English and communication skills for healthcare practitioners

International Programmes offers a range of courses and learning opportunities to develop the language, communication and interpersonal skills typically required by healthcare professionals.

Short courses are available across the year to help medical practitioners prepare for exams (eg AKT, CSA).  Our courses are also appropriate for other healthcare professionals or international nurses and social care workers seeking to adapt to working in the UK. The aim of our courses is to enhance cross-cultural understanding, communication, listening, use of language and interpersonal skills,

It should be noted however, that International Programmes staff are language teaching specialists rather than medical professionals. We welcome the involvement of medical trainers in delivering these courses. 

What do the courses cover?

Our courses and training options can be tailored to your needs and include some or all of the areas below:

  • taking a patient-centred approach when communicating with or supporting patients (and their families) and helping them to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care
  • sharing with patients, in a way they can understand, the information they want or need to know about their condition and treatment options
  • understanding colloquial language and ambiguous language
  • using complex vocabulary and metaphor
  • interpreting and using vocal inflections
  • spotting cues and inferred meaning
  • practising and analysing consultation scenarios (role plays) focusing on language and interpersonal skills
  • developing effective listening and writing skills
  • enhancing intercultural awareness – considerations (age, gender, beliefs) when working with colleagues and patients from a variety of cultural backgrounds. 

Please contact internationalprogrammes@kent.ac.uk for more information. 

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