PECH 1101


Mrs. Stella Williams is the Course Lecturer, Mrs. Allison Shepherd is the Course Instructor and Rae-ann Smith is one of 12 Tutors of the course.

Communication Skills for Health Sciences is designed to introduce Medical Sciences students to the principles of communication with the aim of improving overall communication in the workplace. The course focuses specifically on teaching and enhancing written and oral communication skills. Essays, letters, memoranda, reports, interviews and presentations inform pedagogy.

The course has two components: written and an oral.

In the written component of PECH 1101, there is a strong focus on the mechanics of writing, as developing and mastering writing skills is necessary for the rising health professional. The oral component of PECH 1101 emphasises non-verbal communication techniques as these nuanced signs affect the way a message is perceived and received. To best capture these nuances and to provide valuable feedback for improvement oral presentations will be recorded. Ultimately, as students pay close attention to delivery, their communication skills will improve. In due course, this improvement will help with their intrapersonal (reflection of their own style) and interpersonal (between doctor and patient or client) communication.

PECH 1101 hones the skills acquired during PECH 1001 both of which prepare the student for PECH 1102, which provides students with an opportunity to interact with members of the public through a service learning project.


This course will help students to:

  • Explore the range of communication skills (verbal and non-verbal) implicit ethical and professional) issues relevant to health practitioners as they interact with clients and members of a healthcare team
  • Develop a critical response for appropriate communication, ethical and professional skills within the health industry
  • Develop appropriate skills in reading, listening, speaking and writing to become competent health practitioners
  • Participate effectively in a group/team

Specific Learning Objectives

This course will specifically allow students to:

  • Identify the major elements in the communication process and state their purposes
  • Distinguish between different communication styles
  • Assess the significance of effective communication in healthcare
  • Acquire knowledge on perspectives and techniques of effective oral communication
  • Apply the principles of effective oral communication in diverse health contexts
  • Acquire knowledge on perspectives and techniques of effective written communication
  • Demonstrate professional tolerance to all patients and clients
  • Communicate effectively in writing

Instructional Strategies

This course makes use of multimodal instructional techniques designed to equip students with both the theoretical underpinnings and practical skills necessary for effective oral and written communication. Practical skills are taught through a range of interventions including critical analyses and the writing of essays. Presentation skills are taught through role play and analysis of past students' presentations. Presentations are videotaped for self, tutor, assessment and peer group analysis. Writing skills are developed through a process approach and are assessed using standardized rubrics.

PECH Overview