This unit (HFB2233) will discuss the pathophysiology and pre-hospital management of selected medical and other conditions. Students will be introduced to the pharmacology and pathophysiology of immunological, haematological, oncological, renal, gastrointestinal and endocrine emergencies and infectious and communicable diseases. Assessment and management of these patients will be explored within the paramedic context using contemporary and evidence-based best practice. The unit will focus on pre-hospital assessment and management of these patients, through to hospital procedures. This includes pathophysiology and the safe use of pharmacotherapies. Students will apply their knowledge as professionally and culturally safe clinicians underpinned by the National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards. Students are encouraged to participate in effective written and verbal communication and critical, self-reflection throughout the unit, to allow for continued student development.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


HFB1207 - Principles of Drug Actions for Health Professionals and

HFB2121 - Paramedic Clinical Science 1 (Medical Emergencies 1)

HFB1207 not applicable for HLT51015 - Diploma of Paramedical Science students.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Evaluate the pathophysiological concepts, processes, progression and complications associated with a range of complex medical aetiologies, to inform person-centred care;  
  2. Articulate knowledge of and describe the appropriate assessment and management of patients presenting with a range of complex medical aetiologies;  
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the mechanism of action and safe and appropriate use of pharmacological agents, related to the management of selected medical conditions; and  
  4. Articulate critical thinking and clinical reasoning related to evidence-based practice in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of patient management in acute and chronic conditions.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Project Group Assessment: Part 1 - Proposal and Contract (500 words) 5%
Project Group Assessment: Part 2 - Podcast/vodcast 35%
Journal Online Written Discussion Forum (1500 words) 40%
Test Scenario-based MCQ Assessment (60 mins) 20%
To obtain a passing grade or higher in this graded unit, students are required to attempt all assessment items. Additionally, students must achieve a grade of 50% or greater in both the Online Written Discussion Forum and the Scenario based MCQ Test. The Scenario based MCQ Assessment encompasses critical knowledge essential for safe paramedic practice. Readings and related material or their links will be provided by the facilitator via the VU Collaborate site.

Required reading

Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. 8th ed.
McCance, K.L., Huether, S.E., Brashers, V.L., & Rote, N.S. (2018).
St Lois MO: Elsevier

Textbook of Adult Emergency Medicine. 4th ed.
Cameron, P., Jelinek., G., Kelly, A., Murray, L. and Heyworth, J. (2014).
Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.

Emergency and trauma care for nurses and paramedics 3rd ed.
Curtis, K., Ramsden, C., Shaban, R., Fry, M. & Considine, J. (2019)

Pharmacology for health professionals. 5th ed.
Bryant, B., Knights, K., Darroch S., & Rowland, A. (2018).

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.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.