Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker - Draft 2

HLTAEDR002 Assess respond to medical emergencies_Draft 2

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Unit application and prerequisites




Assess and respond to medical emergencies


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to clinically assess emergency presentations, provide emergency care, and to monitor the client’s condition until the situation is stabilised or the client is transferred to the care of other medical services. Assessment and treatment may take place in a health service or in other locations such as accident sites and clients’ homes. Medical emergencies may also involve multiple casualties.


This unit is specific to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people working as health practitioners. They work as part of a multidisciplinary primary health care team to provide primary health care services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients.


No regulatory requirement for certification, occupational or business licensing is linked to this unit at the time of publication. For information about practitioner registration and accredited courses of study, contact the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practice Board of Australia (ATSIHPBA).




Emergency and Disaster Response


Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health



Elements describe the essential outcomes

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

  1. Make clinical assessment of emergency presentation.
    1. Seek information from client or accompanying carers about reason for emergency presentation using culturally safe communication.
    2. Access and refer to any existing client records to inform clinical assessment.
    3. Complete primary survey of client in correct sequence based on presenting condition according to standard treatment protocols or emergency procedures used by the organisation.
    4. Identify the need for immediate assistance from emergency services and follow organisational procedures to access services.
    5. Complete secondary survey of client’s clinical status according to standard treatment protocols or emergency procedures used by the organisation.
    6. Create or complete client records to include accurate and complete details of emergency presentation.
    7. Identify potential for client deterioration and critical time factors based on outcomes of primary and secondary survey.
    8. Establish own capacity to provide treatment and take steps to organise assistance from other health professionals when need is indicated.
  1. Implement medical emergency care.
    1. Administer emergency clinical treatments for presenting condition according to scope of practice, standard treatment protocols or emergency procedures used by the organisation.
    2. Follow instructions from others when assistance has been sought for the treatment of the medical emergency.
    3. Select and use medical equipment suited to purpose of emergency treatment and according to manufacturer’s specifications.
    4. Provide client and accompanying carers with clear information about treatment being provided and its rationale and confirm understanding.
    5. Seek informed consent when condition allows and explain what this means.
    6. Update client records accurately and according to organisational procedures.
  1. Monitor and report client clinical status.
    1. Continuously observe client and identify changes or deterioration in clinical condition that may indicate the need for further or changed treatment.
    2. Adjust clinical treatments in response to monitoring according to scope of practice, standard treatment protocols or emergency procedures used by the organisation.
    3. Maintain continuity of care until emergency presentation is stabilised or clinical handover to other medical service is completed.
    4. Convey accurate and complete information about the emergency presentation and response provided to individuals involved in the client’s ongoing care.


Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • interpret sometimes complex and unfamiliar standard treatment protocols involving medical terminology and abbreviations.

Writing skills to:

  • use fundamental sentence structure, health terminology and abbreviations to complete forms and reports that require factual information.

Oral communication skills to:

  • provide unambiguous information to clients using plain language and terms easily understood
  • ask open and closed probe questions and actively listen during community and stakeholder interactions.

Numeracy skills to:

  • interpret sometimes complex medical numerical data and abbreviations in standard treatment protocols and client records
  • take and record accurate measurements involving pressures, rates and degrees.

Technology skills to:

  • select and use medical equipment for presenting emergencies.


No equivalent unit.

For details, refer to the full mapping table in the Draft 2 Validation Guide.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


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Performance evidence


Assessment Requirements for HLTAEDR002 Assess and respond to medical emergencies


Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • clinically assess and respond to five medical emergencies that collectively include presentations involving:
    • illness
    • injury
    • at least one situation involving two or more casualties
  • for each of the five medical emergencies:
    • complete a primary and secondary survey of the client/s
    • provide required clinical treatment
    • create or update client records
  • from case study documentation of emergency medical situations, identify and report on:
    • two situations that require involvement of emergency services
    • two situations that require assistance from a medical practitioner or other health professional.


Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • organisational policies and procedures for responding to medical emergencies:
    • standard treatment protocols for emergency care including standard treatment manuals (STM):
      • purpose, format and inclusions
      • how to use to identify emergency examination requirements and treatment options
    • scope of emergency services and treatments provided, and who is authorised to provide
    • emergency services and treatments beyond individual and organisational capacity
    • procedures for assessing and responding to emergencies outside of the health service environment
    • medical emergencies requiring evacuation or referral and associated procedures
    • specific roles and responsibilities for medical emergency situations, including lines of authority and supervision, and chain of command
    • special considerations for providing emergency treatments under the direction of a medical or other authorised practitioner
  • local, state or territory government and private agencies, and health services involved in different types of medical emergencies and their key roles
  • equipment, procedures and requirements for making a clinical assessment of emergency presentations:
    • primary survey and variation for medical cardiac arrests:
      • danger
      • response
      • circulation
      • airway
      • breathing
    • secondary survey:
      • comprehensive history
      • vital sign survey
      • head-to-toe physical examination
  • emergency care responses and equipment requirements for:
    • allergic reactions
    • bites, stings and poisonings
    • burns (minor and major):
      • different types of burns
      • how to assess severity
      • wound management
    • choking and airway obstruction
    • drug reactions:
      • adverse reaction to medications
      • drug overdose
    • fits and seizures
    • hyperglycaemic emergencies
    • severe hypoglycaemia
    • hypothermia
    • injuries:
      • abdomen and pelvis
      • bleeding
      • chest
      • head
      • limbs
      • soft tissue
      • spinal (risk and assessment)
    • meningitis
    • near hanging
    • nausea and vomiting
    • presentations associated with illness:
      • acute life-threatening illness
      • worsening chronic illness
    • pre-term or unplanned labour or births
    • respiratory distress
    • shock
    • unconscious person
  • broader considerations when handling medical emergencies arising from:
    • attempted suicide
    • domestic and family violence
    • existing health conditions
    • drug overdose
  • community cultural values or beliefs that may influence clinical response options to different types of emergencies
  • medical record keeping and reporting requirements specific to emergencies:
    • key information to be recorded
    • processes for clinical handover to other practitioners or medical services
    • registers for emergency care including lessons learned registers.


Skills can only be demonstrated during simulated activities that include the following to reflect real medical emergency situations:

Assessment must ensure the use of:

  • medical equipment required for specific type of medical emergency response
  • communication device to support interactions with other agencies and individuals
  • standard treatment protocols for emergency care which can include Standard Treatment Manuals
  • organisational policies and procedures for responding to medical emergencies.


Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations requirements for assessors, and:

  • be an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person who has applied the skills and knowledge covered in this unit of competency through experience working as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander practitioner, or
  • be a registered health practitioner with experience relevant to this unit of competency and be accompanied by, or have assessments validated by, an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person.


Companion Volume Implementation Guide


Supporting inclusion of palliative care knowledge and skills

"Add to KE: consideration of client’s advance care plan when responding to medical emergencies"

Kylie Ash 05.05.2021 03.39PM

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