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PMC2000 Pharmacology for Paramedics

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Pharmacology for Paramedics
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Wellbeing
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 069905 - Paramedical Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Stuart Ellem


Pre-requisite: BIO1203 and BIO1206


Clinical pharmacology is the science of chemicals (drugs) that interact with the human body. Pharmacology for Paramedics will build on the knowledge obtained in Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, and Applied Pathology. The aim of this course is for students to acquire further knowledge to enable them to make more informed clinical decisions as student and future paramedics. The course will assist students to understand the actions, reactions and interactions of medications including absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs.


Pharmacology for Paramedics will address basic principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, the structure and function of commonly used medications and the pharmacology of the major classes of medications that students and paramedics may encounter in pre hospital healthcare. Students will also have the opportunity to learn how variables such as age, size and co-morbidities affect responses to medication. Finally, students will be presented with the principles and processes aligned with the safe administration of medications.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Examine the principles and processes of safe drug administration
  2. Explain the actions, reactions and interactions of medications
  3. Explain how medications are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and excreted
  4. Describe variables may affect how individuals respond/s to medication
  5. Describe the function of common medications in pre hospital care
  6. Apply the relevant pharmacological and therapeutic information to the role of a paramedic during pre-hospital care


Description Weighting(%)
1. Principles of safe drug administration 10.00
2. Pharmacokinetics 20.00
3. Pharmacodynamics 20.00
4. Major classes of medications 20.00
5. Commonly used medications in healthcare
Adverse reactions and side effects
6. Application of knowledge into paramedic practice 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Bryant, B., Knights, K 2015, Pharmacology for Health Professionals, 4th edn, Elsevier.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
AusDI (Australian Drug Index).
Australian Injectable Drugs Handbook.
Dale, M. (2009). Pharmacology Condensed (2nd ed.): Churchill Livingstone.
Instant Clinical Pharmacology (
Katzung, G. (Ed.). (2015). Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (13th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Neal, M. (2015). Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (8th Ed.). Blackwell Publishing. (This textbook is not specifically used in the course, but students may find it useful when studying).
Rang, H., Dale, M., Ritter, J,. Flower, R., and Henderson, G. (2016). Rang and Dale's Pharmacology (8th ed.). Churchill Livingstone. This textbook will provide a more detailed discussion on all of the topics covered during this course.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 40.00
Directed Study 37.00
Lectures 24.00
Private Study 40.00
Tutorials 24.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Portfolio 50 50 26 Apr 2019
EXAMINATION 50 50 End S1 (see Examination notes below)

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Notes
Exam Part A (Multiple Choice) 10 10 (see exam note 1)
Exam Part B (Written) 40 40

Exam Notes
  1. This will be a Closed Examination. The total working time for the examination (parts A and B) is 2 hours. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the official examination timetable has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50 % of the available weighted marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must attempt all assessment items and achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    CLOSED: Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into a closed examination.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must familiarise themselves with the USQ Assessment Procedures (

  2. Referencing in Assignments must comply with the APA(AGPS) referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA referencing style to be used is defined by the USQ library’s referencing guide. These policies can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Paramedicine) and is benchmarked against the following:
o internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access:
    Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at

  2. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in this course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect the same grades as those students who do possess them.