Course Title: Communicate and work effectively in health

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: EMPL5516C

Course Title: Communicate and work effectively in health

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3202 - Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Course Contact: Ms Eleanor Schroeder

Course Contact Phone: 9341 1412

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Sue Fatone

Phone 03/ 9341 1406

Fax 03/ 9341 1401


Jenny Webb

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

There are no pre-requisites or co-requisites for this unit of competence

Course Description

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to work effectively in a health setting with patients, clients, staff, visitors, suppliers and others to meet established work requirements.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTHIR301A Communicate and work effectively in health


1. Work Ethically


2. Communicate effectively in a health setting


3. Practise high standards of personal hygiene


4. Promote a positive approach to health


5. Maintain professional work standards


6. Work effectively within the health care system


7. Take responsibility for personal skill development

Learning Outcomes

1.1 Follow ethical guidelines in decision-making in all work undertaken the health setting with awareness of potential ethical complexity in own work role
1.2 Reflect understanding and compliance with the principles of duty of care and legal responsibilities in all work undertaken
1.3 Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate personnel
1.4 Maintain confidentiality of any client matter in line with organisation policy and procedure
1.5 Show respect for rights and responsibilities of others through considered application of work practises
1.6 Reflect current working knowledge and understanding of employee and employer rights and responsibilities in all work undertaken
1.7 Recognise, avoid and/or address any conflict of interest
2.1 Develop, review and revise personal skills in communication as an ongoing priority to address organisation standards
2.2 Exercise caution in communicating personal information by oral and written means to ensure confidentiality of client and staff matters
2.3 Routinely apply workplace protocols and procedures in all workplace communication to support accuracy and understanding of information provided and received
2.4 Recognise individual and cultural differences and make any adjustments needed to facilitate the achievement of identified outcomes
2.5 Conduct interpersonal communication with clients and colleagues in a manner that enhances a client-centred approach to health care consistent with organisation standards
2.6 Take appropriate measures to resolve conflict and interpersonal differences in the workplace
3.1 Maintain personal hygiene with an understanding of risks associated with contamination and infection in a health setting
3.2 Wear personal protective equipment correctly according to organisation requirements
3.3 Safely dispose of infectious and/or hazardous waste material according to waste management policy and procedures
3.4 Report or initiate action within own area of responsibility to redress any potential workplace hazards
4.1 Clarify components of own role that contribute to maintaining an effective and client-centred approach to health
4.2 Promote an approach in which clients are included in shared decision-making as partners in health care
4.3 Contribute to a workplace culture of promoting good health by sharing health information
4.4 Focus on preventing ill health and minimising risk in the workplace
5.1 Identify relevant organisation policies and procedures relating to awards, standards and legislative requirements of own work role and clarify any uncertainties with appropriate personnel
5.2 Contribute to identifying and implementing improved work practises
5.3 Comply with relevant accreditation standards applying to work undertaken
5.4 Reflect understanding and focus on achieving organisation goals and objectives in all work undertaken
5.5 Respond positively to changes to improve work practises and procedures in accordance with organisation requirements
5.6 Issues requiring mandatory notification are identified and reported to supervisor and/or an appropriate authority
6.1 Demonstrate respect for workers from different sectors and levels of the industry
6.2 Work with awareness of the roles of various organisations in the health care system in Australia
6.3 Maintain awareness of current issues influencing health care, including health issues for Indigenous Australians
7.1 Seek advice from appropriate persons on areas for skills/knowledge development
7.2 Identify options for accessing relevant skill development opportunities and initiate action in consultation with manager
7.3 Undertake designated skill/knowledge development and maintenance activities of the organisation including induction training
7.4 Identify and prioritise personal work goals in accordance with organisation requirements

Details of Learning Activities

Teacher Lead Activities
Classroom, tutorial instruction and practical instruction in theory and tasks associated with the topics including the use of computers and relevant software/s.
Practical simulations and demonstrations
Group discussion and activities

Student Centred Activities
Participation in group activities based on simulated workplace exercises
including computer based workshop.
Self managed research and clinical experience
Participation in-group activities based on simulated work exercises including computer-based workshop.
Maintain workplace relations using written, oral and electronic

Teaching Schedule

Below is a guide to the under pining knowledge and skill that the learner will need to demonstrate. This schedule is a guide only to provide adequate time for the leaner to access the underpinning knowledge.

Block 1 Day 4

Communicate effectively
Discussion of PowerPoint Presentation on communicate and work effectively in a health setting. Students are placed in groups and are given workplace scenarios from which they are to role-paly using positive and effective communication skills

Practice high standards of personal hygiene
PowerPoint Presentation and discussion on Practice high standards of personal hygiene.
Class discussion on self-assessment Questions Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting Recall Q1  p12, Q2 13 and self reflection of critical thinking Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting Q1  p17. Students in small groups are issued different scenarios and are to create a poster on improvement of quality work practices

Promote a positive approach to health
PowerPoint Presentation and discussion on promote a positive approach to health for clients and colleagues
Students in small groups create posters on safe, secure or emergency procedures that are relevant to the dental industry

Work effectively within the health care system
PowerPoint Presentation and discussion on work effectively within the health care system, including the dental team, the dental industry ( private and public dentistry), and the current dental health issues. Class discussion on self-assessment Questions Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting Recall Questions 1 & 2  p20.
Students are to create a hierarchy chart of the practice they work in.
Class discussion on the different types of hierarchy charts and an overall discussion of the dental industry.

Workplace Ethics and Legal Issues and Maintain professional work practices
Class discussion on Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting chapter 4 Dental Ethics: Recall Questions 1 p26, 2 p27& 3 p28 and Critical Thinking Questions 1 – 3 p29 and chapter 5 Dentistry and the Law Recall Questions 1 - 3 p32, 4 - 6 p33, 7-8 p33, 9 -13 p35, 14  p36 and 15  p37. 

Read Power Point Legal & Ethical PPT located in online learning hub in course documents and read class handout from Dental Practice Board

Block 4 Day 5

Take responsibility for personal skill development

PowerPoint Presentation and discussion on Professional Development of the Dental Assistant. Class discussion students are also to refer to their written answers to Self assessment Questions Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting questions 1 – 6 p24 and Chapter 64 Recall Question 10 p1057.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Bird. D. & Robinson D(2009) Torres & Ehrlich Modern Dental Assisting, 9th Ed. W.B. Saunders Company. Philadelphia.


RMIT online learning Hub
Library, Journals, Brochures, Pamphlets, Periodicals, Newspapers
• ADA guidelines on consent and ethics
• ADA Polices:
• Australian Law Online
• Australian Office of the Privacy Commissioner:
• Dental Practice Board:
• ADA “Privacy Manual for Dental Practices”
• ADA “Standard Operating Procedures”
• ADA “The Practical Guides” 7th Edition

Other Resources

Overview of Assessment

A variety of assessments are incorporated in this unit of competency including:
• Observation in the work place
• Evidence of essential knowledge and understanding may be provided by: traditional or on line (computer-based) assessment or written assignments/projects
• Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice
• Questioning
• Staff and/or client feedback
• Supporting statement of supervisor
• Authenticated evidence of relevant work experience and/or formal/informal learning
• Role play simulation

Assessment Tasks

Variety of assessments including: 

  • Role-plays and group work·
  • Legal & Ethical online quiz via the RMIT Blackboard.

This quiz is to provide feedback and so help you learn the ethical and legal requirements of a dental assistant. You must complete this on day 4 Block 1 and submit on Day 5 Block 1 at 9am. The correct completed assessment coversheet is also to be submitted at this time. The results will also be automatically recorded in your online grade book.

The time limit for this online Multiple Choice Test quiz is one hour. Students must obtain 70% pass rate. Students who do not reach 70% will need to discuss the result with the teacher and the SLO (Student liaison officer).

It is recommended that you read/work through the material (the PowerPoint slides in the online module, recommended websites and your textbook) thoroughly before attempting the quiz on the topic. There is no backtracking with only one attempt allowed.

  • Portfolio and Oral presentation, which includes:

-a written report of the case study
-an oral presentation of the case study
-completed third party evidence (located at the end of this assessment)

This portfolio tasdk is issued in Block 1 Day 4 and is due back in Block 4 Day 4.

  •  Workplace Assessment

This workplace assessment is conducted at the students workplace after Block 4 and prior to the last day of the RMIT enrolment period.Competency must be achieved or re-enrolment will be required.

Assessment Matrix

Legal and Ethical test, issued Block 1 Day 4, due Block 1 Day 5.

Portfolio and Oral presentation, issued Block 1 Day 4, due Block 4 Day 4.

Workplace asssessment., after Block 4.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview