Communication in health and social care settings

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Service users in the health and social care environment are helped and sustained by good practice of work and training in order to make sure that the service users are empowered and their needs are supported according to the care value base. The care value base will make sure that the service user feels valued; safe and protected; attended and listened to; for dignity to be sustained; and to be as independent as much as they can. In order for this to happen in the health and social care environment training is provided; care workers must have the qualifications needed; suitable facilities and tools for the care; individual’ who consider others to the point of making a difference to improve their lives and trust that this will happen and a true +skill and talent to help people to accomplish their basic human needs.

“Supportive communication involves building an understanding of the service user’s needs through effective reflective listening skills” (Stretch et al, 2007, pp 38). Another way is to use non-verbal behavior however it depends on the way that it is expressed. The care worker must ensure that they make eye contact with the service user at various and suitable times; their body posture is untwined and calm; constantly smiling; movements and gestures of hands that show concentration; nodding of the head slightly to show that you agree, disagree or don’t understand and a suitable tone of voice. In order to support the individual the care worker must be attentive and conscious of their behavior and how it will affect others. Their character cannot be seen as fake but being true and sincere. “Supportive skills are sometimes defined as the ability to:

* Build an understanding of another person

* Be perceived as warm and friendly

* Be perceived as genuine and sincere” (Stretch et al, 2007, pp 38).

Hearing difficulties

When people with hearing difficulties are supported they must be asked what help they are in need of. If they are in need of any the care worker must make sure that the service user is able to see full facial and hand movements and gestures; that sufficient light is accessible; that background noise in at the lowest possible as this can divert their attention; not to talk with a loud voice, but with a clear voice; make sure that the individual has availability to aids to hearing; ask the individual to turn on their hearing device if suitable; ask them if you are talking in the right and correct way for them for example at the right pitch; use the communication that the person favors such as signing; go for further training to develop communication skills and promote regular check-ups to assess hearing.

Visual difficulties

When people with visual difficulties are supported they must be asked what help they are in need of. If they are in need of any the care worker must make sure that the service user is able to hear their voice; touch should be used in order to express nearness and assurance; make sure that sufficient light is available; explain the surroundings and people to the fullest; attentive of well-being and possible danger to the person; use the communication that the person favors such as Braille; make sure that the individual has availability to visual aids such as glasses; and promote regular check-ups to assess the person’s vision.

Speech difficulties

When people with visual difficulties are supported they must be asked what help they are in need of. If they are in need of any the care worker must make sure that the service user is able to see your face and facial expressions; not to hurry the person or seem intolerant; unless the other person has given permission to finish their sentence then it is best not to do this; use the communication that the person favors; allow the person to take part in one-to-one and group situations in order to communicate, by encouraging, helping and confidence; go for further training to develop communication skills and encourage the person to use speech aids as suitable.

Empowerment

Empowerment is described as allowing an individual to be independent concerning choice, opportunity and understanding. Communication can work in a negative and positive way. For example it can empower people to convey themselves in a positive way; on the other hand if an individual is not capable of doing this they may begin to feel weak and consequently vulnerable. “Communication can be supported by providing choices, opportunities to practice communication in an encouraging and supportive environment, providing information and education appropriate to a person’s individual needs” (Langridge et al, 2007, pp 41). For example an empowerment action in health care in relation to choice, is choosing the type of care they would like to receive. An example in social care in relation to opportunities is recommending and guiding people. An example in relation to understanding is practicing the skills that they have learnt in a health care setting.

Promotion of rights

If an individual is able to convey what they are thinking, their ideas and opinions without being afraid of being mocked or being made to feel unconfident, communication can be made easier. Within the care setting, workers are able to support service users to express themselves. If rules are set in place in relation to communication, then people will be able to express themselves without putting other peoples to shame and embarrassing them. “Tolerance for others’ views and opinions must be appropriate to the environment and all who will be using that environment.” (Langridge et al, 2007, pp 42). It may be that at times it will be out of place to talk about opinions in the case of it embarrassing or shaming someone. When clients are struggling they should talk about how they feel in private or make an agreement to talk about the issues they have with other person.

Maintaining confidentiality

Confidentiality is described as keeping things private. It is an essential right for all clients because if the carer has a big mouth and does not keep things to them they will not trust them; consequently they will not feel important and not have self-esteem if their confidential details are shared amongst other people; a professional service that values clients must keep their information private; it is statutory for personal records to be confidential; clients may be put in danger if their if their personal information such as if their address is shared amongst others.

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