Informal communication

When we use informal communication, it is normally when we are communicating with friends colleagues and also family. When using informal language it can sometimes make it harder to communicate and understand. For example when people are texting or even talking or on a chat forums. A lot of people might use this kind of language through arguments or debates. The meaning of context is the different places in which communication can take place in.

Informal communication is the way that you would communicate or talk to someone you knows really well. Sometimes you may use words that other people won’t understand with family members or friends. Just like in certain areas or communities there might be a certain way that the people from there would talk, for example someone in the south of England might say ‘hey mate how’s it going?’ this might not be seen as a welcoming thing in a different community. Certain people wouldn’t be able to understand certain informal words so that is why you sometimes have to adjust your use of language.

I observed an informal interaction between two 4 year olds, who were playing in the house area. During their role play they were pretending to be a doctor at a doctors surgery, however the language they were using was not what would be expected in a realistic situation. One of them told the other “here’s a special drink, it tastes nice and it’ll make you feel better”. This shows that they have an understanding of the communication cycle that would occur between a doctor and a patient but in an informal way using language they understood.

Formal communication

In health and social care settings formal communication is needed because there will be different people that you will have to communicate with including professionals. When using formal communication you may feel a sense of warmth and welcome because if you were to go somewhere and you were greeted in such an informal way you may start to view this person as rude and may even put you down or it may also feel unwelcoming. When you write a letter to clients this is classed as formal communication and would not use colloquial expressions.

Formal language is language used when speaking to teachers or professional people like say if you were at a job interview you wouldn’t say ‘alright mate how you doin’ because this is very informal and some people may not appreciate this kind of communication and may even feel offended by it

Non verbal communication is when you communicate with someone without actually speaking. An example of non verbal communication would be with our facial expressions and our body gestures this could even be through eye contact and the tone of our voice. When someone is not happy you may be able to see this from their facial expression they may seem to be quiet or just won’t co-operate. Our posture can tell people different messages, for example if someone is having an interview and they are sitting slouched on a chair this would show that they aren’t really bothered or they don’t care about it or the person interviewing.

Normally the thing that gives away our emotions most of the time is our facial expressions, when someone is sad or upset they might be looking down a lot or there facial muscles might be tense. However when someone is happy they may have wider eyes and seem to smile a lot and use more arm gestures. Also if you look into someone’s eyes you can tell what they are feeling and if they are happy or not.

Non verbal communication is important in a health and social care environment because a client may say one thing but their body language is saying something else as a health and social care professional you need to be able to look for clues that might give you extra information about the client; an observation I have made is when I visited someone in hospital and asked them how they were if they said they were fine and didn’t look it I would ask again to make sure they were telling me everything.

Effective communication is a two way process, sending the right message that is correctly received and understood. We use these forms of communication in health and social care because if you were to communicate with someone in a health and social care setting and they weren’t listening to you they wouldn’t get the message properly and if someone had been for example giving you instructions for how to give someone some kind of medication and you weren’t paying attention you could probably overdose the patient or under-dose the patient.

Effective interpersonal interactions

Interpersonal communication is when people swap information with each other; this could be formal or informal and also using verbal and non verbal messages. If you were faced with an angry confrontational client you would need to be very careful in the way that you communicate with them you need strong interpersonal skills to cope in such a situation. However handled correctly this enables carer and client to develop a respectful relationship. Otherwise a relationship may not be developed at all and to enable correct care to be given this is very important in any area of health and social care an example of an interpersonal skill would be mentoring or even simple group work.

The difference between a culture and a language community is that within a language community they speak the same language to each other for example when doctors abbreviate words only the other doctors will understand it because they are within that language community, but within a cultural community they have different languages and also use forms of slang. Professionals such as doctors and nurses know that they have to translate technical language to language everybody else would understand so that the patient understands what is wrong with them and what needs to be done so that they can get better.

When telling someone that they are for example terminally ill you would have to break it to them gently and carefully so that they understand you.

In different cultures people have different histories and customs that they grow up with it is important within health and social care to understand and respect these customs so that effective communication can take place. For example if you were talking to a Japanese client you need to understand that they feel that non verbal language is very important and they would not necessarily make unneeded eye contact, so as a health and social care professional you need to be aware of different cultural variations when communicating.

Different needs and language preferences

Spoken and written English might not be the preferred language for everyone for example; Braille is a system of raised marking that can be felt by our fingers that enables the blind to use the system of written communication based on the sense of touch. Deaf people use sign language – British sign language which is a language in its own right or they can also use Makaton which uses signs and symbols to help those who have difficulty with speech communicating. This would make communication effective by the fact that not everyone can communicate normally they may be blind or deaf or even dyslexic.

To conclude, effective communication within the health and social care sector is important so that professionals provide good care to patients and the communication must always be clear for everyone to understand what is being said.

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