Course Title: Apply effective communication skills in nursing practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2016

Course Code: NURS5271C

Course Title: Apply effective communication skills in nursing practice

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: Bundoora 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

Erica O’Donoghue

Program coordinator

Email:  Erica.O’

Ph:  +61 03 9925 7573

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

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Apply principles of effective communication, with an understanding of communication processes and factors that facilitate and inhibit communication
1.2 Maximise opportunities for staff to involve clients, family and carers in their care and treatment
1.3 Take into account the roles and responsibilities of various health care personnel involved in communicating in complicated situations
1.4 Complete all documentation detailing complicated and difficult situations complying with legal requirements
1.5 Apply a respectful and confidential manner throughout all communications
1.6 Provide a therapeutic environment in all interactions with clients through a caring, sensitive, confident and reassuring manner
1.7 Demonstrate politeness, respect and empathy in all interactions with clients, family and carers
1.8 Use health terminology correctly in written and verbal communication with clients, family, carers and colleagues, using accurate spelling and pronunciation


2. Deliver complex information effectively

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Deliver complex information in a manner that is clearly understood by clients, carers, colleagues and others
2.2 Allow time for complex information to be comprehended taking into account people's differing levels of understanding
2.3 Actively encourage clients, family and carers to share their information
2.4 Confirm the understanding of information by clients, carers, colleagues and others
2.5 Communicate effectively in an emergency situation in line with the health organisation policy and procedure and in consultation/collaboration with registered nurse
2.6 Address stressful situations using effective communication skills or refer to the most appropriate health care team member for resolution
2.7 Deliver complex information to clients/carers in a manner that enhances understanding and prevents 'information overload'


3. Identify and address actual and potential constraints to communication

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Identify actual and potential constraints to effective communication in the workplace
3.2 Identify and apply communication strategies and techniques appropriate to a range of varying complicated situations
3.3 Identify early signs of potential complicated or difficult situations
3.4 Implement strategies to address complicated or difficult communication situations in line with relevant policies and procedures and within scope of role
3.5 Clarify roles of other health professionals involved in complicated communication situations
3.6 Clarify and address the issues and needs of people taking into account differing cultures, religious practices, language, physical disability and emotional state


4. Evaluate effectiveness of communication in complicated situations

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Document and report outcomes of communication strategies to address complicated situations
4.2 Refer to appropriate health personnel when situation is outside own role and responsibility
4.3 Assist in assessing the effectiveness of communication strategies in complicated situations
4.4 Ensure debriefing sessions are available for self and staff following difficult situations


5. Use information technology

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Use computers and related information technology to support nursing practice
5.2 Comply with organisation protocols for electronic communication with clients, family and carers
5.3 Use information technology, including the internet to access data appropriate to own role and organisation requirements
5.4 Use basic computing and word processing skills to access, develop and manipulate information in line with own role and organisation requirements


6. Lead small group discussions

Performance Criteria:

6.1 Monitor and respond appropriately to changing group dynamics
6.2 Clarify the purpose of group meetings and manage discussion in line to achieve identified objectives
6.3 Implement appropriate meeting procedures and roles of members to support effective contribution to discussion


7. Give and receive feedback for performance improvement

Performance Criteria:

7.1 Use feedback as a tool to achieve performance improvement
7.2 Use appropriate language and a respectful manner to achieve performance improvement through feedback
7.3 Apply strategies to deliver constructive outcomes from giving and receiving feedback
7.4 Assess own performance as a basis for assessing the performance of others and providing feedback
7.5 Undertake mentoring within scope of practice of Enrolled/Division 2 nurse


8. Use the principles and processes of open disclosure effectively

Performance Criteria:

8.1 Apply organisation principles and processes of open disclosure in consultation/collaboration with registered nurse
8.2 Follow organisation processes for notifying adverse events to clients, family or carers
8.3 Outline potential impact of adverse events on clients, family and carers
8.4 Communicate effectively with clients after an adverse event in consultation/collaboration with registered nurse
8.5 Address own role and responsibilities in relation to open disclosure in line with organisation policies and procedures
8.6 Apply principles and practices of risk management and quality improvement in regard to open disclosure in consultation/collaboration with registered nurse

Learning Outcomes

These are described in the elements.

Details of Learning Activities

Classroom teacher delivery

Group work

Self directed learning


Laboratory work

Completion of workbooks


Teaching Schedule

Lesson 1 Effective Communication

Lesson 2 Roles of Healthcare

Lesson 3 Conflict resolution

Lesson 4 Open Disclosure

Lesson 5 Formation of Assessment Questionnaire

Lesson 6 Theory of Ageing

Lesson 7 Disease Process

Lesson 8 Activities of Daily Living

Lesson 9 Older Client

Lesson 10 Care Plan

Lesson 11 ACFI

Lesson 12 Complex

Lesson 13 Group Care plan Discussion

Lesson 14 Dementia

Lesson 15 Recognise the needs of Palliative client

Lesson 16 Symptoms of palliative care

Lesson 17 Loss and grief

Lesson 18 Last Rites

Lesson 18A Pain and end of life

Lab 1: Computer Lab (Correct nursing uniforms must be worn in all Clinical labs)

Lab 2 : Part A. ADL’s Part 2. Nutrition

Lab 3: Massage

Lab 4: Handover

Lab 5: Pain and Last rite

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Kozier and Erb's, Fundamentals of Nursing,(2014) 3rd Ed. Pearson:Australia (3 book set)


Other Resources


Professional Journals

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

Assessment in this course include HLTEN511B and HLTEN515B and includes:

Assessment 1: Interview a Resident during Clinical Placement - Written Reflection

Assessment 2: Group work - Video Presentation of Palliative topic

Assessment 3: This course is also assessed through clinical Practice

This course is also assessed through clinical Practice

Each assessment will be deemed Satisfactory or Not Satisfactory

In order to be assessed as Competent in the cluster, you must be assessed as Satisfactory in ALL assessments

You are expected to attend all classes, Compulsory Labs and Compulsory Clinical Placement

Assessment Matrix

See assessment matrix on Blackboard

Other Information

Recognition of prior learning (RPL) is available for this course. Refer:

Re submission of Assessment

Re submission of written work for students who have attempted to undertake assessment and attended all lab session may be given a further opportunity to demonstrate competency.

Re submission may be granted on the recommendation of the teacher to the program coordinator.

Practical assessment may have a second attempt only.

Please refer to the RMIT assessment policies for special consideration, extensions of time, equitable assessment arrangements and future assessment adjustments:


Plagiarism is a form of cheating in assessment and may occur in oral, written or visual presentations. It is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person, without appropriate referencing, as though it is your own.


Turnitin is an online service, into which teachers and students submit student assignments into a large database. The text of a student assignment, or whatever else has been uploaded, is retained in the database.

Refer RMIT policy

Course Overview: Access Course Overview