Course Title: Communication Skills for Health Professionals

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Communication Skills for Health Professionals

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

System Enforced Pre-requisites (Enforced by SAMS)


Required concurrent study (Co-requisites)




Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 1 2020

Course Coordinator: Suzanne McGavin

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7356

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.08.013

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course will enable students to gain a better understanding of communication skills important for health professionals as well as an awareness of common psychological conditions that can impact on therapeutic engagement. The course will introduce students to a range of communication techniques that are essential for health professionals including rapport building and interviewing skills, strategies for developing and maintaining good therapeutic alliance with patients and other healthcare professionals, an introduction to applying professional ethics, and the concept of professional identity. Focus will also be placed on common psychological conditions that can impact on therapeutic engagement, such as anxiety and depression. Students will also be introduced to strategies to tailor their communication for specific audiences, with consideration to age, gender, and culture.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BP321 Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Radiations) (aligned to the Accreditation Standards of the Medical Radiations Practice Board of Australia):

Standard 1.1

  • Practise in an ethical and professional manner, consistent with relevant legislation and regulatory requirements (1.1a)
  • Provide each patient/client with an appropriate level of dignity and care (1.1b)

Standard 1.2

  • Communicate clearly, sensitively and effectively with patient/client and your family or carers (1.2a)
  • Collaborate with other health practitioners (1.2b)

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Describe the key principles of good communication in health care.
  2. Demonstrate an awareness of the concept of professional identity including the role of the healthcare professional, codes of conduct for healthcare professionals and the concept of patient-centred care.
  3. Describe common psychological conditions that impact on therapeutic engagement.
  4. Demonstrate awareness of the need to tailor communication for specific audiences in the healthcare setting.

Overview of Learning Activities

You will learn through a range of activities including lectures, self-directed study and team-based discussions. This course is supported by RMIT's online learning management system (LMS).

Teacher Guided Hours: 48

Learner Directed Hours: 96

Overview of Learning Resources

A range of learning and teaching strategies are employed in this course. The lectures will introduce you to key concepts relating to the principles of communication. These will be complemented with case-based discussions and essential reading.

As you progress through the program you will be expected to become increasingly active in your learning. The teaching and learning strategies will reflect this approach, allowing you to progress to autonomous learning. You will be provided with the essential information and opportunity to practise, but you will need to supplement this with further reading and self-directed study. You will be required to reflect on your progress and performance in the course at regular intervals. Additionally, you should identify areas for development and address these with the aid of course teaching staff where appropriate.

The course requires you to engage with the Canvas learning environment regularly. Specific learning materials including suggested readings, links to relevant internet sites and other electronic resources will be located on Canvas. You will be required to complete regular activities via Canvas and, where possible, use Canvas to submit your written assessments.

A key aspect of the program is fostering a thriving learning community and for this course the building blocks for this utilise the Canvas discussion board tools. You will be expected to engage regularly with your peers and tutors and key learning will take place via online question and answer sessions.

The final approach to teaching and learning relates to assessment for learning. The assessment tasks for this course are designed to ensure maximum understanding of the content and it is important that you recognise the role of assessment in your learning. You should view the assessment tasks as part of your learning and ensure that you utilise the feedback to progress your learning and personal development.

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Case Study

Weighting 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 & 3

Assessment Task 2: Media presentation

Weighing 40%

This assessment task supports CLOs 2, 3 & 4

Assessment Task 3: Examination

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4