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PMC2101 Behavioural Conditions and Emergencies

Semester 3, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Health and Medical Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 30 June 2022


Pre-requisite or Co-requisite: PMC1105


Behavioural Conditions & Emergencies is designed to provide paramedics with the foundational knowledge and interpersonal skills necessary to effectively and appropriately manage people who have a mental health illness and other behavioural emergencies. Students will acquire knowledge of the causes, processes and manifestations of mental illness and common behavioural and emotional presentations that may or may not reflect diagnostic criteria for mental illness. Students will learn how human development and culture impacts on mental health and will learn interpersonal skills to interact with diverse age groups and cultural backgrounds, particularly in the role of crisis intervention. Students will also explore concepts surrounding practitioner wellbeing and resilience. Students will receive content surrounding commonly used psychiatric medications and their side-effects, overdose implications, etc. Pre-hospital management within relevant government mental health policy and legislation as well as core ethical principles will also be addressed.

Paramedics are increasingly required to respond to patients with behavioural conditions and emergencies therefore students need to develop strong communication skills, perform high quality mental status assessments, and develop the skills required to manage risk. This course will enable students to further their knowledge and application of communication, interpersonal and professional skills in relation to managing difficult patients and situations. Additionally, students will be provided with opportunities to consider professionalism, empathy, cultural sensitivity, recovery-orientated practice, ethics, legal issues, self-awareness and reflective practice, safety, evidence-based practice and the role of a paramedic within the broader health system.

Course learning outcomes

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

  1. Explain the historical and legal context of behavioural conditions, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural perspectives.
  2. Examine epidemiology, aetiology and clinical manifestations of behavioural conditions & mental health emergencies.
  3. Apply skills to effectively communicate & demonstrate cultural safety in interactions with diverse groups and cultures, particularly in the role of crisis intervention.
  4. Demonstrate a high level of clinical reasoning and creative thinking in relation to managing behavioural conditions and mental health emergencies in paramedic practice.
  5. Understand and explain how human development & culture affects mental health across the lifespan.
  6. Examine commonly-used psychiatric medication and its side-effects and overdose implications.
  7. Apply evidence-based practice and contemporary management of behavioural conditions and mental health emergencies in paramedic situations.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Understanding mental health
Professional competencies
2. Mental health assessment 10.00
3. Mood disorders
Anxiety disorders
4. Thought disorders
Cognitive disorders
5. Practitioner wellbeing and resilience 10.00
6. Somatoform disorders
Dissociative disorders
7. Difficult and Combative patients
Therapeutic communication
Substance abuse and related disorders
8. Pharmacology and mental illness
Sedation and Complex airway
Side effects and limitations
9. Communication skills, clinical reasoning and reflective practice 10.00
10. Evidence based practice and mental health and wellbeing 10.00
Date printed 30 June 2022