Inherent requirements for Bachelor of Health Science Paramedicine (undergraduate) course


These inherent requirements apply to the following courses: Bachelor of Health Science Paramedicine (course 4669.1).

Introduction

The Western Sydney University School of Science and Health (SSH) strongly supports the right of all people to pursue a paramedicine course to achieve their potential and career objectives. The School is committed to making reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning, assessment, clinical practice and other activities to address the impact of students' disabilities so that they are able to participate in the course.

To support potential and current students' decision-making a set of inherent requirement statements has been developed. These statements specify the course requirements of the undergraduate paramedicine course for student admission and progression. The statements are clustered under 8 domains consisting of ethical behaviour, behavioural stability, legal, communication, cognition, sensory abilities, strength and mobility and sustainable performance. Many of the activities associated with the professional practice of a paramedic are time sensitive, where the capacity to perform certain activities within specified time limits is required to reduce or avoid risks to patient safety and wellbeing. The safety and wellbeing of you and others is always of paramount importance.

Students are required to undertake learning activities in mixed gender environments, which reflect the Australian health care context.

Successfully completing the course enables you to apply to enter a Graduate Internship Program run by an Ambulance Service provider. Once accepted, graduates complete a one year mentored program leading to recognition as a Qualified Paramedic.

How to read the inherent requirement statements

If you are intending to enrol in the undergraduate paramedicine course at the School of Science and Health, you should look at these inherent requirement statements and think about whether you may experience challenges in meeting the requirements.

If you think you may experience challenges related to your disability, chronic health condition or any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a campus Disability Advisor or SSH staff, such as the Director of Academic Program, Academic Course Adviser or School Disability Coordinator. These staff can work collaboratively with you to determine reasonable adjustments to assist you to meet the Inherent Requirements. In the case where it is determined that Inherent Requirements cannot be met with reasonable adjustments, the University staff can provide guidance regarding other study options.

These inherent requirements should be read in conjunction with other Western Sydney University course information and industry the publications such as the Australasian Competency Standards for Paramedics (opens in a new window), published by Paramedics Australasia, and the Professional Competency Standards (opens in a new window), published by the Council of Ambulance Authorities.

Each inherent requirement is made up of the following five levels:

  • Level 1 - introduction to the inherent requirement
  • Level 2 - description of what the inherent requirement is
  • Level 3 - explanation of why this is an inherent requirement of the course
  • Level 4 - the nature of any adjustments that may be made to allow you to meet the requirement
  • Level 5 - examples of things you must be able to do to show you've met the requirement
  • There are eight domains of inherent requirements in the undergraduate paramedicine course. Some domains have a number of sub-domains.

    • Ethical behaviour
    • Behavioural stability
    • Legal
    • Communication
    • Cognition
    • Sensory ability
    • Strength and mobility
    • Sustainable performance

Inherent requirement statements

Ethical behaviour

  Inherent requirement statements
1 Paramedicine is a profession that is governed by industry and professional competency standards (opens in a new window), state government legislation (opens in a new window), policies and protocols where paramedics are both accountable and responsible for ensuring professional behaviour in all contexts.
2 Student demonstrates knowledge of, and engages in ethical behaviour in practice.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Compliance with the codes, guidelines and policies facilitates safe, competent interactions and relationships for students and/or the people they engage with. This ensures the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual is not placed at risk

4 Adjustments must not compromise codes and standards or result in unethical behaviour.
5

Exemplars:

» Complying with academic and non-academic misconduct policies
» Complying with medico-legal requirements relating to informed consent, privacy and confidentiality with patient information in academic and clinical settings

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Behavioural stability

  Inherent requirement statements
1 Behavioural stability is required to function and adapt effectively and sensitively in a demanding role.
2 Student demonstrates behavioural stability to work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and clinical environment.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Behavioural stability is required to work individually and in teams in changing and unpredictable environments. Paramedicine students will be exposed to emergency situations and human suffering and will be required to have behavioural stability to manage these events objectively and professionally

4 Adjustments must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and clinical settings.
5

Exemplars:

» Reflecting on practice and responding appropriately to constructive feedback
» Coping with own emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with individuals in the clinical setting

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Legal

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Communication

This course requires effective, verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills.

Verbal
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Effective and efficient verbal communication, in English, is an essential requirement to provide safe delivery of care.
2

Student demonstrates:
» The ability to understand and respond to verbal communication accurately, appropriately and in a timely manner
» The ability to provide clear instructions in the context of the situation
» Timely clear feedback and reporting

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Communication may be restricted to verbal because of physical limitations of the individual (e.g. injury, disease or congenital conditions)
» Speed and interactivity of communication may be critical for individual safety or treatment
» Timely, accurate and effective delivery of instructions is critical to individual safety, treatment and management

4 Adjustments for impaired verbal communication must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safety.
5

Exemplars:

» Participating in tutorial discussions and practicing verbal communication skills during practical classes
» Establishing rapport with patients during paramedic practice and responding appropriately to requests from patients, supervisors and other health professionals in the clinical setting

Non-verbal
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Effective non-verbal communication is fundamental to paramedicine and needs to be respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic, honest and non-judgmental.
2

Student demonstrates:
» The capacity to recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues
» Consistent and appropriate awareness of own behaviours
» Sensitivity to individual differences

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues assists with building rapport with people and gaining their trust and respect in academic and professional relationships
» Displaying consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, being mindful of space, time boundaries and body movements and gestures promotes trust in academic and professional relationships
» Being sensitive to individual differences displays respect and empathy to others and develops trusting relationships
» The ability to observe and understand non-verbal cues is essential for safe and effective observation of patient symptoms and reactions to facilitate the assessment and treatment of patients

4 Adjustments must enable the recognition, initiation of appropriate response to effective non-verbal communication in a timely and appropriate manner.
5

Exemplars:


» Recognising and responding appropriately to cues and activities in the university environment
» Recognising and responding appropriately to cues in the clinical setting

Written
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Effective written communication is a fundamental paramedic responsibility with professional and legal ramifications.
2 Student demonstrates capacity to construct coherent written communication appropriate to the circumstances.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Construction of written text based assessment tasks to reflect the required academic standards are necessary to convey knowledge and understanding of relevant subject matter for professional practice
» Accurate written communication, including record-keeping and patient notes, is vital to provide consistent and safe patient care

4 Adjustments must meet necessary standards of clarity, accuracy and accessibility to ensure effective recording and transmission of information in both academic and clinical settings.
5

Exemplars:

» Constructing an essay to academic standards
» Constructing patient Health Care Records in a timely manner that meets legal and professional standards

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Cognition

This course requires knowledge of theory and the skills of cognition, literacy and numeracy.

Knowledge and cognitive skills
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Consistent and effective knowledge and cognitive skills must be demonstrated to provide safe, effective and timely paramedic services.
2

Student demonstrates:
» Capacity to locate appropriate and relevant information
» Ability to process information relevant to practice
» Ability to integrate and implement knowledge in practice

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Safe and effective paramedic care is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be sourced, understood and applied appropriately

4 Adjustments must ensure that a clear demonstration of knowledge and cognitive skills is not compromised or impeded.
5

Exemplars:

» Conceptualising and using appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessment items
» Appropriately applying knowledge of theory, research evidence, policies and procedures in a clinical setting

Literacy (language)
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Competent literacy skills are essential to provide safe and effective professional care.
2

Student demonstrates:
» The ability to accurately acquire information and convey appropriate, effective messages
» Ability to read and comprehend a range of literature and information
» The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» The ability to acquire information and to accurately convey messages is fundamental to ensure safe and effective assessment, treatment and delivery of care
» The ability to read, decode, interpret and comprehend multiple sources of information is fundamental for safe and effective delivery of paramedic care

4 Adjustments to address literacy issues must demonstrate a capacity to effectively acquire, comprehend, apply and communicate accurate information.
5

Exemplars:

» Conveying a spoken message accurately and effectively in a clinical setting
» Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic conventions in written assignments
» Producing accurate, concise and clear documentation which meets legal requirements

Numeracy
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective care.
2 Student demonstrates the ability to interpret and correctly applies data, measurements and numerical criteria.
3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Competent application of numeracy skills is essential to facilitate the safe and effective delivery of paramedic care

4 Adjustments must demonstrate a capacity to interpret and apply concepts and processes appropriately in a timely, accurate and effective manner.
5

Exemplars:

» Reading and interpreting electrocardiograms
» Accurately preparing, calculating, administering and recording medications

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Sensory ability

This course requires adequate visual, auditory and tactile abilities.

Visual
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective paramedic care.
2

Student demonstrates sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills in environments which may be difficult and hostile.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient visual acuity is necessary to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care to self and others
» Visual observations, examination and assessment are fundamental to safe and effective paramedic practice

4 Adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the Vision Impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.
5

Exemplars:

» Inserting intravenous cannulas and administering medications
» Working in a safe manner on placement in poorly lit areas and at night

Auditory
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Adequate auditory ability is required to provide safe and effective paramedic care.
2

Student demonstrates sufficient aural function to undertake the required range of skills.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient auditory ability is necessary to monitor, assess and manage individual health needs consistently and accurately
» Auditory assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective paramedic practice

4 Adjustments must address the need to perform the full range of tasks involved in clinical practice. Any strategies to address the effects of the Hearing Impairment must be effective, consistent and not compromise treatment or safety.
5

Exemplars:

» Performing accurate respiratory assessment by auscultation
» Listening to instructions and feedback from multiple sources simultaneously for e.g. patient, other paramedics, and hospital staff

Tactile
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Sufficient tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe paramedic care.
2

Student demonstrates sufficient tactile function to undertake the required range of skills and assessments.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient tactile ability is necessary to monitor, assess and detect patients' physical characteristics and act on any abnormalities detected to provide thorough paramedic care
» Tactile assessments and observations are fundamental to safe and effective paramedic practice

4 Adjustments must have the capacity to make effective assessments of physical characteristics and abnormalities within safe time frames.
5

Exemplars:

» Detecting any changes in circulatory observations e.g. temperature and pulse palpation
» Palpating joints, muscles, and soft tissues, and detecting anatomical or movement abnormalities

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Strength and mobility

Gross motor skills
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Paramedic practice involves physical demands and requires gross motor function.
2

Student demonstrates the ability to perform gross motor skills to function within scope of practice.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve gross motor skills include lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, standing, twisting and bending. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others

4 Adjustments must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety of self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.
5

Exemplars:

» Maintaining balance while safely mobilising and transferring patients or resources
» Assisting patients, with varying physical capacities, to and from beds, chairs and standing, in a variety of environments

Fine motor skills
  Inherent requirement statements
1 Paramedic practice is a profession that requires manual dexterity and fine motor skills.
2

Student demonstrates the ability to use fine motor skills to provide safe effective care.

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient fine motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care. Tasks that involve fine motor skills include being able to grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate various objects and individuals. Students must be able to demonstrate and perform these tasks consistently and safely to reduce the risk of harm to self and others

4 Adjustments must facilitate functional effectiveness, safety to self and others and a capacity to provide appropriate care.
5

Exemplars:

» Connecting patients to monitoring equipment and recording events
» Performing treatment techniques, e.g. suctioning, cannulation, and wound dressings

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Sustainable performance

  Inherent requirement statements
1 Paramedic practice requires physical, mental and emotional performance at a consistent and sustained level over time.
2

Student demonstrates:
» Consistent and sustained level of physical energy to complete a specific task in a timely manner and over time
» The ability to perform repetitive activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately
» The capacity to maintain consistency and quality of performance throughout the designated period of duty

3

Justification of inherent requirement:

» Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to perform multiple tasks in an assigned period to provide safe and effective care

4 Adjustments must ensure that performance is consistent and sustained over a given period.
5

Exemplars:

» Remaining focussed and providing consistent responses over a negotiated time frame while on clinical placement
» Maintaining consistent physical performance throughout an entire shift whilst on clinical placement

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*Developed from: Johnson, A., Allan,T., Phillips,K., Azzopardi,T., Dickson,C., Goldsmith,M & Hengstberger-Sims, C. (2011). Inherent Requirements of Nursing Education (IRONE), Western Sydney University School of Nursing & Midwifery and Student Equity & Disability Services.


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