1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 2-hour independent study weekly
1 x 3-hour project work weekly
1 Admission into BMSVMOPT-Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science), Master of Optometry
2 3 of MDSC1102, MMED1005, PHYS1702
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
1 OPTO2001 - Skills for Optometry Practice
2 OPTO2002 - Optics of the Eye and Vision
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2)
Enrolment not permitted
OPTO3004 has been successfully completed
Examination (50%); Project; Workshop participation and Group project presentation
Topic description

This topic will provide students with a broad array of communication skills as used in health care. The emphasis is on communication skills required in the consulting room, but coverage is given to broader communication skills for health professional practice. Students will learn and apply the principles of effective interpersonal and inter-professional communication and develop oral presentation skills. Skills will be developed in a workshop environment with exposure to clinical scenarios containing different issues, such as age differences in communication expectations, cultural differences, indigenous patients, gender issues, ethical communication, complaints, breaking bad news, handling sight loss and other common condition-related issues. Learning skills will include group work, reflection presentation and different contexts.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Introduce students to the principles of communication skills in health care
  • Emphasise the importance of self-reflection and awareness, empathy, respect, age and gender issues, cultural safety and ethics in communication
  • Begin to develop an understanding of the communication skills required for challenging situations in the consulting room
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Understand and apply communication skills principles for interpersonal and inter-professional communication in health care
  2. Reflect on personal communication skills to identify further learning
  3. Develop a greater understanding of their own values and the impact of values and judgements on communication
  4. Develop skills in working collaboratively and oral presentation skills
  5. Understand the cultural safety and ethical communication principles
  6. Obtain a case history
  7. Effectively communicate a management plan

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.