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Welcome to the Communication in Healthcare Course


The Communication in Healthcare course describes the importance of effective communication in healthcare settings and provides critical thinking exercises that allow nurses to practice applying a variety of communication techniques, including SBAR, OARS, TeamSTEPPS©, and DESC.

This continuing nursing education activity was approved by the Ohio Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91) Approval valid through 11/29/2020. For more information about how to earn nursing Contact Hours for the Communication in Healthcare course, please see the User Manual.

Communication in Healthcare -- Objectives

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  1. Describe the components of:
    • SBAR
    • OARS/Motivational Interviewing
    • TeamSTEPPS©
    • DESC
  2. Select an appropriate communication technique for specific situations
  3. Determine if you have all the information needed about a specific situation to properly implement the chosen communication technique
  4. Describe why good communication is important
  5. List two consequences of poor communication
  6. Identify the differences between assertive and aggressive behavior

About the Author

Lisa Zajac, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, OCN, has been a registered nurse for 19 years and has expertise in adult primary and acute care, as well as nursing education and nursing informatics. She is currently the Quality, Education & Informatics Specialist at the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Zajac also serves as the Corporate Nursing and Ancillary Department lead for the McLaren Health System as it designs and implements an integrated electronic medical record. She has many years of experience communicating with patients and families with respect to end-of-life care and improving quality of care. She has served in multiple roles with the Metro Detroit Chapter of the Oncology Nursing Society for over a decade. Dr. Zajac earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nursing at Madonna University and her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at the University of Detroit-Mercy.


The assistance and many contributions of Elizabeth Cambier, MSN, RN, to the development of the Communication in Healthcare module are acknowledged with thanks.