Interpersonal Skills for Mental Health Nurses | Abertay University

Interpersonal Skills for Mental Health Nurses


This module emphasises the importance of effective communication and interpersonal skills in healthcare. It introduces students to a range of strategies and interventions used in mental health nursing.


The aim of this module is to provide the student with the opportunity to develop core communication and interpersonal skills for nursing, taking account of the range of approaches and technologies that can be used to support service users.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate an awareness of how to build partnerships and therapeutic relationships through safe, effective and non-discriminatory communication.

2.  Demonstrate the use of a range of skills and technologies to support person-centred care and enhance quality and safety.

3.  Demonstrate an understanding of the potential impact of self on communication with others.

4.  Demonstrate the ability to interact with and respond to service users and patients in a professional and respectful manner

5.  Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of reflection on self as a means of improving practice

Indicative Content

1 Building partnerships and therapeutic relationships

Listening, responding, reflecting, demonstrating empathy, warmth, compassion and unconditional positive regard and appropriate use of touch. Forming and ending therapeutic and professional relationships. Working with individuals with hearing, visual and speech disability and with therapeutic groups.

2 Using a range of communication skills and technologies

Factors influencing the service user's ability to communicate. Ensuring that service users receive information in a manner that allows them to make informed choices in shared decision making.

3 Understanding the potential impact of self on communication

Approaches to reflection. Self-awareness. Psychological defence mechanisms and their impact on relationships. Strategies for dealing with personal stress.

4 Resonding to the person

Using therapeutic principles to promote safety and wellbeing. Interacting with and responding to service users and carers in a professional and respectful manner.

5 Reflection

Using a model of structured reflection to enhance practice

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The module is delivered using online blackboard, lectures and practical sessions where students will practice communication skills. They will be expected to participate in role play involving simulated therapeutic work with individuals and groups in a safe and supportive environment, as well as an online discussion forum. Assessment is via Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and reflective essay. The TLA strategy is aimed at developing the competence of students in relation to the subject area and their development of graduate attributes.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 10
Tutorial/Seminar 10
Supervised Practical Activity 10
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 20
Independent 150

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2017/18 , and may be subject to change for future years.