, J. (2019) Second Opinion: An introduction to health sociology (6th ed.) South Melbourne, VIC. Oxford University press.

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree. Learn more about single units of study at VU.

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