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Aim of Assessment

The Professional Communication Case Study Essay is your opportunity to discuss how nurses use professional com-munication skills to develop a therapeutic relationship with patients.

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Answering this question in an essay format has three objectives:

1. To assist you to develop academic reading and writing skills;

2. To help you integrate knowledge about effective communication for developing therapeutic relationships using verbal and non-verbal communication skills, the principles of person centred care, and effective documentation.

3. Demonstrate how these principles are applied in the care of the patient.

Assessment Details

Discuss why effective nurse-patient communication is critical to promote therapeutic nurse-patient rela-tionships and patient safety. In your answer discuss the concepts of verbal and non-verbal communication skills, person centred care and effective documentation.

Students are required to choose one of the three (3) patient scenarios to answer this essay. You will use examples from the scenarios to discuss how the nurse would use verbal and non-verbal communication skills, person centred care, and effective documentation to develop a therapeutic relationship with the patient.

Scenario 1

History for Nurse and Patient Interaction – Health Assessment

Community – Registered Nurse: Use professional nursing communication with the patient to conduct a 10 minute health assessment video interview taking into account the following:

  • Introduction – nurse and patient
  • Situation – reasons for assessment, allergies, and relevant personal details
  • Background – health history, general health and psychosocial status
  • Assessment – observations, nutrition/diet, exercise, lifestyle, health beliefs and values, and cultural/spiritual/religious practices
  • Recommendation – confirm health assessment information and implications for well-being, recommend changes to manage and improve health and suggest timeframes for any plans

Scenario 2

Patient – George Pham: 

You are cooperative, alert and orientated. You are willing to provide all requested information. You like to ask general questions of the nurse related to the health assessment and like to know your observations and if they are within normal limits. You are open to discuss ways to improve your health through possible changes to your diet, exercise, daily habits, and lifestyle choices.

Scenario 3: Patient- George Pham

George Pham has come to see a Registered Nurse at his General Practitioner’s Office for a health assessment. George is reasonably active and has a stressful lifestyle with work and caring for his daughter’s children. He has some minor health problems and wants to improve his health through eating well and by making positive changes to his lifestyle.

Patient 1- George Pham


  • George is a 73-year-old male (D.O.B: 17/01/1946) with no known allergies, and his current address is 52 Homebush St, Central, 2001
  • George was born in Vietnam and came to Australia as a ‘boat person’ in 1979 with his wife and daughter. His wife died five years later from ovarian cancer.
  • George has a 35-year-old daughter and three school-aged grandchildren (Jessica 14 years, Amanda aged 10 years, and Robert aged 6 years) who all live next door to him. He lives in a small two bedroom rented flat near the city centre. He spends time with his daughter and grandchildren each day.
  • George is concerned that he has a cough that is not getting better after five weeks. He recently gave up smoking but still misses not having his cigarettes – he smoked 20 cigarettes a day for 42 years.
  • George drinks alcohol at home every night with his evening meal. He often consumes 3 to 5 standard drinks (beer) of an evening. He sometimes drinks socially or on outings with his friends from the club.
  • George works as a baker, starting work very early in the morning. He looks after his grandchildren after school until his daughter finishes work.
  • George often takes his grandchildren to the park. On weekends he enjoys talking to his friends at the local Vietnamese Club where they share a Vietnamese meal together.
  • George tries to cook meals at home but is often so busy that he buys take away from local Asian cafés. He always makes sure he has a supply of take away Fried Noodles or Rice to take to work each day.
  • George takes his grandchildren to the beach on Sundays in summer. He doesn’t use sunscreen because he says he never burns – he just gets more tanned. He never wears a hat either.
  • George is very family orientated and encourages the family to come to a local café with him at any opportunity.
  • George is a Buddhist but there is no temple close to where he lives. He says he misses the chance to go to the temple at Festivals, but he has a small shrine in his flat.