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Communication skills

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As a worker in the health and social care profession it is essential that I have good communication skills and can understand the challenges that others have to face in order to communicate effectively. A new residential and nursing home will be opening in my neighbourhood and I have been offered a position in the team of care workers. During the induction week – and before the tenants take up residence, staff has been allocated a variety of tasks to help ensure that residents are happy and comfortable in their new home.

As the service users will have a variety of communication needs, many different approaches must be considered to ensure effective understanding. I have also been asked to devise a detailed chart for display in the staff office that identifies how communication needs may be addressed. What home will I be attending? I have drawn up a chart which will be posted up in the staff room; this chart indicates to employees what sort of communication skills should be addressed to the people. All conversations should be formal as employees and the old people who will be living there do not know each other.

Identifying cultural differences using listening skills in order to provide emotional support Showing that you value others Text messaging using mobile phones Always offering choices to services users Using an appropriate language for communication Respecting and promoting service users’ rights including confidentiality Adapting the environment to improve communication Contacting appropriate support services including advocates, interpreters etc Avoiding assumptions and stereotypes about other people Identifying and overcoming barriers to communication

Using appropriate aids and adaption Providing a ‘caring presence’ Developing an understanding of, or empathy with, others through communication Table of Communication: Empowering Care for the Service user’s. The table above helps each employee use powerful communication skills with the service user’s it is important that each service user is addressed in an appropriate manner. Each service user may need to be communicated in a different way. It is the job of the employees to make sure they know the different needs of each service user before they are approached.

I will identify each communication use and what impact it will have to the service. Preferred spoken language Not everyone that uses the service at the old people’s home speaks one language. The languages that are spoken vary world wide. United Kingdom has over 60 different languages which are spoken. It is important for me to know which of the service users will be speaking a specific language. The reason for this is because I will need to find employees which will be able to translate. How does this link to health and social care?

In order for me to make the first move I will need to know what language the service user speaks. If I do not know what language the service user is speaking then I wouldn’t be able to have verbal communication with them even though they are able to communicate with me verbally. In this position I will need to make sure I have interpreters and translators. Interpretation and translation are vital in any setting where communication is blocked because individuals rely on different languages or communication system.

Many people that will be using the service may live in communities where English may not be the first language spoken. Identifying cultural needs Identifying cultural needs is very important for not just this services users but any service. If somebody is very religious they have the right to stay side by side with their religion and do what they must do as long as it doesn’t put others at risk. The service users in the old people’s home which I will be working in may want to pray at a certain time of day. For example, 2pm however, at this time they have to take their medication.

They should be allowed to have their prayer first and then take their medication. If I was to identify all the services users’ needs it would simply indicate to me which individual needs to do what. For example, at 3pm one lady needs to pray, and a man has to have a cross around his neck at all times. It would allow me to indentify each need for each individual. How does this link to health and social care? As I will be working in an old people’s home I will need to make sure that all the cultural needs are indentified by me and my colleagues.

I would also need to make sure that each colleague deals with all the cultural needs in an appropriate manner. I shouldn’t be hearing complaints for a service user about how she never got to pray at a certain time, because I would have already been address about her cultural needs. Using listening skills in order to provide emotional support The use of listening skills is always important in any environment, in order to get have a two way conversation the listener and the speaker would need to have a good communication skills I have explained in [p3] how the communication cycle works.

That should be adapted here. Old people will be very emotional they may be living in the old people home because they weren’t being looked after where they were previously living, or they do not have any relations left or simply because they are lonely. These service users will be emotional at different times of the day and it will usually occur on a weekly basis for some, for a few it may not even occur at all. How does this link to health and social care? It is important that I train my colleagues to have excellent listening skills.

The service users at this home will not only be here to be looked after properly but will also be here so they can talk to somebody. If they do not talk, to my colleagues they may build up emotional stress which could lead them to anxiety, this is not healthy for those of old age. It will be my job to make sure that I get feed back from the service users to see how the listening skills are being adapted in the environment. If the service users feel that they are not being listened to then I would have to do something about it and take disciplinary actions, as this is vital.

Showing that you value others Valuing others shows that you care about their needs. It also shows that you actually understand what is being said and what emotions are being reached out for. Valuing others is very important. If a person does not feel valued – if a person feels emotionally threatened during an interaction then this will create a barrier that is likely to lead to misunderstandings. It is important to try to learn about the beliefs and values of other people in order to make sense of what they are trying to communicate. How does this link to health and social care?

It is my job to make sure that each service user is being valued. My colleagues will need to show a high level of commitment before starting the job. I will need to make sure that they can value the elderly making them feel as if they are wanted and also making them feel as if they are at home. I will need my colleagues to make this job feel as if it’s more than money, and that they really care about helping the elderly and showing that they value them. Text messaging using mobile phones The use of text messaging and using mobile phones is a modern use now.

There are over 60million mobile phones in the UK. This shows that a each individual could be carrying around more than one phone. The elderly may be using a mobile phone the reason for this is because they may be living at the old people’s home and still texting family members at home to let them know they are okay. Or they maybe make phone calls to other relatives and friends. This should be allowed because the elderly do not have much to do during the day as they get tired very easily and each individual as a different cause for being in the home.

So they can get through the day by using mobile technology allowing communication from over the phone. The use of technology is has been well adapted in the UK and although most people still do not know how to use mobile phone it is simple to learn. How does this link to health and social care? It is important that I do not make any of the service users feel as if they are imprisoned at the home. I wouldn’t want them to feel as if they can not talk to other people and have to just sit in their rooms in silent communicating with only those in front of them.

My colleagues will be busy during the day and may not be able to talk to every individual as and when they want to be spoken to and therefore I would allow them to use mobile technology to get in contact with whom they wish. It may be a friend or a member of family. If the service users said they did not understand how to use the technology I would allow my colleagues to help them out teach them and give them lessons maybe. However, I wouldn’t allow the colleagues to write the text message out for the service users as they may want it to be private and they have the right to keep text messages private and confidential.

Allowing the service users to use technology would allow them to feel that they have understood and adapted well to the modern world as they have achieved using a mobile phone. It would also allow them to feel happy that they have got in contact with their family or friends. Always offering choices to service users It is crucial that service users know what services can be offered. They should not be sitting in the dark at all times not knowing what they can and should do. This will not allow them to take full advantage of the services offered.

There are many different services that can be offered in the old peoples home for example, the use of having a group meeting to discuss what activities to do. There may also be a time were the elderly can learn how to use a mobile phone. There may be a wider range of choice from being able to eat when you like to being able to invite guests around. The service users need to be sure they know all the services that are available if they didn’t it would again complicate situations making them think the service is not available.

How does this link to health and social care? I would need to make sure that I have informed all the workers at the home of how services are provided, and of which services are provided. It is also important that I put up a notice that helps the workers aware of the services which could be offered. It may not just be the elderly that are not benefiting from the services, it could also be the workers which are not benefitting from the services available and if they don’t know what they are the elderly people are unlikely to know what they are.

I would allow the elderly, to take advantage of all the services provided after taking in consideration of what they are capable of doing. For example, if a woman wasn’t able to use the mobile phone because she was blind I would get one of the workers to dial the number for her and leave her in peace. Using an appropriate language for communication The way in which a service provider communicates to a service user has to be perfect. It should be formal at all times and it should also make the service user feel comfortable to communicate back.

In all situations there are many different ways to say one sentence for example, ”what you saying? ” This is in the modern day is used to say ” How are you doing? ” If a service provider was to talk to an elderly person in an informal way it wouldn’t make them feel comfortable simply because they do not understand what is being said. Using appropriate communication will show a level of respect to the service users. The main idea is making the service user feel as if they are ”at home” making them feel comfortable.

We can not judge how the service users will respond and so therefore it is important that we always communicate formally. How does this link to health and social care? It is important as service providers that I provide the best communication skills from my workers and me. As well as this, I shouldn’t allow workers to speak to service users informally when they do not know them. As if will be working for this home in the near future I am not aware of the people that are going to be living here and spending time here so I will not be able to judge how they would like to be spoken to whether its informally or formally.

Some people may like to be spoken to informally because it makes them feel more at home than at somebody else’s home. Some may speak formally as they would at home. It all depends on what background they have been raised in. I would make sure that all the services users feel as if they are spoken to in an appropriate language I have to make sure that they are not being taken advantage for, and swear words are absolutely minimised.

The service users are the most important people in the home, with out them there would be no home so it is crucial that I do what ever I can to make sure they are communicated in an appropriate language. Adapting the environment to improve communication It is very hard to hear what someone is saying if there is a lot of background noise. It is very difficult to make sense of other people facial expressions if you cant see their face properly due to poor lighting. People sometimes feel uncomfortable if they are trying to communicate with a person who is too close or at a distance.

A room that is too hot, stuffy or cold may inhibit communication if it makes people feel tried or stressed. How does this link to health and social care? It is important that when conversations are taking place that there is enough light in the room, the is also low background music. The reason for this is because if the music on the background was loud then the service users in the home will not be able to talk to each other which will make them feel stressed out.

The reason that I wouldn’t have loud music in the background is because I will always have to remember that I am dealing with the elderly and I will need to make sure that there ears maybe very sensitive so something that is not loud to us may be very loud for them. I may play low classical music in the background so it gets them in a relaxed mood. As for the lighting I would make sure that the rooms are fully lit at all times if the room isn’t lit the service users wouldn’t be able to read each others facial expressions and this maybe a way that they communicate if they did not hear what they first said.

When we meet and talk with people, we usually use two language systems: verbal language and non verbal/body language. Our body can send messages to others by the way we interact and move, by the signals we show and receive. In the care home the workers will need to show a level of non verbal communication for all the service users. For example if a cleaner was to clean, she/he would smile and have a relaxed body posture so that the service users do not feel threatened.

I will need to make sure in the care home the workers are smiling constantly at the service users the reason for this is because it indicates that everything is fine and that the service users shouldn’t be scared to ask for help as much as time as they want during the day. Also I would need to make sure that the workers in the care home which are talking to the service users always looked interested in what is being said. The service users will always want to feel as if they are being listened to and their ideas are being accounted for.

If the workers were not listening and constantly ignored what was being said it would cause them to feel frustrated. Finally, it is crucial that the workers in the care home are always calm and they do not over react in a situation which may occur, for example to service users arguing over something, the workers will need to make sure they try and calm down the environment, by not raising there hand or not showing any rude gestures. In this part of the assignment I will be talking about service users which need specific communication and the types of support that might be benefit them.

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