This unit will introduce students to broad frameworks related to health, wellbeing, illness and death. The unit covers the professional foundations of health care from the paramedic context. These foundational concepts include professional practice (professional behaviours and self-care, communication and the historical perspective of paramedicine), health, wellness, illness and death from a social perspective, and development of academic and professional literacy and numeracy 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 communication and behaviour with patients, 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 and the nature of emotional work, verbal and non-verbal communication and effective interpersonal communication.

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. Demonstrate professional and academic skills in literacy, communication and numeracy including history taking and documentation;  
  3. Work collaboratively to 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
Test Post-class quizzes 20%
Presentation Group Presentation (10 minutes) 30%
Case Study Case based assessment (90 minutes duration) 50%

Required reading

Second Opinion: An introduction to health sociology (6th ed.)
Gemov, J. (2019)
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.

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