Health Communication Skills 1

Subject GENE90004 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable


Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 35 contact hours
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.
It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Ms Margaret Sahhar

Subject Overview:

Issues of grief, breaking bad news and principles of interviewing with reference to families and couples will be studied. The means of study will be lectures, small group discussions and role plays. Students will attend and observe genetic counselling in a team, at Genetics Clinics within clinical genetics services, at various sites. Professional practitioners with experience in grief counselling family therapy and couple therapy will participate as tutors.


This subject is designed to enable students to:

  • Articulate and critically examine the various processes that impact on individuals, couples and families who receive a genetic diagnosis.
  • Critically reflect on the factors present in interviewing families, couples and individuals, and articulate the similarities and differences in couselling strategies.
  • Through observation and reflective examination of the theory, develop self awareness.
  • Understand the role of a genetic counsellor in a clinic including coordination skills.
  • Understand and critically reflect on the role of a genetic counsellor in a multi-disciplinary team.

End of semester:

  • Written exam - 50%
  • Process record - minimum 3000 words - 40%
  • Log book - 400 words - 10%
Prescribed Texts:

A reading pack of selected reading will be available. Library available with selected texts with GHSV.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

On completing the subject students should be able to:

  • Identify and understand the issues of grief, reactions to bad news and decision making in a genetic counselling interview.
  • Identify and understand the principles of working effectively in a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Critically evaluate the different and particular responses of people who come for genetic counselling and the impact of their past experience.
  • Analyse the process of a genetic counselling interview through observation.
  • Critically evaluate, comprehend and acknowledge the normality of various emotional reactions at the time of diagnosis of a genetic condition, and develop strategies within the interview for acknowledging these reactions.
  • Present information in plain English in an accurate, non judgemental and non directive manner.
Related Course(s): Master of Genetic Counselling

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