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PAR4302 - Management of emergency cardiac conditions

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms Andrea Wyatt


Peninsula First semester 2008 (Day)
Peninsula Second semester 2008 (Day)
Peninsula Summer semester A to Semester one 2008 (Day)


The focus of this unit is to provide the theoretical underpinnings required to develop in the student an appropriate level of knowledge, understanding and skill related to recognition and management of patients with acute myocardial infarction and associated acute cardiac events. The reduction in morbidity and mortality from acute myocardial infarction associated with early provision of advanced cardiac life support will serve as the rationale for pre-hospital advanced cardiac life support. This unit is underpinned by a MICA Paramedic clinical approach, clinical problem solving and clinical decision making.

Clinical sciences content is integrated with clinical management protocols developed from evidence based practice principles and the clinical approach used to manage the patient with chest pain. Specific clinical sciences topics include cardiac anatomy and physiology, the natural history of ischaemic heart disease, cardiovascular pathology, interpretation of electrocardiographic (ECG) rhythms and waveforms and pharmacology of drugs used in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction.

To aid learning and understanding this unit includes tutorials, practical skills sessions and clinical practice scenarios to allow the application of theoretical knowledge to the MICA Paramedic clinical environment.

This unit provides the student with the following supervised hospital clinical placements:

Coronary Care Placement:
The clinical placement will provide the student with a range of experience and activities. These are designed to help the student develop an understanding of the responsibilites and inter-relationships of staff involved in patient management in the coronorary care unit. Students will be exposed to the range of problems commonly managed in coronary care units, the common clinical presentations, the essential steps in the pre-hospital management of these patients and their continuing in-hospital care. Students will also be able to observe the consultative processes between senior medical staff and MICA Paramedics in the field.
The clinical placement will provide an opportunity to revise normal adult physiological values and promote an understanding of the significance of figures in abnormal ranges for the patient with a cardiac illness. Where applicable and appropriate, the student will be supervised in assisted with the general management of patients in coronary care and gain experience in a range of practical procedures that include:
Physiological observation of patients with cardiac illness;
Intra-muscular and intra-venous injections;
Recording and interpreting a 12 lead ECG; and
Direct Current Counter-Shock and cardioversion

This unit will be offered in a multimodal form using a combination of lectures, tutorials, practical sessions, clinical scenarios and self-directed learning materials, WebCT will be used to supplement face-to-face sessions and support on-line discussion groups to facilitate MUCAPS staff and student interaction in informal tutorials.


By the completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an ability, through self-appraisal, feedback and supervised clinical experience, to continue the process of developing as an interactional professional within the context of managing patients with cardiac emergencies;
  2. Understand the application of evidence-based practice to the MICA Paramedic management of emergency cardiac conditions;
  3. Describe the structure and function of the heart through the applications of their knowledge of normal cardiac conditions;
  4. Describe the natural history of ischaemic heart disease and cardiovascular pathology related to acute myocardial infarction;
  5. Interpret common electrocardiographic (ECG) rhythms and waveforms;
  6. Recall the pharmacology of relevant drugs included in the cardiac Clinical Practice Guidelines;
  7. Demonstrate the ability to integrate the theoretical knowledge and clinical skills to the management of cardiac emergencies in 'real time' work simulation using the MICA Paramedic clinical problem solving and clinical decision making model;
  8. Describe the benefits of pre-hospital advanced cardiac life support and the related role of the MICA Paramedic;
  9. Discuss the epidemiology of cardiac disease;
  10. Describe the role of coronary care units in the management of patients with emergency cardiac conditions;
  11. Discuss how a MICA Paramedic might relate to and co-ordinate with hospital coronary care units.


Exams: 75% Advanced cardiac life support simulation: 25% Professional development assessment: Pass/Fail.

Contact hours

104 comprising lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and clinical scenarios, self-directed learning materials and WebCT, 20 hours supervised hospital clinical practice, 32 hours independent work;

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