Course Title: Mental Health 1: Therapeutic Communication

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Mental Health 1: Therapeutic Communication

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

NURS1132

Bundoora Campus

Undergraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013

NURS2012

Hamilton Campus

Undergraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 2 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010

NURS2133

Sale Campus

Undergraduate

150H Health Sciences

Face-to-Face

Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Mr. Alistair Ross

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6634

Course Coordinator Email: alistair.ross@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Location: 201.6.6


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There are no pre-requisite courses for this course however this course builds upon capabilities in communication and interpersonal relationships commenced in Nursing studies 1 and Aged Care in semester 1.


Course Description

This course aims to give students a better understanding of the communication process in the healthcare environment. As well students will explore the role of basic attending and listening skills, the fundamental principles and practice of communication process and their influence on the nurse patient relationship. The concept of theraputic care and nursing will be explored


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course builds upon capabilities in communication and interpersonal relationships commenced in Nursing studies 1 and Aged Care in semester 1. These abilities and those associated with safe and ethical practice are concurrently developed in Nursing Studies 2 in semester 2 and as a preparation for the first Clinical Practicum. The knowledge and skills in therapeutic communication will be built on further in mental health 2 and mental health 3, Trans cultural nursing and each of the subsequent Clinical Practicum.

In order to build these capabilities, the course will need to emphasise the importance of perception, attitudes, values, beliefs and attributes in relation to enhancing and impeding effective communication and the impact of cultural differences of Australian contemporary society and indigeous population in this practice.

Fundamental principles and practices of communication will need to be addressed with attention to the nurse patient relationship. Beginning attending and listening skills will be essential. Particular attention should be drawn to verbal and non- verbal language in facilitating communication in the context of cultural implications.


  1. Identify factors that enhance self awareness and personal effectiveness
  2. Discuss how attitudes, values, and cultural beliefs affect interpersonal communication.
  3. Describe a model of the communication process and the factors influencing this process.
  4. Describe the stages of the helping relationship
  5. Identify behaviors that facilitate trust in a nurse patient relationship
  6. Explain the role of non-verbal communication in interpersonal relating
  7. Demonstrate a beginning level of interviewing skills


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning in this course requires that students become explicitly aware of aspects of communication within a variety of contexts that have previously been taken for granted or which are new to their experience. It will involve detailed observation and analysis of human interactions, which draws upon communication theories. The learning activities will also need to challenge each student to reflect upon his or her taken for granted modes of communication, values and cultural assumptions both broadly, as a student and within the nursing context.

To achieve this level of learning students will need access to structured information concerning communication theories and frameworks. This might be provided through lectures, access to online resources or by guided reading. Students might also be encouraged to research aspects of the theoretical frameworks and share their learning with other students.

There will need to be a range of experiences where students observe / participate in and analyze interpersonal relationships. This might include observation and or enactment of actual behaviors or use of simulations / role-plays.  Where access to real nursing contexts is not achievable, role-plays will be essential.

Reflection will be a critical part of the learning process. Students will need opportunities to discuss their experiences, compare these with those of other students and debate values and interpretations. Tutorial discussions, debates or other forms of dialogue may be used to explore these issues.


Overview of Learning Resources

The entire course is supported by information and learning activities via myRMIT Studies as well as classroom lecture. Students are encouraged to participate in any on line group learning activities as well as carrying out observing communication strategies in everyday life.


Overview of Assessment

There will be three forms of assessment as follows:

1. A written assignement worth [30%].

2. Tutorial Participation / Presentation [20%].

3. A Multiple choice exam run during the RMIT examination period [50%].