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Course curriculum

In September 2020 we introduced a new curriculum. The following information will help Practice Educators (PEds) and Practice Supervisors to understand the knowledge and skills that they can expect their ARU Paramedic Science student to have when they are on placement.

Course teaching structure

Our Paramedic Science course is designed to teach students the knowledge and skills they need so they can meet the competencies of the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Paramedics at the end of the third year of their course (level 6 study). It structures teaching so that students learn about common patient presentations, their underlying medical conditions, and how to assess and manage those conditions from early on in their course. As the course progresses, the students will go through different patient presentations, moving from common to rarer.

The students are also prepared for their practice development and clinical decision-making by teaching them about the dual processing model of clinical reasoning: Type 1 and Type 2 reasoning. They will also understand the diagnostic errors that originate in these two processes and to what extent cognitive biases and knowledge deficits contribute to errors. They may incorporate this model for reflection of their clinical practice to develop their performance and professional awareness.

Course modules by year group

This overview of the course structure, together with the module titles, should assist PEds to understand what knowledge and skills a student is likely to have when they come out on placement. In general, the modules are named after patient presentations that we teach the knowledge and skills a paramedic would have to assess, diagnose, treat and refer patients presenting with those symptoms.

By coming to placement, the students gain the clinical exposure necessary to consolidate, contextualise and practice their knowledge and skills with real patients in a live environment.

Year 1 modules

  • Applied Anatomy and Physiology
  • Professional Practice for Healthcare
  • Preparation for Clinical Practice (PCP)
  • Fundamentals of Patient Assessment and Clinical Decision Making (FPACDC)
  • Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath (CP&SOB)
  • Placement (Clinical Practice in Paramedic Science 1)

Year 2 modules

  • Impaired Consciousness and Mental Health (IC&MH)
  • Resuscitation Skills (RS)
  • Placement (Clinical Practice in Paramedic Science 2)
  • Abdominal Pain, Maternity and Fever (APMF)
  • Trauma Skills (TS)

Year 3 modules

  • Placement (Clinical Practice in Paramedic Science 3)
  • Complex Cases
  • Research Methodology for Healthcare Professionals
  • Research Project for Healthcare Professionals

View the Paramedic Science module structure as a flowchart (PDF)

Skills that a first year student will have been taught prior to their placement in Year 1

Knowledge/skill Module
Primary survey on an adult or child PCP
‘A to E’ assessment of a patient FPACDM
History taking structure (Calgary Cambridge consultation, Socrates, medical model of history taking (PC, HxPC, PMH, DHx etc.) in both adults and children FPACDM
Baseline observations FPACDM
Cardiovascular system examination CP&SOB
Respiratory system examination CP&SOB
ECG placement and interpretation CP&SOB
Basic airway maneuvers and airway adjuncts (OP and NP airway and suction) PCP
Basic life support (including use of a BVM and AED) PCP
Use an oxygen cylinder and mask selection PCP
Medical conditions presenting with chest pain and associated pharmacology CP&SOB
Medical conditions presenting with shortness of breath and associated pharmacology CP&SOB
Safe manual handling techniques (including standing and transferring patients, small handling aids, carry chairs, scoops, trolleys). Note students will not have been familiarized on ambulance service specific equipment. This should take place in the placement environment. PCP
Infection prevention control PCP
First aid (dressings and slings) PCP

Please bear in mind that though the students will have been taught the above knowledge and skills prior to this placement, they will not have had the opportunity to contextualise them within the live placement setting. One of the main aims of placement is to allow our students to contextualise, practice and consolidate the knowledge and skills they have learnt in our classrooms and skills labs in a more efficient and effective way than if they did not have a placement opportunity.

Additional skills that a second year student will have been taught prior to their placement in Year 2

Knowledge/skills Module
Neurological system examination IC&MH
History taking in mental health patients IC&MH
Medical conditions presenting with altered consciousness IC&MH
Mental health conditions IC&NH
Advanced life support including manual defibrillation, knowledge of cardiac arrest drugs, breaking bad news RS
Advanced airway skills: supraglottic airway devices. (Intubation is taught but competency is not required). Needle cricothyroidotomy in children. RS
Intravenous access and Intraosseous access RS

Additional skills that a third year student will have been taught prior to their placement in Year 3

Knowledge/skills Module
Abdominal system examination APMF
Lymphatic system examination APMF
History taking and examination in pregnancy APMF
Child delivery: normal and difficult deliveries APMF
Complication of pregnancy: haemorrhage, pre-eclampsia/eclampsia APMF
Medical conditions presenting with abdominal pain APMF
Medical conditions presenting with fever APMF
Modifications to the primary survey and A to E assessment in trauma TS
Trauma dressings TS
Immobilisation in trauma: collars, splints TS
Extrication using longboards and scoops TS
Needle thoracocentesis TS

Download our student progress through the BSc programme presentation (PDF) for more details about each of the modules.