Course Title: Communicate effectively with clients

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2011

Course Code: EMPL5518C

Course Title: Communicate effectively with clients

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4208 - Certificate IV in Massage Therapy Practice

Course Contact: Priya Atkinson

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4212

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 30

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

This course is delivered concurrently with the following unit of competency:
HLTCOM503B    Manage a Practice 

Course Description

This unit covers the skills required by practitioners to establish and maintain effective communication with the client throughout all interactions and provide basic counselling as required and as appropriate to facilitate the treatment or health service being provided. Learners will be involved with both practical simulation and workplace-based delivery in the student Remedial Massage Clinic as well as some face to face classes and online delivery

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

HLTCOM404B Communicate effectively with clients


1.    Establish professional relationship with the client 

Performance Criteria:

1.1    Evaluate practice to maintain a high standard of client service
1.2    Identify and respond to special needs of clients
1.3    Use effective communication with clients
1.4    Encourage clients to voice queries and/or fears and address these appropriately
1.5    Take into consideration cultural and personal factors when consulting or interacting with clients
1.6    Exercise discretion and confidentiality appropriately, outlining and explaining to clients boundaries of confidentiality as required
1.7    Define and apply boundaries of the practitioner/ client relationship 


2.    Provide effective response to client enquiries

Performance Criteria:

2.1    Present relevant information clearly and comprehensively and in sufficient detail to meet the needs of the enquirer
2.2    Select appropriate modes of communication to suit the enquiry and the purpose and context of the enquiry
2.3    Identify and acknowledge enquirer’s expectations
2.4    Discuss any unresolved concerns or issues with enquirers
2.5    Make appointments for clients according to workplace guidelines


3.    Respond effectively to difficult or challenging behaviour

Performance Criteria:

3.1    Plan responses to difficult or challenging behaviour and manage appropriately
3.2    Maintain professional integrity at all times


4.    Use basic counselling skills as required to facilitate treatment

Performance Criteria:

4.1    Determine need for basic counselling
4.2    Provide basic counselling to facilitate treatment/ services when necessary and in accordance with practice specific guidelines
4.3    Record details of services provided according to workplace guidelines

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

This unit is delivered in the subject cluster: Business & Communication for Clinical Practice.  Students will have a variety of face to face, online and work-based learning activities, including a fortnightly shift in the Student Massage Clinic at RMIT University.

Teaching Schedule

This unit is delivered in the subject cluster: Business & Communication for Clinical Practice. Along with the lesson schedule below, students are also required to attend a fortnightly clinic shift.  The clinic roster is available on the learning hub.

Date Topic  Details
15/2/11Subject OverviewIntroduction to learning and assessment requirements.
21/2/11What is Massage?History, Philosophy & Development of the Massage Industry
28/2/11Health TerminologyOnline: Terminology used in Health Practice
7/3/11Clinical Practice SkillsPreparation for first clinic shift & Basic Clinic Administration
21/3/11Law & Ethics in Clinical PracticeLegal Requirements for Remedial Massage, Consent, Client Rights & Privacy
28/3/11The role of RM TherapistsOnline: Job role, regulations & requirements, working professionally & communicating via technology.
4/4/11Communication Skills 1Sending & Receiving messages
11/4/11Referring your PatientWhen to refer, who to refer to and how to do it.
18/4/11Ethical PracticeOnline: Introduction to ethical responsibilities
9/5/11Communication Skills 2Barriers to Effective Communication & Roll Plays
16/5/11Communication Skills 3Online: Managing Conflict
30/5/11Client BehaviorsIdentifying challenging client behaviors and understanding how to manage them

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Learning materials for this unit are available on the learning hub, in the subject folder "Business & Communication for Clinical Practice".
From time to time you will be asked to access other resources, including websites and journals. Information on these additional resources will be published on the learning hub.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment of this unit centers around the learners participation in the Remedial Massage Student Clinic.  The assessee must provide evidence of application of relevant essential knowledge as well as skills, and consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the particular workplace.
Learners may also be required to demonstrate competency through completion of a range of assessments including;  quizzes, practical demonstration, submission of learning and assessment guide and assignments. Achieving competency in each assessment is required to achieve competency for the unit.

Assessment Tasks


  • This unit is assessed in conjunction with others in the subject Business & Communications for Clinical Practice. 
  • In order to successfully complete this unit, you must be assessed as competent for each the of the assessment items detailed below.
  • Complete details, including assessment criteria, for each of the assessment tasks outlined below will be provided on the learning hub.
Task 1: Patient Quota:
Whilst in clinic you are required to provide massage and remedial massage treatments to your peers and members of the public. Each student is required to competently treat a minimum of 15 patients by the end of their last rostered clinic shift.

Task 2: Successful Completion of Clinic Shifts:
Each student is required to successfully complete all 15 rostered clinic shifts (signed off by the clinic supervisor). 

Task 3: Reflective Journal:
Each student is required to complete a reflective journal on their experiences in clinic. Journals are to be printed and submitted in a plastic pocket by 30th May, 2011

Task 4: Clinical Practice Portfolio:
Students are required to collate a folio of their learning materials and activities.  Throughout the year class notes will contain learning activities for students to complete. Responses to each of these activities must be submitted as a hard copy, with notes printed and placed in a folder.  This folder should contain all subject notes, including completed learning activities, and will be submitted on 30th May, 2011

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview