We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Communicating in the Health Sciences

Third Edition

Joy Higgs, Rola Ajjawi, Lindy McAllister, Franziska Trede, Stephen Loftus

Communicating in the Health Sciences introduces students to the nature and importance of communication in the health sciences, with comprehensive coverage of all the written, electronic, visual and interpersonal communication skills essential for professions in the health sciences. This new edition has been completely restructured with a more logical flow, building skills and giving students the best access to information.

New to this edition:

  • New Structure: This edition has been completely restructured so that it flows more logically. Part 1 and Part 2 cover the communication skills required in an academic/tertiary setting. Part 3 and Part 4 cover the communication skills required when communicating with colleagues, patients/clients and carers in a professional environment. Part 5 covers more advanced professional communication skills – thesis writing, writing papers for journals and preparing posters.
  • New chapter on ‘Digital Communication in a Networked World’.
  • New pedagogical features: key terms and margin note definitions.


Part 1: Understanding Communication
1. Communication in the Health Sciences
2. Theories of Communication
3. Communication and Duty of Care
4. Academic Integrity and Honesty

Part 2: Learning to Communicate
5. Getting organised for effective study
6. Learning to do Academic Writing
7. Learning to Write Essays and Assignments
8. Searching the Literature and Managing References and Resources
9. Reference Systems and Strategies
10. Formatting and Text Styles
11. Communicating in Problem-based learning classes
12. Giving Effective Presentations in Class
13. Projected Presentations
14. Designing Tables and Graphics
15. Giving and Receiving Feedback
16. Digital Communication in a Networked World
17. Avoiding Plagiarism

Part 3: Communicating in the Workplace
18. Talking with Colleagues, Patients, Clients and Carers
19. Interviewing Patients and Clients
20. Intercultural Communication
21. Communicating Clinical Reasoning
22. Writing Records, Reports and Referrals in Professional Practice
23. Case Conferences and Student Case Presentations
24. Preparing a Community Health Proposal
25. Communicating with the Community about Health

Part 4: Communicating in Teams
26. Working with Groups: Consulting, Advocating, Mediating and Negotiating
27. Working as a Member of a Health Team
28. Communicating in Teams
29. Being Assertive in Teams and Workplaces
30. Leadership in Health Practice

Part 5: Doing Advanced Communication
31. Thesis Writing
32. Writing Papers for Journals
33. Preparing Posters
34. Presenting Talks at Conferences

Joy Higgs – Director, The Education For Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University
Rola Ajjawi – Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, Centre for Medical Education, University of Dundee, Scotland, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, The Education For Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University
Lindy McAllister – Professor and Associate Dean of Work Integrated Learning, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia, Adjunct Professor, Charles Sturt University
Franziska Trede – Deputy Director and Senior Lecturer, The Education For Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University
Stephen Loftus – Senior Lecturer, The Education For Practice Institute, Charles Sturt University
Students can find additional resources to help their study at the Oxford Health Hub.

Read a sample from Communicating in the Health Sciences

Chapter 16: Digital communication in a networked world