Different Forms of Communication
Oral communication is also known as verbal communication. It consists of words and sentences and is used along with non verbal body language. The content spoken with oral communication within a care setting has to be accurate and understandable for patients, so they can feel empowered and able to make decisions regarding themselves. Also, oral communication is extremely important within different care settings. It is vital for different care workers and their patients to use oral communication in order to communicate with each other and exchange information and build relationships.
Oral communication is used within care settings to explain specific information which is used between clients and their care workers. For example, if a patient is confused about his or her operation will consist of, it is a dentist’s duty to help the patient understand what his or her operation will consist of and the steps the dentist will take prior to the completion of the operation, therefore making the patient feel much more at ease and relaxed. Also, oral communication is used within a care setting between, not only clients and their care workers, but also between care workers and their fellow colleagues.
The situation may come about due to a patient’s illness. For example, a patient maybe ill and doctors have identified the illness but unsure how to treat the patient in an attempt to help the patient make a full recovery. The problem could occur due to the patient’s circumstances, such as allergies etc. So the doctors will meet and discuss which would be the best way to help the patient treat his or her illness. Oral communication also plays a vital part between the patient and his doctor.
This is because the patient will have to give information about his or herself to the doctor and then receive also, information you smell from the doctor and vice versa. No matter what the situation, oral communication will be an essential part to it. For example, if paramedics arrive at a crime scene, where someone has been severely injured, they will have to gain extracts of information from witnesses and the casualty to then asses the situation, before enabling themselves to begin to help the patient properly.
A particularly important job within care settings regarding oral communication is the receptionist or receptionists. The receptionist is the first person that the patient or client will have to communicate with orally. Written communication is one way care workers contact each other for example, letters, documents, posters, memos etc. Therefore it is extremely important within a care setting. It is essential for communicating formal information that will be needed to be referred to on a later date. Written communication is used within care settings for staff rotas, medical records and documents, written policies and procedure.
All new staff members are given specific training to enable to complete their job duties in a specific way so therefore if the member of staff is off duty, a different member will complete the same task in the same way. For example, the situation may arise where a nurse does not know exactly what time her shift starts and what time her shift ends. She will then read the staff rota on the notice board and this will enable her to know exactly the start and finishing time. By doing this, she avoids not being in on time.
If she had not checked her shift time and does not turn up for work, she may cause mass confusion and this could lead to many problems within the hospital, including extra work for other staff, which makes it harder for them to cover her time and the problem could affect the patients as each employee within a care setting is vital. Another vital piece of written communication within a care setting is the details of patients and their medical records. All patients’ details and medical records must be kept confidential or else this is a breach of the Data Protection Act, which is a criminal offence.
Medical records help the care workers to gain specific medical knowledge concerning their patient or patients. This helps avoids any accidents occurring which may concern the patient such as being given medicine they are allergic to. For example, within a health centre, many patients come everyday to see their GP’s, this means that the GP’s have more then one patient. The GP’s cannot risk forgetting patient details, and will have to keep medical records of each of their patients to avoid any mishaps, such as the mentioned above. He can also refer to them just before the client comes to the next appointment to refresh his memory.
He can refer to the previous appointment with the client and this makes him feel the doctor cares and is interested in him. Computerized communication is used to contact other care workers within care settings via forms of communication such as e-mail, internet, texting and instant messaging. Individuals can also access information using the internet, also emails and text messaging from a mobile phone; can reach the recipients in a matter of seconds no matter the distance, whereas before computer technology and the internet, letters and telephone was used.
The introduction of computerized communication has simplified the procedures used to communicate with people who are based a long distance away. The speed of this new form of communication is a great advantage. For example, if a patient has been rushed to A&E, the GP of the patient can easily email the patients details to the hospital, where the patient is destined to go, in a matter of a few seconds. Computerised records are as important as all written documents within a care setting. So therefore they must be treated the same as other written records.
A range of security measures are used to make sure that confidentiality is kept and no unauthorised persons are able to access the private documents. When using computerised documents, care workers will have to consider keeping back-up copies of the document on the system in case the document is lost. Clients have the right to ask for the information that is kept about them. Any inaccurate information must be corrected or deleted and be up to date. Care workers have to have a password to prevent unauthorised persons of gaining access to the system.
There must be a policy in place concerning those who have access to altering or changing the records, so then they are not altered by anyone who does not have the responsibility to. Within care settings, due to people who have disabilities, there are special methods which are used to communicate with them. For example, deaf people may not be able to use speaking language so therefore have to use sign language. Also, blind people are unable to read, so therefore they use a special form of reading known as Braille.
The form of sign language within Britain is the first or preferred language by approximately 70,000 deaf people. The British Deaf Association argues that is a linguistic and cultural minority and is not measured in medical terms”. The form of sign language has built up throughout many years to become a well known form of communication within the deaf minority. The British Deaf Association also campaigns to have every deaf person taught and educated using sign language and to enable the deaf minority to access information and services using sign language.
Sign language is a form of communication care workers will commonly have to come in contact with. Many people learn it so that they can communicate with a deaf person. If a care setting does not have a staff member who can use British sign language, they will have to employ an interpreter, although confidentiality must be kept by the interpreter also. Makaton is a form of communication using different aspects of communication and bringing them together.
Makaton uses speech, signs and symbols to help people with learning disabilities communicate with others. Also, Makaton helps people with learning disabilities develop a language which can be understood by others. People who use Makaton will often speak a word then perform a sign or symbol using their hands and body. Makaton uses a vast range of different symbols and signs which help people with learning disabilities communicate, as they’re able to recognise the different symbols and then use them to communicate with others.
It is a useful form of communication as then the person with the learning disabilities is able to make their needs known and not become frustrated. Braille is a system which helps people who have limited vision to read and then understand the text which has been written. The system is based on the sense of touch and then people who are unable to see, use their fingers to feel the raised marks and then enable themselves to understand what has been said. This specific communication system, Braille, was created by Louis Braille, a blind 20-year old, who lost his sight as a child, in 1829.
This system has been used by blind people for many years and is used for writing and reading for those who are unable to use written text. In modern times, computers have been enabled to translate written text into Braille and then printed out using special printers and also it has been placed on toilet doors, this has all been done so blind people are able to keep their independence. Clients can then read leaflets and books about their treatment. This also helps them meet intellectual needs.
Also blind people can still talk well and are not mentally impaired. So it is important that care workers do not talk down to them or patronise them. Also, guide dogs are allowed into the care settings as they are used by the blind people to successfully navigate themselves to specific destinations. Also, if the blind people do not use English as their first language the care workers will have to hire an interpreter, and make sure leaflets given to the blind client is in their own language.