BSc Paramedic Practice – Remote and Hazardous Environments

Paramedics deal with emergency situations and are often the first on scene of any incident or accident. They can work as part of a rapid response team dealing with a range of situations and this includes ones requiring air transport by fixed wing or transport or rescue by helicopter.

Arguably, Paramedics are involved with a wider range of patients than any other health care professional. This is a role that demands not only an advanced level of autonomous professional and practical knowledge, but also highly developed interpersonal skills with the ability to work under pressure.

This programme ensures that the student develops all of the knowledge and skills for Paramedic practice and also concentrates on the following themes:

  • Academic knowledge and skills development through to Degree level
  • Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology of conditions encountered in ‘Domestic, Remote and Hazardous’ environments
  • Clinical practice pertinent to Paramedic practice for the environments encountered
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics in Paramedic practice
  • Operational leadership, command and control

Course Outline

The programme is delivered by Outreach Rescue Medic Skills (ORMS) and is validated by Robert Gordon University (RGU) and is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The BSc programme is designed to run over 6 years and is integrated with the student’s employment. There are step off points at the end of;

  • two years (Stage 1 completion), Certificate of Higher Education, Technician – Remote and Hazardous Environments
  • four years (Stage 2 completion), Diploma of Higher Education Paramedic Practice – Remote and Hazardous Environments

The following should be noted in regard to the awards associated with this programme:

  • The Certificate of Higher Education, Technician – Remote and Hazardous Environments Award. Completion of the programme DOES NOT provide you with the eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Paramedic
  • The Diploma of Higher Education Paramedic Practice – Remote and Hazardous Environments. Completion of the programme DOES provide you with the eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Paramedic.
  • The BSc Paramedic Practice – Remote and Hazardous Environment DOES NOT lead to eligibility for HCPC registration as a Paramedic. This award requires the student to be registered with the HCPC as a Paramedic prior to progression from the Dip HE stage to the BSc stage or prior to entering the programme for BSc study through Recognised Prior Learning.
  • Paramedic is a legally protected title and can only be used by a properly registered person.

Top Up to Degree

For those students that are already registered as Paramedics with the HCPC we can offer a Top Up to Degree with this programme.  Please contact us to discuss this option.

What you will study

Years 1 & 2 (Stage 1)

During this stage, knowledge of working within the health sector and the foundations of anatomy, physiology, and pathology and professional skills will be integrated with key Paramedic skills.

This stage develops your Paramedic assessment and treatment skills. You will explore the interrelationships between allied rescue agencies and how to work within these structures effectively. Clinical placements are undertaken to reinforce these skills and link theory to practice.

Modules studied:

  • NU1995 – Working in Healthcare
  • NU1996 – Preparing for Emergency Care
  • NU1997 – First Response in Pre-hospital care
  • NU1998 – Human Factors and Decision Making in Hazardous Environments
  • NU1999 – Professional Practice 1 (Operational)

Years 3 & 4 (Stage 2)

Acute management of ill and injured patients is developed further, alongside the inclusion off invasive procedures to promote positive outcomes when managing these patients. You are consistently challenged to consider the pragmatics of care delivery by comparing care delivery between “Remote”, “Hazardous” and “Domestic” environments.

The use of research to support and underpin practice is developed further encouraging development of clinical reasoning skills. Further two clinical placements are undertaken to reinforce the necessary knowledge and skills required for qualification.

Modules studied:

  • NU2990 – Public Health in Paramedic Practice
  • NU2991 – Paramedic Patient Assessment and Interventions
  • NU2992 – Medical and Surgical Emergencies
  • NU2993 – Professional Practice 2 (Operational)
  • NU2994 – Trauma Emergencies in Hazardous Environments
  • NU2995 – Obstetrics, Gynaecological and Paediatric Emergencies
  • NU2996 – Professional Practice 3 (Operational)

Years 5 & 6 (Stage 3)

The emphasis in your final stage relates to evidence based management of “Hazardous” environments, effective performance in disasters and the academic skills necessary for the manager in these circumstances.

In conjunction with understanding key issues relating to policies and interagency team working. Improving practice is explored (incorporating critical evaluation of practice) aiming to further develop your Paramedic skills for delivery of care in these more extreme environments.

Your final clinical placements allow development and refinement of the required treatment and management skills.

Modules studied:

  • NU3990 – Leadership and Evidence Informed Decision Making in Hazardous Environments
  • NU3991 – Disasters and Environmental Emergencies
  • NU3992 – Professional Practice 4 (Operational)
  • NU3993 – Research, Quality and Audit
  • NU3994 – Practice Project
  • NU3995 – Professional Practice 5 (Operational)

Practice Placements

Practice placements are an integral part of the Programme and students will spend significant time in practice placements in their employer or sponsors’ normal operational environment.

The sponsoring organisation is the organisation where the student will be completing their Ongoing Record of Achievement, with a Practice Placement Educator (PPEd). The Sponsoring Organisation may or may not be the Student’s employer.

For example, a student who is employed by the Ministry of Defence, but is engaging in the programme as part of their resettlement, may gain access to the appropriate experiences through an ambulance service but may not be employed by them as yet.

Practice Placement Provision

ORMS does not provide (ambulance) practice placements directly to the students. This element is provided collaboratively through a sponsoring organisation with supervision from ORMS. This is arranged through;

  • completion of a ‘Learning Agreement’
  • completion of a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ for placement within the ORMS ‘Educational Audit procedure’
  • regular audits to ensure the placement environment is, and remains suitable
  • regular training carried out by ORMS with the Sponsoring Organisation’s Link Tutor/s and PPEds

The availability, quality and appropriateness of placements are essential to the programme, therefore, it is imperative that all practice placements undergo an educational audit prior to a student being offered a confirmed space on the programme. A copy of the ‘ORMS Educational Audit’ can be downloaded here.

Practice Placement Duration

The student must complete at least 375hrs of practice placement per year with at least half of those hours in the Prehospital environment.

The programme stipulates a minimum number of hours to be spent in each of the practice environments, the objective of each placement is to achieve the practice competencies to ensure safe and effective practice. If the student has not managed to achieve all of the competencies through lack of exposure to opportunities to practice, then it is expected that the duration of placement be increased.

Practice Placement Environments

ORMS uses a Hub and Spoke arrangement for practice placements. The hub is defined as the primary workplace for the sponsor. The Spokes are defined as the other relevant areas for Paramedic development where learning objectives can be better supported, allowing for a broader scope of experiences within the programme.

Practice Placement Educators (PPEd)

A Practice Placement Educator (PPEd) is a person from the relevant part of the HCPC Register (Paramedic) who is appointed by the Sponsor, with ORMS’ approval, to supervise and guide the Student and to carry out the Practice Placement Assessments. The PPEd must be suitably qualified/experienced in teaching, coaching and mentoring. The PPEd will be required to register with ORMS, and will receive additional training from ORMS to ensure that the student’s learning and assessment meets the course and HCPC’s expectations.

Hub – Prehospital Practice Placements provide the opportunity to develop skills and competencies in clinical practice, under the direct range of emergency and urgent calls and consolidation of theoretical knowledge into practice.

It is recognised that the traditional environment for this is on an emergency ambulance. However, it is also recognised that the range of cases attended to by Paramedics on Search and Rescue (SAR) aircraft reflects those of an emergency ambulance, though there is a variation in frequency. For this reason, it must be stressed that the duration of practice placement stated, is the minimum required to achieve the learning objectives.

Students utilising SAR as their Hub will be monitored through the practice support meetings to ensure they are gaining appropriate experience. If it is found that the student is not gaining sufficient exposure to certain areas of practice, then a remedial action plan is developed, requiring the student to spend more time in an emergency ambulance setting.

It is a programme requirement that the student is directly supervised by their PPEd for a minimum of 25% of the time in practice and that the student does not carry out interventions that they are still learning without direct supervision.

Spoke – Other Practice Placements are required following specific points in the programme and are designed to ensure the student embeds theory and skills learned during the attendance portion of a module into practice. The placement requires the student to achieve certain competencies that are assessed by suitably qualified senior clinicians. Commonly these competencies are achieved in the hospital environment or areas such as control rooms, non-urgent ambulance operations, community clinics, etc

Duration and Timing of Placements

The Hub Placement is carried out throughout the programme and is a consistent area of practice that is completed concurrently with the spoke placements.

The Spoke placements are timed to maximise their benefit based upon the theoretical knowledge gained in the modules. 40 hours of attendance in spoke placements is required after each module except the following modules as these are addressed by the Hub Placement:

  • NU1999
  • NU2993
  • NU2996
  • NU3992
  • NU3995

ORMS doesn’t stipulate a particular spoke placement setting, it provides guidance on the most appropriate setting to achieve the learning objectives whilst linking to the modular content that the student has just completed. The choices highlighted below enable the student to attend one or a variety of environments linked to the module: These are as follows:

Stage 1

NU1995 – Working in Healthcare

  • Hub Placement AND
  • Mental Health Unit OR Non-Emergency Services

NU1996 – Preparing for Emergency Care

  • Hub Placement AND
  • Mental Health Unit OR Non-Emergency Services

NU1997 – First Response in Pre-hospital care

  • Single Response Vehicles
  • Emergency Department

NU1998 – Human Factors and Decision Making in Hazardous Environments

  • Single Response Vehicles
  • Supportive Operational Units
  • Emergency Operation Control Centres

Stage 2

NU2990 – Public Health in Paramedic Practice

  • Mental Health Unit
  • Out-of-Hours (OoH) Unscheduled Care
  • Minor Injuries/Illness Unit

NU2991 – Paramedic Patient Assessment and Interventions

  • Operating Theatres/Day Procedure Units

NU2992 – Medical and Surgical Emergencies

  • Cardiac Care/Cardiac Catheterisation Units
  • Medical Assessment Unit
  • Surgical Assessment Unit

NU2994 – Trauma Emergencies in Hazardous Environments

  • Emergency Department
  • Minor Injuries/Illness Unit

NU2995 – Obstetrics, Gynaecological and Paediatric Emergencies

  • Obstetric/Midwifery Units
  • Paediatric Department/Wards

Stage 3

NU3990 – Leadership and Evidence Informed Decision Making in Hazardous Environments

  • Supportive Operational Units
  • Emergency Operation Control Centres
  • Allied Health Teams
  • Allied Emergency Services

NU3991 – Disasters and Environmental Emergencies

  • Supportive Operational Units
  • Emergency Operation Control Centres
  • Allied Health Teams
  • Allied Emergency Services

NU3993 – Research, Quality and Audit

  • Supportive Operational Units
  • Emergency Operation Control Centres
  • Allied Health Teams
  • Allied Emergency Services

NU3994 – Practice Project

  • Supportive Operational Units
  • Emergency Operation Control Centres
  • Allied Health Teams
  • Allied Emergency Services

More information can be found in the ‘Practice Placement Handbook’ available for download here.

Entry Requirements

For admission to the course applicants must possess the following (or equivalent):

Qualifications

5 GCSEs (including English, mathematics and/or a science) plus
at least 2 A’ levels or equivalent qualifications. Equivalent overseas qualifications, SQA, BTEC and access programmes will be considered.

English Language Requirement

The ORMS requirement for English language proficiency for students whose first language is not English is at or comparable to IELTS Level 7, with no single element scoring below 6.5. The ability to communicate effectively in English is critical to working effectively as a Health Care Professional in the UK and to the completion of this programme. The student may be asked to provide relevant evidence.

More information on admissions can be found in our admissions policy available for download here.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

ORMS recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

ORMS recognises two types of prior learning: recognition of prior certificated learning (RPCL) and recognition of prior experiential (RPEL), which can facilitate entry to the course, with an exemption for specific modules. There are strict guidelines around any RPL claim. The maximum amount of recognition of prior learning for this course is 50% of the total credits. Any RPL claim must occur at time of application, and be accepted by RGU before any exemptions are agreed.

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) will be considered on an individual basis by ORMS. Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the RGU’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact us for further guidance. Please be aware that there may be a charge for RPL

More information of Recognition of Prior Learning can be found in the RPL Policy available for download here.

Application Information Pack

It is important that you (Student, Employer, Sponsor) have all of the information you require to make an informed choice about whether to take up or seek a place on the programme.

Please download, read and understand the following documents;

  • Admissions Policy
  • Educational Audit for Placements Document
  • Learning Agreement (a signed agreement between student, their sponsoring organisation (which may or may not be their employer) and ORMS
  • Practice Placement Handbook
  • ORMS Recognition of Prior Learning Policy (to be read in conjunction with the RGU Policy)
  • Student Handbook

The above documents contain important information that will ensure the student and their sponsoring organisation have all of the information necessary to decide whether the programme is right for them.

[Application Documents Pack]

Course Fees

Course fees may be paid by the student, their employer/sponsoring organisation or other funding streams.

The course cost is £4400 per year (60 credits).

Apply Online

Applications for this course are open.

The following link will redirect you to the Robert Gordon University online application portal.

Apply Online

Want to know more?

If you’d like to find out more about this course, thinking of registering, or are looking to find out if we can tailor a course to your needs, then please feel free to get in touch with us via email, calling +44 (0)1248 603 012 or using any of the details on our Contact page

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