The communications skills day provides doctors with skills for dealing with challenging and pressurised situations in urgent care clinics.  It is arranged by RNZCUC with Connect Communications, and registrars will be invited to book their place via an online booking system.

The training is 7 hours, structured to support medical staff in developing improved communication skills for dealing with demanding situations with patients, relatives and staff.  Group size is at a maximum of 20, with a Connect Communications facilitator and an actor.

The seminar will be a mix of theory and practice.  Role plays will be initially demonstrated in a fishbowl style, using the professional actor as the patient and the facilitator playing the part of the doctor. Interactive learning will be achieved by the participants working in pairs or trios practicing similar scenarios, supported by a powerpoint presentation for each topic. The participants will also work in small groups using interactive drama to support active learning.

Specific topics will be covered under the following headings:

  1. Benefits of communication skills
  2. Active listening and building relationship
  3. Handling challenging situations – “REBELS” e.g.
  • Angry patient
  • Unreasonable demands- Boundaries and assertiveness
  • Breaking Bad News – “SPIKES”
  • Sensitive issues such as taking a sexual history


Alternative communications courses are possible and some courses are recognised as prior learning (check the RPL table). If your course is not listed contact the Director of Clinical Training ( to have the alternative approved.