This unit aims to provide students with the resources to help them manage and optimise their own physical and mental health. Content includes research findings on the mental health and physical health of Paramedics and how it compares with the general population and other occupational groups. The content of this unit also includes the bio-psychosocial model of health and how it might be utilized in the understanding of mental health issues. The physical and psychological health effects of shift work and effects on sleep are covered as well as aspects of sleep hygiene. Topic areas covered with respect to nutrition and exercise include key concepts of metabolism, diet and the shift worker and lifelong health supporting choices. Other topics include depression, anxiety, stress, health behaviours, substance use and abuse, psychosocial modifiers of stress, suicidality, and the basics of cognitive behavioural approaches. The culture of the ambulance service will also be explored. A model of resilience is introduced as a framework to provide the tools to help students to manage their reactions to demanding events and situations.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HFB2223 - Clinical Practice 4

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Elucidate the research evidence on paramedic mental health and how it compares with the general population;  
  2. Analyse the key concepts and definitions related to exercise and nutrition for the paramedic;  
  3. Extrapolate the bio-psychosocial model of health to an individual's health status;  
  4. Assess reactions to a demanding situation using a model of resilience and appropriately modify those reactions;  
  5. Formulate a view on how social contexts, including that of the ambulance service, influence mental and physical health;  
  6. Adapt knowledge of sleep hygiene and knowledge of factors promoting sleep to mitigate the health effects of shift work;  
  7. Determine which cognitive behavioural approaches might best be used to optimize their own mental health.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Test (25mins) 5%
Assignment Group Assignment (2000 words) 40%
Case Study Case Study (2500 words equivalent) 40%
Test Test (70mins) 15%
Students are expected to attempt all pieces of assessment and must obtain a total aggregate score of 50% or greater to pass the unit.

Required reading

Health psychology : Biopsychosocial interactions 2nd Australasian ed.
Sarafino, E. P., Caltabiano, M.L., & Byrne, D.(2008)
Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia

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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