NURS11164 - Effective Communication in the Health Care Environment

General Information

Unit Synopsis

This unit introduces you to the important role of communication in nursing practice and strategies to effectively communicate as a nurse. You will examine types of communication strategies that are relevant to different health contexts. In particular, you will explore your own strengths in communication and how you can best use these to manage future challenges when nursing. Throughout this unit you will have the opportunity to work in small teams to explore the many different facets of communication in nursing and to build a portfolio that documents your learning and your development of skills and strategies to use in future nursing practice.


Level Undergraduate
Unit Level 1
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 1
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Students need to be enrolled in CL91 or Start Unit Now in order to undertake this unit. 

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School No Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 3 - 2022

Term 1 - 2023 Profile
Term 2 - 2023 Profile

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Undergraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Online Quiz(zes) 40%
2. Portfolio 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

Term 1 - 2021 : The overall satisfaction for students in the last offering of this course was 3.8 (on a 5 point Likert scale), based on a 46.14% response rate.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Have your say. Student emails.
Students commented that the unit was thought provoking and encouraged them to reflect on their own views and biases and the impact of this on their nursing practice and communication
Continue this content and teaching into Term 2.
Action Taken
Source: Coordinator reflection. Have your say.
Some content was identified as repetitive from unit to unit.
This was also recognized by the lead coordinator (Lucinda) and collaboration has occurred with the other coordinators to reduce the repetitiveness of the unit content.
Action Taken
Source: Staff reflection. Emails from students. Have your say.
Assessment tasks were complicated, confusing and closely timed. This meant students and markers struggled to understand the tasks and did not have a lot of time between assessments to improve their work.
This was recognised early in the term. Update Unit Proposal has now been completed. The learning outcomes have been improved as well as the assessment tasks being better aligned to these outcomes. The number of assessment tasks has also been reduced and are designed to scaffold the students learning throughout the term.
Action Taken
Source: Coordinator reflection. Emails from students. Have your say.
Marking consistency was highlighted as a concern, with some students feeling they did not receive as much feedback as others. Marker reliability was an issue throughout term 1 and meant that new markers were introduced in every marking period.
A lot of work was done with the markers throughout the term to try and reach consistency (including pre-populated quickmarks). Mentoring continues in term 2 with newer markers to help develop an experienced and reliable team moving forward.
Action Taken
Source: Have your say.
Students enjoyed the use of multiple mediums of the learning content. The unit used a mix of eBooks, online videos, readings, interactive questionnaires and live workshops with students.
To continue using a mix of multi-media content in future terms.
Action Taken
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Examine the fundamental role of communication in in nursing practice as informed by professional standards
  2. Explain communication strategies that enable effective professional relationships
  3. Adapt communication strategies to facilitate effective communication in one-on-one and group contexts
  4. Analyse and evaluate your communication strengths and identify communication challenges you may encounter in future clinical practice.

Content in this unit incorporates a number of professional nursing requirements

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) Registered Nurse Standards for Practice

Thinks critically and analyses nursing practice

Engages in therapeutic and professional relationships

Maintains the capability for practice

Provides safe, appropriate and responsive quality nursing practice

Evaluates outcomes to inform nursing practice

Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia Nursing Code of Conduct

Person-centred practice

Cultural practice and respectful relationships

Professional behaviour

Health and wellbeing

International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics for Nurses

Nurses and People

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

Partnering with consumers

Comprehensive care

Communicating for safety

Nurses and Practice

Patient Safety Competency Framework

Person-centred care

Therapeutic communication

Cultural competence

Teamwork and collaborative practice

Evidence-based practice

Preventing, minimising and responding to adverse events

Nurses and the Profession

Aged Care Quality Standards

Consumer dignity and choice

Nurses and co-workers

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Online Quiz(zes)
2 - Portfolio
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4
1 - Communication
3 - Critical Thinking
4 - Information Literacy
5 - Team Work
6 - Information Technology Competence
7 - Cross Cultural Competence
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10