Paramedic Law, Ethics and Professionalism

    Unit code: HFB1003 | Study level: Undergraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    St Albans


    A paramedic registered in Australia must be professional and ethical and must practice with professional autonomy and accountability within current medico-legal frameworks. This unit will introduce students to the ethical and professional attributes which underpin good paramedic practice. By engaging in problem-based learning, students will form and understanding of the four key bioethical principles of non-maleficence, beneficence, respect for autonomy and justice, and navigate ethical dilemmas by applying an ethical decision-making framework. Students will develop knowledge and understanding about important health care themes such as ethical theories; professional skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, decision making and situational awareness; consent and advocacy; torts, negligence and duty of care; end-of-life care; working with vulnerable patients; ethical and legal use of medicines; and privacy, confidentiality and record keeping.

    Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

    1. Define and apply medical terminology appropriately;
    2. Discuss ethical concepts pertaining to the delivery of competent and ethical health care;
    3. Locate and discuss the governance and medico-legal frameworks that relate to paramedic practice;
    4. Exemplify the professional skills and attributes required of a paramedic including communication, teamwork, leadership, situational awareness and decision making; and
    5. Apply an ethical decision-making framework to navigate an out-of-hospital ethical dilemma.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Test
    Grade: 20%
    3 x MCQ Quizzes (10 mins each)
    Assessment type: Other
    Grade: 10%
    Virtual Simulated Patient Resource Modules (7 x online simulation exercises)
    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 40%
    Group assignment – Ethical dilemma (problem solving exercise, peer review and feedback, and group reflection)
    Assessment type: Case Study
    Grade: 30%
    Case Based Theory Assessment (45 minutes)

    Required reading

    Applied paramedic law, ethics and professionalism: Australia and New Zealand
    Townsend, R., & Luck, M. (2020)| Chatswood, NSW Elsevier Australia

    As part of a course

    This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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