Recommendation of nursing teaching material

posted on behalf of Dai Fei Yang:

Hi All

At UWS, a significant number of nursing students have failed their clinical placement due to inadequate communication competency.

The Student Learning Unit (LSU) is planning to offer ongoing support for these students, including workshops for oral and written communication skills and the development of

a set of resources to support these students to improve their communication skills prior to recommencement of the 2008 academic year.

If you know any good resources we would really appreciate your recommendations. In particular, to get us started, any text books or audio/visual tapes for oral communication for clinical placement are most in need. We plan to start the first workshop in late October.

Thank you

Dai Fei

oral communication 4 nursing students

At UTS, and faculty of nursing staff have developed a programme, 'Clinically Speaking' specifically aimed at supporting nursing students with oral communication problems in their clinical placements.

Please see:
San Miguel, C., Rogan, F., Kilstoff, K. & Brown, D., 2006, 'Clinically speaking: A communication skills program for students from non-English speaking backgrounds'. Nurse Education in Practice, Vol. 6 (5), pp. 268-274.

Rogan, F., San Miguel, C., Brown, D. & Kilstoff, K., 2006, '"You find yourself". Perceptions of nursing students from non-English speaking backgrounds of the effect of an intensive language suppport program on their oral communication skills'. Contemporary Nurse, Vol. 23 (1), pp. 72-86.

Resources include:
video: English for International Nurses, QUT
video: Surviving Clinical, Curtin University of Technology

summaryResponses re Nursing resources from Dai Fei

posted on behalf of Dai Fei:
Hi All,

If we need a definition for a 'discourse community', Unilearn can be a very good example to illustrate such concept.

Thank you all for your very useful recommendations. I have now compiled the following resources recommended by our colleagues. (This message is also posted on the AALL forum).

1) Robyn Woodward Kron, Jan Hamilton, Ilana Rischin, & Louisa Remedios (year ?). I'm feeling a bit crook: Understanding and managing clinical communication in Australia

ISBN is 978 0 7340 2738 2

This is a DVD produced by Melbourne Unversity for international students. It's a combination of short videos, questions and interactive activities. Very useful resource.

2) Assignment Writing: a guide for undergraduate students (using examples from the James Cook University School of Nursing Sciences Program) by Teresa O'Connor, School of Nursing Sciences, James Cook University, 2001.

3) San Miguel, C., Rogan, F., Kilstoff, K. & Brown, D., 2006, 'Clinically speaking: A communication skills program for students from non-English speaking backgrounds'. Nurse Education in Practice, Vol. 6 (5), pp. 268-274.

4) Rogan, F., San Miguel, C., Brown, D. & Kilstoff, K., 2006, '"You find yourself". Perceptions of nursing students from non-English speaking backgrounds of the effect of an intensive language suppport program on their oral communication skills'. Contemporary Nurse, Vol. 23 (1), pp. 72-86.

Resources include:
video: English for International Nurses, QUT
video: Surviving Clinical, Curtin University of Technology


5) There is a 19 minute video "English for International Nurses: A communication skills package for nurses who speak English as a second language" by Lynda Lawson, Peter Nelson and Martin Reese.

The following information about this resource is provided by NCELTR publication:

The package outlines how you can build your confidence in communicating in English in the
following situations:

? communicating with other nurses during a handover, eg asking questions, clarifying,
listening actively

? talking with the patient before an operation, eg introducing yourself and establishing
rapport, explaining procedures

? talking with the patient after an operation, eg talking to a patient in pain, providing
reassurance, answering questions.

A full transcript and practice activities are provided along with strategies that will help you
to be more confident when communicating in English. The purpose of the guide is to facilitate
the use of the video. It can be used independently or with a trainer.
LEVELS: CSWE III and higher
Video 19 mins and booklet $71.50.

Lynda Lawson has also provided this weblink for ordering this resource. ... forint.jsp

6) Helen Fraser from University of Adelaide has also recommended some very useful resources for medicine courses:

Lloyd M and R Bor, 2004, Communication Skills for Medicine, 2nd edn. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh

(useful for developing frameworks for different doctor patient interactions.)

A Communicology course is also used for Year 1s, designed by Glyn Brokensha, who used to run our "Medical, Professional, Personal Development" strand, in which many of the doctor patient communication skills are developed. Glyn's email is:

Helen also does the support work with the students with language backgrounds other than English in the medicine course, and incorporate large numbers of role-plays for history taking and counselling. These are largely self-invented, based on cases that the students are covering in PBL.

Again, thank you all for your help. It will be good to apply for a join grant to develop some web-based resources in this area of student support. But this will be considered next year as now we need to run the program first.

Dai Fei

more on nursing

posted on behalf of Caroline San Miguel:

Hello All

Thanks Dai Fei for collating these responses and thanks Alex for posting the information about the papers we have published on the Clinically Speaking program at UTS.

The San Miguel er al. paper describes the program and reports briefly on its evaluation.

The Rogan et al. paper discusses the results from the research we did to evaluate the program and in particular discusses the students' experiences before and after the program.

I'd just like to add a few things we have found useful over the last few years.

Organising workshops around student cohorts
If it's possible to organise language workshops around student cohorts - eg first semster, first year, I think this makes life a lot easier for the teacher in terms of what to teach and what resources are most useful. I tend to use the commercial resources for 'kicking off' workshops - I have particularly used the Lawson, Nelson and Reece, English for international nurses and the Vicky Brown, Surviving Clinical.

Has anybody else used Brown's surviving clinical (Curtin University)? I have tried to track down more copies but have been unsuccessful - if anybody knows how to get hold of it, I'd love to hear from you.

In a 20 hour language program I might only use 2 or 3 short segments from these resources to illustrate particular points. The rest of the time I use materials I get from the subject outlines of the clinical subjects the students are currently studying, and draw on students' own clinical experiences. To make this most effective you need to collaborate with nursing faculty staff to make sure you get the relevant materials.

Using nursing subject outlines/teaching materials
Clinical subject materials usually include case studies which you can use for role plays. The advantage is that these materials are highly relevant to students and at UTS (and probably other universities) focus on the content that students need to be familair with for their next clinical practice. The case studies can be used for simple patient interactions such as taking observations, or for more complex ones like gathering health information. Students particularly like to find out the differences between the language they read in their text books and the 'patient friendly' language they need to use on clinical e.g. 'do you suffer from dyspnoea' compared to 'do you ever get short of breath'

I also use students' experience from clinical to create scenarios - e.g. one student talked about walking into the tea room and not knowing where to sit or what to say - so we did that.

Subject outliines are also great for building students' vocabulary - I usually go through and make lists of all the medical/nursing terminology and then use that to look at the every day terms.

Teaching in a nursing laboratory
If you can teach the workshops in a nursing laboratory it helps recreate something of the hospital environment. We use the beds for role plays - the students take it in turn to play the part of nurses and patients - they usually make great patients - sometimes they are very difficult patients to challenge the nurse!

We also use eqipment in the lab at times. I have found that students may be able to introduce themselves and make small talk and explain a simple procedure when they are 'pretending'. However, when they try to do that and to actually use a blood pressure machine, for example, it becomes much more difficult as they struggle to get the cuff the right way up and get it to work. Doing this in the relatively safe environment of the lab. helps them prepare for clinical.

Nursing staff close by
The other advantage of being in the lab is that there may be a nursing faculty member close by. I have found this invaluable. Without doubt the students know more about nursing than I do and can often help each other. However sometimes there are questions that need to be answered and I often need to go in search of somebody to help - one of my most recent lessons was on the various types of bedpans and urine bottles - all of which had different names!

Other resources
AMES has produced an online resource which was designed for use by overseas nurses in preparation for coming to Australia. It could be a useful resource - but you'd have to invesigate how you could use it - it would be expensive for students to purchase individually but a univeristy may be able to buy a licence to use it - not sure about that.

Virginia Hussin has been working with nursing students for many years and has published in this field.

Future projects
Fran Rogan (a nursing colleague) and I are currently working on a longitudinal evaluation of the Clinically Speaking program - so I'm happy to let you know when we have done something with those resuts.

We are also currently developing a pronunciation resource based on the first two nursing subjects students study - this will be a simple (we hope) audio-visual online resource that students will be able to download.

I am currently on study leave but next semster would be happy to talk to anybody who would like to know more about the program. Given the interest in this field, maybe a future AALL conference could have a dedicated 'health' section!


More on Nursing

Dear All.
Apologies for not getting to this earlier.

In the late 80s - 90’s I worked part-time as an ESL Lecturer at Flinders where I wrote and taught language and communication credit-bearing topics in courses for overseas qualified nurses and teachers. My role also included team teaching of Nursing courses and the supervision of students in placements. This work is reported in:

Hussin,V. (2002) 'An ESP Program for Students of Nursing' in Orr,T. (ed) English for Specific Purposes: Case Studies in TESOL Practice, TESOL Publications, VA,USA ISBN 093979195-1

In 1999 -2000 I ran workshops for ESL nursing students at UniSA to both prepare them for and debrief them after, the clinical placement. This work is reported in:

Hussin,V. (1999)‘From Classroom to Clinic: Towards a Model of Learning Support for NESB Nursing Students in their Clinical Placements’ in online Proceedings of the HERDSA Conference, Cornerstones: What do we value in Higher Education?, University of Melbourne, Victoria, 12-15 July, 1999 ... meset.html

At UniSA I also developed a half day workshop entitled ‘Improving Your Oral Communication for Clinical Placements’ as part of the Language Development Program which is run in semester breaks. This work is reported in:

Hussin, V. (2006) 'Uncovering Tasks and Texts - Teaching LSP through Online Workshops' in Arno, E, Soler, A and Rueda, C (eds) Information Technology in Languages for Specific Purposes: Issues and Prospects, New York, Springer. ISBN 0-357-28595-4

Last year in consultation with Nursing staff, I developed and team-taught the supplementary English Language and Communication for Nursing classes for International Nursing students. This has two strands Academic English and Vocational English and is reported in:

Hussin, V. (In press) 'Facilitating success for EAL nursing students in the clinical setting’ in Bosher, S and Pharris, M (eds) Anthology on Educating for the 21st Century: Educating Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Nursing Students, St Paul, MN , Springer.

Recommendation of nursing teaching material

I've used extracts from 'All Saints' Channel 9 Tuesday nights. It's set in an Australian hospital and is useful for conveying socio-cultural knowledge, the 'culture' of hospital working environments, role identities and interactions as well as getting a hold on some colloquial terms.

Other useful sources for teaching reading and writing are:

Bailliere's Nurses Dictionary (each students needs a copy)

MacQueen, I 1991 Concise Family Medical Handbook, Collins, London (Relates medical with layperson terminology, accessible illustrations). ISBN 1-85501-138-7

Gandolfo, A & Romano, J 1984 The Nurse's Writing Handbook, Prentice Hall, Connecticut. ISBN 0-8385-6997-8 (Good for writing progress notes and care plans)

Recommendation of nursing teaching material

Hi Again Dai Fei and All,

I agree with Caroline that the video "English for International Nurses: A communication skills package for nurses who speak English as a second language" (by Lynda Lawson, Peter Nelson and Martin Reese) is good as a starting point and for helping students to overcome their 'fear' of clinical (it has EAL nurses in it whose English is not perfect but is effective).

I found that using role-plays from scenarios provided by Nursing staff is the best approach for focussing on oral language and this is what I used for the vocational strand of the supplementary English Language and Communication for Nursing classes last year (see attachment). We did some of these role-plays in the nursing lab using relevant equipment which made it seem more realistic.

RMIT produced some audio-tapes of handovers etc a few years ago but I'm not sure how you'd get hold of them now. I have some copies of the AMES tapes if you'd like me to send them to you, though they may be a little dated now. It might be best to make a CD of handovers and phone messages etc in collaboration with your Nursing lecturers.

Finally, there are some useful exercises on web-sites that cab be used or adapted by you and some of which can be used by students independently. I've also used the first two for Pharmacy students. (Also has a Pharmacist section). (Have a look at the self-assessment tasks. Also the pronunciation section includes sound files).

You will also find bits and pieces on these pages:

And sample tasks here: ... _test_(OET)_:_candidate_information_and_sample_materials_(kit)_/_National_Languages_and_Literacy_Institute_of_Australia.

All the best!

Recommendation of nursing teaching material

Hi all

here is the website for the AMES online resource for nursing.


English for Health Professionals

A colleague of mine has also recommended the AMES site:

EHP = English for Health Professionals.

This program is being used by Insearch English teachers working with Indonesian nursing students. It was developed by NSW AMES for UTS.

It is not free, but I'm told it is an excellent resource.

The program consists of 5 or 6 units of work - supported by communicative events, videoed to a very high professional standard.

There is an enormous amount of material in the accompanying on-line materials and workbook.

Users need a password which they are issued with once they sign up and pay.

The focus is on oral communication in HP situations.

Chris Cook