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Online Support for Transition to Practice

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 activity has been submitted to the Ohio Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. The Ohio Nurses Association is accredited as an approver of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. (OBN-001-91). For more information about how to earn nursing Contact Hours for the Communication in Healthcare course, please see the User Manual or fill out a Contact Us form.

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

100% of participants will pass a post test after each section with a cumulative quiz score of 84% or higher demonstrating knowledge of appropriate communication techniques and behavior.

About the Author

Dr. Lisa Zajac is the Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics at the Karmanos Cancer Center, for McLaren Health Care (MHC). Throughout her 25 years of nursing, she has developed expertise in clinical care, leadership, informatics, education, and quality monitoring. After spending 13 years of her career at the bedside as a staff nurse and nurse practitioner primarily in oncology, she transitioned to informatics. She guided the development of standardized workflows and is leading the implementation of an integrated electronic health record at MHCs 14 hospitals. Dr. Zajac currently serves as a preceptor for both Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nursing students and is adjunct faculty at Grand Valley State University’s Kirkoff College of Nursing. She was instrumental in developing an academic-practice partnership between MHC and Grand Valley State University which has resulted in both Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (2019) and Nursing Workforce Diversity (2021) Health Resources and Services Administration grants.

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