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 utilised 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 including positive, negative and ethical behaviours. 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.
On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
Selected readings will be made available on VU Collaborate.
This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):