Course Title: Apply effective communication skills in nursing practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2013

Course Code: NURS5266C

Course Title: Apply effective communication skills in nursing practice

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5313 - Diploma of Nursing (Enrolled-Division 2 Nursing)

Course Contact: Leeanne Mond

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4837

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

City Campus:

Bundoora Campus:

Nominal Hours: 40

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

            Not applicable

Course Description

This competency unit describes the skills and knowledge required for effective communication in complex communication situations and its application to nursing practice; the function and purpose of small groups; meeting procedures; and the dynamics of group work and evaluation as a tool for continuous improvement.

The unit is co-delivered with conjunction with HLTEN515B Implement and monitor nursing care for older together with HLTEN511B Provide Nursing care for Clients requiring Palliative care. 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTEN502B Apply effective communication skills in nursing practice


1. Use effective communication skills in complex situations
2. Deliver complex information effectively
3. Identify and address actual and potential constraints to communication
4. Evaluate effectiveness of communication in complicated situations
5. Use information technology
6. Lead small group discussions
7. Give and receive feedback for performance improvement
8. Use the principles and processes of open disclosure effectively

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Identify assess and minimise hazards in the situation that may pose a risk of injury or illness to self and others
1.2 Minimise immediate risk to self and casualty's health and safety by controlling any hazard in accordance with work health and safety requirements
1.3 Assess casualty and identify injuries, illnesses and conditions

2.1 Adopt a communication style to match the casualty’s level of consciousness
2.2 Use available resources and equipment to make the casualty as comfortable as possible
2.3 Respond to the casualty in a culturally aware, sensitive and respectful manner
2.4 Determine and explain relevant first aid procedures to provide comfort
2.5 Seek consent from casualty prior to applying first aid management
2.6 Provide first aid management in accordance with established first aid principles and procedures
2.7 Seek first aid assistance from others in a timely manner and as appropriate
2.8 Correctly operate first aid equipment for first aid management according to manufacturer/supplier’s instructions and procedures
2.9 Use safe manual handling techniques
2.10 Monitor casualty's condition and respond in accordance with established first aid principles and procedures
2.11 Finalise casualty management according to casualty’s needs and first aid principles

3.1 Request ambulance support and/or appropriate medical assistance according to relevant circumstance
3.2 Accurately convey observation of casualty’s condition and management activities to ambulance services / relieving personnel

3.3 Accurately assess and report details of casualty’s physical condition, changes in conditions, management and response to management in line with established procedures
3.4 Maintain confidentiality of records and information in line with privacy principles and statutory and/or organisation policies

4.1 Seek feedback from appropriate clinical expert
4.2 Recognise the possible psychological impacts on rescuers involved in critical incidents
4.3 Participate in debriefing/evaluation to improve future response and address individual needs

Learning Outcomes

These are described in the elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Refer to the latest timetable on Blackboard for actual days.

Learning Strategies will be in the form of:
• Lecture
• Small Group Work
• Facilitated Class Discussion
• Role play/simulation

Teaching Schedule

Lesson 1: Use effective communication skills in complex situations
• Identify & describe the processes of communication, & factors that promote effective communication
• Identify & describe factors that inhibit effective communication
• Identify & describe opportunities for Enrolled/Division2 nurse’s to involve clients, families/carers in their care & treatment
• Describe the legal requirements of documentation detailing complicated & difficult situations

Lesson 2: Use effective communication skills in complex situations
• Identify & describe how to provide clients with a therapeutic environment, including confidentiality, politeness, respect, empathy
• Identify & describe how to use healthcare terminology with colleagues, clients, families & carers
• Identify & describe the role & use of interpreters in communicating with clients of CALD backgrounds

Lesson 3 Deliver Complex Information Effectively
• Identify & discuss complex situations including Anger, Trauma, Death/Grief, Hearing Impaired/Disabled
• Identify & describe strategies to deliver complex information that is clearly understood & prevents information overload by colleagues, clients, families & carers
• Describe how to communicate in emergency situations according to organisational policy

Lesson 4: Identify and address actual and potential constraints to communication
• Identify & discuss actual & potential constraints to effective communication in the clinical setting
• Identify & describe early signs of potential difficult situations
• Identify the roles & responsibilities of healthcare professionals involved in communicating complex information
• Identify & describe how to address the needs/issues of other people including, culture religion, language, cognitive & emotional state

Lesson 5: Evaluate effectiveness of communication in complicated situations – Conflict Resolution
• Define & discuss conflict as barrier to communication
• Describe how to document/report workplace conflicts
• Identify & discuss members of the healthcare team who can assist in resolving conflicts with client’s, families/carers
• Identify & discuss personnel who can assist in resolving workplace conflicts with colleagues
• Define & discuss the importance of ensuring debriefing for self & colleagues following difficult situations

Lesson 6: Use information technology
• Identify & discuss the use of information technology to support nursing practice
• Describe Social Media Policy
• Demonstrate basic word processing, and Excel spread sheet skills

Lesson 7: Lead Small Group Discussions
• Define key terms associated with meetings
• Identify & describe meeting procedures
• Define & describe the processes of clinical handover, including the appropriate use of healthcare terminology

Lesson 8: Give and receive feedback to for performance improvement
• Define common terms associated with performance improvement including, standards, benchmark, strategic plans, self-disclosure, reflective practice, performance management & performance appraisal
• Identify & discuss the use of feedback to achieve performance improvement
• Identify & describe strategies to deliver constructive feedback
• Identify & describe the processes of self-evaluation as the basis of providing feedback to others
• Define & discuss the role of mentoring within the scope of nursing practice

Lesson 9: Open Disclosure
• Identify & discuss the potential effects of adverse events on clients, families/carers
• Define open disclosure & organisational processes for notifying clients, families/carers of adverse events
• Identify & discuss the principles & ethical basis for open disclosure
• Describe the process of open disclosure, including legal considerations & the roles & responsibilities of junior staff

IT Lab 1:
IT Lab 2:
IT Lab 3:

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Kozier and Erbs ‘ Fundamentals of Nursing’. (2010). 1st edition. Pearson: Australia. (3 book set / shrink wrapped )


Recommended Reading:
• Crisp, J Taylor, C 2009 Potter and Perry’s fundamentals of nursing 3e, Chatswood
• Funnell, R Koutoukidis, G and Lawrence, K 2009 Tabbner’s nursing care 5e, Chatswood
• Hally, B 2009 A guide for international nursing students in Australia and New Zealand, Elsevier, Sydney
• Hutton, A. R 2006 Introduction to Medical Terminology for Health Care 4th Ed, Chruchill Livingstone Elsevier

Other Resources

Classroom powerpoints are posted on student blackboard

Overview of Assessment

The underpinning knowledge and skills for this competency will be assessed via the following methods

  • Classroom Activities
  • Clinical Placement
  • Written Assignment

Assessment Tasks

Classroom Activity - 30%

Written Assessment - 50%

Clinical Placement - 20%

Assessment Matrix

All assessments must have a competency grade to be awarded a competent outcome

All written must have a 60% grade to be deemed competent

  • 60 - 69     - CAG
  • 70 - 79     - CC
  • 80 -  89    - CDI
  • 90 - 100   - CHD

Other Information

Classroom attendance 80 % requirement

Clinical placement 100% attendance required (Assessed over clinical placement 1 and clinical placement 2) both clinical placements the student needs to be deemed competent

All assessments must be have a competency grade in order to be deemed competent in this course

Course must have a competency grade awarded before commencing phase 2 of the program

Delivery : Nominal Hours 40
• Classroom Delivery: 27 Hours
• Self-Directed Learning 5 Hours
• Clinical 8 Hours

Course Overview: Access Course Overview