PMSC20003 - Pharmacological Application in the Critical Care Setting
Term 1 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for PMSC20003 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

This unit will provide you with advanced knowledge of all aspects of clinical pharmacology to allow you to function safely within the current and emerging critical care context. You will acquire advanced theoretical knowledge and develop advanced clinical judgement for competent critical care paramedic pharmacology practice.

Details

Career Level Postgraduate
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 2
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 1 - 2017
  • Distance

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Presentation and Written Assessment 40%
2. Portfolio 30%
3. Online Test 30%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Possible technical issue with Mac users. One student reported they had to open the PPTs in two separate programs (Keynote and Office) to receive the text and audio. Office would not play the audio portion without Keynote. Course Evaluation Survey Investigate to see if there is an issue with the PPTs and recordings on Mac devices
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Describe the indications, actions, routes of administration, contraindications, side effects and precautions of medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics, and how you would evaluate the effects of administration
  2. Apply theoretical knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles with regard to medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics
  3. Research and justify the most effective pharmacological treatment options in the critical care paramedic context
  4. Communicate effectively knowledge of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and toxinology within therapeutic relationships

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment  
2 - Portfolio
3 - Online Test      

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1. Knowledge
2. Communication      
3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills  
4. Research      
5. Self-management    
6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility      
7. Leadership        

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Presentation and Written Assessment      
2 - Portfolio      
3 - Online Test            

Textbook Information

There are no required textbooks. Note:

There is not a required textbook for this particular unit. However, that does not mean you cannot purchase a text or should not use one. The key point for a textbook in this unit is that it will be a learning tool for yourself. For example, if you need to review pathophysiology or pharmacokinetics then you need to find a text that helps augment your learning in these areas (such as a generic medicine pharmacology text (see examples below). If you would like more detailed notes on classes of medications and to understand more clinical details, choose a text that focuses on applied concepts (such as RAPID Clinical Pharmacology by Batchelder et al or a reference guide). Otherwise, you may be able to get away with a previous textbook you already own.

Some Recommended Text/Apps

Bullock, s & Manias, E 2014, Fundamentals of Pharmacology (7th Edition), Pearson, Australia

Bryant, BJ & Knights, KM 2015, Pharmacology for Health Professionals, Elsevier, Australia

Rang, HP, Ritter, JM, Flower, RJ & Henderson, G 2016, Rang & Dale's Pharmacology (8th Edition), Elsevier, Australia

Caffey, M. (2012). Paramedic & Emergency Pharmacology Guidelines, Pearson, Australia

Caffey, M. & Appiwork Pty Ltd. (2015). Emergency Pharmacology Guidelines (Version 1.3) [Mobile application software]. Available on iTunes or Google Play.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • Access to audio files & videos as they appear on the unit Moodle page
  • Access to Zoom (session log-in details will be provided)
  • Access to eMIMS through the university library Paramedic Science Resource Guide
  • Access to UpToDate through unit Moodle page
All submissions for this unit must use the Harvard (author-date) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorKirsty Shearer (k.shearer@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 06-03-2017 Pharmacology review
Week 2 13-03-2017

Analgesia, anaesthetics, sedation & seizure management

Week 3 20-03-2017

Pharmacology for behavioural emergencies

Week 4 27-03-2017

Cardiovascular pharmacology 1

Week 5 03-04-2017

Cardiovascular pharmacology 2

Presentation & written assessment Due Friday (07 Apr 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Vacation Week 10-04-2017
Week 6 17-04-2017

Drugs affecting clotting

Week 7 24-04-2017

Blood products, fluids & tranexamic acid

Week 8 01-05-2017

Respiratory pharmacology

Week 9 08-05-2017

Metabolic & endocrine pharmacology

Week 10 15-05-2017

Pharmacology for infectious diseases & sepsis

Portfolio Due Friday (19 May 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Week 11 22-05-2017

Obstetric pharmacology

Week 12 29-05-2017

Toxicology


Online quiz Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 PM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

1 Presentation and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Presentation & written assessment
Task Description

Preamble

Historically, ambulance services followed a medical model for determining future clinical direction, often deferring to a medical advisory board or medical director to determine new skills, procedures or pharmacology. More recently, there has been a shift in thinking towards paramedics researching and determining their own destiny in a clinical sense. It is therefore becoming an important skill for paramedics to be able to look at current research and new trends, and to analyse the evidence base to determine whether a new skill, procedure or pharmacology should be adopted (or not).

Task Description

You have been tasked by a medical advisory board to review the introduction of either a new drug (approved by the TGA) or another service's drug (not currently used by your chosen service) into the already extensive armament of drugs on offer in your chosen ambulance service. Please note that simply altering the indications for a current drug or the route of administration of a current drug is not sufficient for this task.The medical advisory board would like for you to report on the introduction of this drug into the ambulance service and therefore require 2 parts to this proposal.

Part one (20%) will require you to develop a paper including a review of the literature on your drug of choice. You will be required to review recent (no greater than 5 years) research articles (aim for 5 articles) in relation to this drug of choice. It is preferred that the literature review is in narrative form (that is, explain the research in your own words). The word limit for this section is 1500 words.

Using information you obtain from the journals you will combine the information, critique the literature and your report should include:

Introduction - your report aim
Research articles - identify the research designs, the study participants and describe how the data was collected for each study
Discussion - What conclusions can be drawn from the studies? Discuss the implications of introducing this drug into paramedic practice, for example, do you need to cease the use of one drug for the introduction of another? Are there any cost/equipment implications?
Conclusion - what are your recommendations (drug therapy protocol to be developed here or as an appendix - either way it is included in your word count)
Reference List

Part two (20%) - using the information collected in part one, you will be required to develop a scientific poster.

There is no specific word limit here, as you will be using the information gained in Part 1. Remember to summarise your information for presentation.


Assessment Due Date Week 5 Friday (07-Apr-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 7 Friday (28-Apr-2017)
Returned to students within 2 week turnaround
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

Part one (20%) - The paper will be assessed on:

Presentation and layout: information presented in a clear & logical sequence; content clearly written; appropriate word count; abbreviations & diagrams used appropriately

Questions: selected drug meets criteria; most current literature used; introduction; discussion of research design & data; implications of introducing the drug; recommendations

Drug therapy protocol: developed appropriately; all information included; effective layout; sources acknowledged

Referencing: use of Harvard referencing; all sources referenced appropriately; reference list

Part Two (20%) – The poster will be assessed on:

Required content: looking at the main points covered & content

Presentation: looking at visual engagement; use of visual elements; graphics & overall presentation

Mechanics: looking at grammar & spelling & referencing

The assessment rubric used in marking this assessment task can be found on the unit Moodle page.

All assessments must be completed to pass this unit.

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - A minimum mark of 50% must be achieved on this assessment to pass the unit
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Files are to be uploaded through Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe the indications, actions, routes of administration, contraindications, side effects and precautions of medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics, and how you would evaluate the effects of administration

3. Research and justify the most effective pharmacological treatment options in the critical care paramedic context

4. Communicate effectively knowledge of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and toxinology within therapeutic relationships

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research



2 Portfolio

Assessment Title Portfolio
Task Description

You will need to complete a clinical portfolio of a minimum of three (3) patients you have assessed and treated during your recent work as a paramedic. The format of your portfolio can be self-determined, however it must include:

  • a review of patient presentation, including chief complaint, history and physical examination. The history should include a review of the patient's own medications, including detail on each medication's indication, potential side-effects and interactions, and how these medications may impact upon the patients' current condition and chief complaint
  • a summary of your non-pharmacological treatment of the patient
  • a detailed assessment of the real and potential pharmacological treatment of this patient, including:
    • core paramedic drugs used & why
    • potential critical care medications to be used with a focus on:
      • relating the drug/s mechanism of action to the patient's condition & associated pathophysiology (that is, why the drug/s is/are indicated)
      • situations where the drug/s would be contraindicated
      • potential side effects & explanation of why they occur
      • potential interactions with the patient's current medications

You will need to demonstrate an ability to understand the foundations of critical care pharmacology using clinical decision making and applying the theoretical principles of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics & reviewing concepts such as side-effects & interactions. In addition, you will need to demonstrate an understanding of complex medications and their interactions with the delivery of pharmacology in the critical care context.

Assessment Due Date Week 10 Friday (19-May-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
Return Date to Students Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017)
Returned to students within 2 week turnaround
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

While there is no prescribed word limit for your portfolio, it is expected that each case presentation will be concise. The portfolio will be assessed in accordance with the rubric provided on the unit Moodle page.This portfolio is worth 30% of your overall unit mark. All assessments must be completed to pass this unit.

Criteria include:

overall presentation

o organisation of presentation/layout

o writing mechanics

o formatting

o referencing

content

o thoroughness of history

o thoroughness of physical examination

o treatment administered

o discussion of current pharmacology

o recommendations regarding real or potential pharmacological treatment

Conditions Minimum mark or grade - A minimum mark of 50% must be achieved on this assessment to pass the unit
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

Portfolios are to be submitted electronically through Moodle

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Describe the indications, actions, routes of administration, contraindications, side effects and precautions of medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics, and how you would evaluate the effects of administration

2. Apply theoretical knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles with regard to medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics

3. Research and justify the most effective pharmacological treatment options in the critical care paramedic context

4. Communicate effectively knowledge of clinical pharmacology, toxicology and toxinology within therapeutic relationships

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

4. Research

5. Self-management



3 Online Test

Assessment Title Online quiz
Task Description

You will be required to complete this online quiz by the end of Week 12, this quiz will become available in Week 11 and will have a specific time limit imposed to complete the quiz.

The quiz will be made up of multiple choice questions exploring content explored in the unit (including lecture materials, online modules, links & required readings). The quiz will assess your ability to identify & apply the foundations of critical care paramedic pharmacology including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, mechanism of action, indications, interactions, contraindications & side effects. In addition, some questions in the quiz will explore your ability to demonstrate clinical decision-making for the use of pharmacology in the critical care context.This is an individual assessment with no collaboration allowed.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-2017) 11:45 PM AEST
The quiz will open 0800hrs on Monday of Week 11 and closes at 2345hrs AEST (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday of Week 12.
Return Date to Students Exam Week Friday (16-Jun-2017)
The quiz will be marked and returned to students after every student has completed the test, within 2 weeks of close of the quiz.
Weighting 30%
Assessment Criteria

You will be required to answer each question to receive the full marks allocated to that question. Non-attempts will score a zero mark. There will be no negative marking (that is, you will not lose a mark for an incorrect response). This assessment task must be completed by 2345hrs on the Friday of Week 12 (2 June 2017). In the absence of an approved extension, there will be no opportunity to complete the task after this date, and there will be no opportunity to apply a late penalty of five percent per day. This quiz is worth 20% of your overall mark. All assessments must be completed to pass this unit.


Conditions Minimum mark or grade - A minimum mark of 50% must be achieved on this assessment to pass the unit
Referencing Style Harvard (author-date)
Submission Online

You will be required to complete this task in an allocated time, there will be no option to save your answers and to go back to the quiz later.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

2. Apply theoretical knowledge of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic principles with regard to medications and fluids administered by critical care paramedics

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge




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