Specialist Language Courses

English for Nurses – Sample Syllabus

This sample English for Nurses syllabus was designed for a UK-based hospital group which employs a large number of overseas nurses in its London hospitals. Our Medical English trainer taught lessons onsite at the hospital. The classes consisted of 2 groups of 10 international nurses, primarily from Spain, Italy and Portugal.

Course content was determined by detailed pre-course Needs Analysis, both at organizational and participant level. This was accompanied by an online English language level assessment for each nurse. The hospital was able to input on the more technical areas of language, so ensuring that the syllabus met the specific needs of the nurses. This meant that the trainer was able to prepare the course in detail beforehand, selecting a range of materials and class activities to match the content. As a result, classes were able to hit the ground running, with meaningful progress being made from the first lesson.

The syllabus was a mix of scenario-specific language with both patients – eg. taking obs, administering drugs, dealing with upset, and preparing for an operation – and other members of staff – eg. giving a handover, handing phone calls, or describing a near miss.

The topics below are some of the units covered.

– Patient admission

– Asking for and describing symptoms

– People and places in the hospital

– Using plain English with patients

– Describing common hospital procedures

– Key patient interactions

– Understanding and completing charts and documents

The course lasted 40 hours, and was delivered in weekly 2-hour sessions over a 20-week period. The course was further supported by extensive self-study using SLC’s 100-hour English for Nurses course, ‘Getting the Essentials Right’.

The nurses attending the lessons were encouraged to practise the classroom inputs as much as possible at work, giving feedback in classes. We remained in touch with the hospital HR team throughout the course, reporting on attendance and progress, and making sure that the course was relevant at all points.

Please contact us to discuss how a face-to-face or blended English course can support your overseas staff.