Bachelor of Paramedic Science – Inherent Academic Requirements | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Bachelor of Paramedic Science – Inherent Academic Requirements

Committed to equity and diversity

At UniSC, we are committed to facilitating the integration of all students into the University Community.

Reasonable adjustments in teaching and/or assessment methods can be made for students provided those adjustments do not compromise the inherent requirements of the program.

The inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science are the fundamental skills and abilities that the student must be able to achieve in order to demonstrate the essential learning outcomes of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science.

This Statement provides realistic information about the inherent academic requirements that you must meet in order to complete your course and graduate. Make sure you read and understand the requirements for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science so you can make an informed judgement about your ability to fulfil them.

Externally accredited

UniSC offers Bachelor of Paramedic Science which meets Council of Ambulance Authorities (CAA) accreditation requirements and provides graduates with the necessary qualification to be admitted as a Paramedic in Australia and New Zealand.

Key paramedic practice skills are embedded and assessed throughout the Bachelor of Paramedic Science.

Medical Assessment

NOTE Mandatory requirements for the compulsory placement include the QAS medical assessment that will determine the student's ability to complete tasks required whilst on placement. QAS medical health and fitness standards stipulate specific requirements that the student must meet related to the following: vision, hearing, cardiovascular and neurological conditions, epilepsy, respiratory and metabolic diseases, psychiatric illnesses, orthopaedic conditions, medications, substance abuse immunisation and Body Mass Index (BMI) QAS medical standards.

This calculator will assist you calculate your Body Mass index BMI Calculator.

Skills you need

The Bachelor of Paramedic Science has inherent academic requirements in six categories:

  • Observational
  • Communication skills
  • Motor skills
  • Intellectual, such as conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities
  • Behavioural and social skills
  • Sustained performance

Before you enrol

If you intend to enrol in a Bachelor of Paramedic Science degree at the UniSC, look carefully at the inherent academic requirements listed in this statement and think about whether you might experience challenges in meeting them.

If you think you might experience challenges related to your disability, health condition or for any other reason, you should discuss your concerns with a University Ability Adviser or School staff.

Reasonable adjustments

Students with disabilities or other special circumstances may be provided with reasonable adjustment to enable them to meet the inherent academic requirements of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science if the adjustment is:

  • Logistically reasonable; and
  • Likely to result in the student being able to perform the skills adequately and in a timely manner.
Support and further information is available from UniSC

Observational skills

The core observational skills required for Bachelor of Paramedic Science are:

  • vision
  • hearing
  • smell
  • touch

Adequate visual acuity is required to provide safe and effective paramedic care. Students must demonstrate sufficient visual acuity to perform the required range of skills in environments which may be difficult and hostile. Sufficient visual acuity is necessary to perform risk assessments and to demonstrate the required range of skills, tasks and assessments to maintain consistent, accurate and safe care to self and others.

Adequate auditory ability or hearing is required to undertake the range of paramedic practice and clinical skills. Students must demonstrate sufficient auditory ability to identify risk to safety in diverse operating environments and to monitor, assess and manage individual health needs.

Adequate sense of touch or tactile ability is required to perform competent and safe paramedic care. Students must demonstrate sufficient tactile function to undertake the required range of skills and assessments to monitor, assess and detect patients' physical characteristics and act on any abnormalities detected to provide safe and effective care to patients.

Adequate olfactory ability or sense of smell is required to undertake a range of paramedic clinical skills to ensure safety, such as detecting fuel or gas leaks at accident scenes.


These are inherent requirements of the program because the Bachelor of Paramedic Science educates students to become paramedics who will provide unscheduled healthcare in a work environment in which case type and environment are unpredictable. These observational skills are required to ensure safety of the paramedic and others within the response area. In addition paramedics use these skills to undertake safe and effective assessment of an individual's health needs.


Adjustments for impaired observational skills must address effectiveness, timeliness, clarity and accuracy issues to ensure safety.

Adjustments must enable the recognition, initiation of appropriate response to physical dangers and issues within clinical assessments in a timely and appropriate manner to ensure patient safety.


Auditory ability:

  • Performing accurate assessment by auscultation.
  • Listening to instructions and feedback from multiple sources simultaneously e.g. patient, other paramedics, and hospital staff.
  • Practising verbal communication skills during tutorial discussions, simulation and clinical practicum visual acuity.
  • Identifying alarms and notifications generated by computerised healthcare equipment.

Tactile ability:

  • Detecting changes in physiological parameters e.g. temperature and pulse.
  • Palpating joints, muscles, and soft tissues, and detecting pathological, anatomical or movement abnormalities and anatomical landmarks.


  • Undertaking clinical assessment of patients and detecting abnormal changes e.g. gastrointestinal bleeding, liver failure, ketoacidosis or particular infections.
  • Detecting substances which may present a danger in the work environment e.g. hazardous substances, alcohol or illicit substances.

Communication skills

The core communication skills for Bachelor of Paramedic Science are:

  • Verbal communication
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Writing
  • Hearing
  • Reading
  • Numeracy

Prospective students must be able to demonstrate reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy skills at Australian Core Skills Framework level 4.

Verbal communication

Effective and efficient verbal communication in the English language includes the speed, accuracy and effectiveness of communication to ensure safe delivery of health services.

Students will use these skills to:

  • Elicit information.
  • Instruct and be understood by others.
  • Communicate sensitively and with cultural awareness with others.
  • Convey a spoken message accurately and effectively in a clinical setting.
  • Understand and respond to spoken instructions and respond in a timely manner.
  • Paraphrase a patient's message to confirm understanding.
Non-verbal communication

Students will use effective nonverbal communication to:

  • Perceive and interpret non-verbal communication including distress, a change in mood, activity or posture.
  • Communicate in a respectful, clear, attentive, empathetic, honest and non-judgemental manner.
  • Respond professionally to requests from patients, supervisors and other health professionals in the clinical setting.
  • Recognise, interpret and respond appropriately to behavioural cues.
  • Have appropriate awareness of own behaviours and modify these to suit the current situation.
  • Be sensitive to individual differences.
  • Maintain consistent and appropriate facial expressions, eye contact, posture and personal space.
  • Assess patient reactions in order to facilitate assessment and treatment.
  • Communicate in a noisy environment.
Written communication

Accurate written communication is fundamental to accurately convey information and provide consistent and safe patient care. Students will use these skills to:

  • Write accurate patient care records that meet legal and professional standards.
  • Use grammatical structures and vocabulary that are appropriate to task.
  • Spell frequently used words, including relevant technical and medical terms.
  • Document ideas and information.
  • Compile reports that are required within industry from time to time.

Effective and efficient hearing will be used by a student to:

  • Gather and organise information provided by technology used in the workplace, including radio communications.
  • Differentiate sounds, background noise, alarms and speech in the simulated clinical environment or workplace.
  • Participate in group discussions and handover in simulated and health care settings.

Activities which rely on accurate reading skills are:

  • Interpreting information in formats that include hand written text, printed text, graphs and diagrams.
  • Paraphrasing, summarising and referencing in accordance with appropriate academic conventions.
  • Recognising an explicit purpose for reading such as gathering background information, identification of specific facts or to understand a concept.

Competent and accurate numeracy skills are essential for safe and effective care. Student must demonstrate the capacity to interpret and correctly apply data, measurements and manipulate numerical criteria. Activities which rely on this skill are:

  • Interpreting numerical data in specific formats.
  • Analysis of electrocardiograms.
  • Accurately preparing, calculating, administering and recording medications.
  • Calculating measurements from data e.g. mean arterial pressure from a blood pressure.

Students must have the ability to comprehend a range of information. Communication skills are a core requirement of the program because effective interpretation, recording and transmission of information improves the safe and effective delivery of healthcare.


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

Adjustments for impaired non-verbal communication must enable the recognition, initiation of appropriate response to effective communication in a timely and appropriate manner to ensure paramedic and patient safety.

  • Calculations involving fractions, decimals and percentages and the use of numbers expressed as roots and powers, interpretation of statistical data in complex tables and graphs.
  • Practising verbal and non-verbal communication skills during tutorial discussions, simulation and clinical practicum.
  • Establishing rapport with patients during paramedic practice and responding appropriately to requests from patients, supervisors and other health professionals in the clinical setting.
  • Recognising and responding appropriately to cues during simulation and clinical practicum.

Motor skills

The core motor skill required for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science is the capacity to demonstrate manual dexterity which is reliant on developed gross and fine motor skills.

The fine motor skills are: manipulate instruments; use hand eye coordination to complete tasks as necessary; perform diagnostic procedures; grasp, press, push, turn, squeeze and manipulate various objects and individuals.

The gross motor skills are: assist patients to weight bear; manually lift patients and assists transfers including in hazardous environments with uneven surfaces and poor lighting; undertake physical or manual tasks e.g. moving and positioning equipment; manoeuvre around equipment and in confined spaces and over defined distances.


Performing these tasks consistently and safely is required to reduce the risk of harm to self and others.

Fine motor skills are a core requirement of the program because paramedic practice requires fine motor function to perform clinical assessments and to manipulate and operate medical equipment.

Gross motor skills are a core requirement of the program because paramedic practice involves physical demands and requires gross motor function. Sufficient gross motor skills are necessary to perform, coordinate and prioritise care and students must be able to demonstrate standing for long periods, pulling and pushing, twisting and bending, lifting and carrying.


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


Gross motor skills:

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

Fine motor skills:

  • Connecting patients to monitoring equipment and recording events.
  • Mobilising and transferring patients in an uncontrolled environment which includes in darkness and across uneven ground.
  • Performing treatment techniques, e.g. suctioning, cannulation, and wound dressings.

Behavioural and social skills

The core behavioural and social skills for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science are the capacity to demonstrate:

  • Ethical decision making.
  • Functional effectiveness in stressful situations.
  • Dealing with uncertainties.
  • Sufficient self-awareness to manage fluctuations in health and emotional status.
  • Adaption to change.

The behavioural and social skills are used to facilitate professional behaviours in practice as evidenced by compliance with instruments (links below) academic and non-academic misconduct policies, codes of conduct of the industry partners and medico-legal requirements relating to informed consent, privacy and confidentiality with patient information in academic and clinical settings:

  • Student Conduct and Discipline – Governing Policy.
  • Student Placement Agreement – login to WILS online required.
  • Code of Conduct – For the Qld Public Service.
  • Ambulance Service Act 1991.

This ensures the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the individual is maintained.


Behavioural and social skills are a core requirement of the Bachelor of Paramedic Science because paramedics are accountable and responsible for ensuring professional standards of behaviour in professional practice. Paramedic practice is governed by specific legal and regulatory requirements and standards to enable the safe delivery of healthcare. Behavioural standards are a requirement of the accrediting body for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science program.


Reasonable adjustment must support stable, effective and professional behaviour in both academic and clinical settings

  • Critically reflect on practice and responding appropriately to constructive feedback.
  • Behavioural stability which ensures the student is able to:
    • function effectively in a frequently demanding role;
    • work constructively in a diverse and changing academic and clinical environment;
    • work individually and as part of a team in unpredictable environments including emergency events;
    • manage events which include human suffering objectively and professionally;
    • monitor and manage with their emotions and behaviour effectively when dealing with clients and colleagues in the clinical or academic setting.
    • comply with policies, guidelines and codes of conduct which facilitate professional interactions with people they engage with.

Intellectual – conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities

The core intellectual skills for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science are the ability to:

  • Locate appropriate and relevant information.
  • Process information relevant to practice.
  • Integrate and implement knowledge in practice.
  • Recall information without reference.
  • Make measurement calculations.

Activities which rely on intellectual skill are:

  • The capacity to understand and implement academic conventions to construct written text in a scholarly manner.
  • Perform risk analysis and hazard management.
  • Undertake health status assessment.
  • Conceptualise and use appropriate knowledge in response to academic assessments.
  • The application of knowledge, research evidence, policies and procedures in a clinical setting.

Information literacy skills are the basis for evidence based practice. Safe and effective paramedic care is based on comprehensive knowledge that must be recalled, understood and applied appropriately. Students must be able to accurately acquire information and convey appropriate, effective messages. Students must be able to identify problems, create and implement management plans, and evaluate outcomes within defined timeframes.


Adjustments must be consistent with legislative and regulatory requirements.

  • Interpreting clinical data to form a clinical impression and make clinical decisions.
  • Complying with relevant legislation such as drugs and poisons acts or child protection and safety legislation.
  • Complying with relevant codes of conduct while at university of on clinical practicum.
  • Complying with the policies of clinical placement providers e.g. uniform requirements.

Sustained performance

The core sustainable performance skill for the Bachelor of Paramedic Science is the ability to maintain physical, mental and emotional performance over extended periods of time.

Physical skills are required to perform repetitive tasks over an extended period of time.

The mental and emotional skills are to concentrate and focus on multiple tasks for an assigned period of time in order to prioritise and administer safe and effective care.


Sustainable performance is a core requirement of the program as paramedics must be able to perform activities with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately. Activities may occur over extended periods of time. The student must be able to complete a shift of 12 hours. Shifts may be extended from time to time due to operational issues beyond the control of the University.


Reasonable adjustment must support the completion of full shifts per day of practicum and ensure the sustainability or maintenance of consistent and safe performance within the environment of a clinical setting.


Sufficient physical and mental endurance is an essential requirement needed to:

  • Perform multiple or repetitive tasks in an assigned period of duty with a level of concentration that ensures a capacity to focus on the activity until it is completed appropriately.
  • Remain focussed and provide consistent responses over a clinical placement shift which may exceed 12 hours and include emergency availability and rotating shifts while on clinical placement.
  • Maintain consistent concentration throughout an entire shift whilst on clinical placement.