Communication Skills in General Practice

Subject 585-893 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2009.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 8-hour workshop and 2-day orientation session at commencement of course
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: Nil
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Students are required to have access to a computer with e-mail application and a web browser. Technical support is not available from the University of Melbourne in setting up such a system.
Subject Overview:

Communicating effectively with patients is an integral part of clinical practice. It is well understood that there are specific aspects to communication that must be addressed to achieve a successful consultation. This subject will utilise a patient centred approach to the primary care consultation and will further develop active listening skills as well as addressing specific issues that may arise in the consultation and work setting, for example, breaking bad news, responding to disclosure of sensitive matters, negotiating with team members.


At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • explain the theoretical principles of effective communication and consulting skills including the impact of gender
  • demonstrate skills in reflective learning and reflective practice
  • demonstrate an advanced level of communication and consulting skills that enhance satisfaction and clinical outcomes for patients
  • engender a patient-centred approach and shared understanding with patients
  • understand the role of effective communication skills in the prevention of medico-legal issues
  • Workshop attendance 8 hours mid semester (pass/fail hurdle requirement)
  • 20 minute communication skills assessment due mid-semester (40%)
  • Participation in online reflective tasks due end of semester (pass/fail hurdle requirement)
  • Two 20 minute patient interviews due end of semester (60%)
  • Attendance at orientation session Pass/fail hurdle requirement

Students must achieve a cumulative mark of at least 50% and a pass in the hurdle requirements in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

At the completion of this subject, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • further enhanced oral and written skills
  • further enhanced clinical skills
  • enhanced skills in effective teamwork
Related Course(s): Postgraduate Certificate in Primary Care Nursing

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