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Introduction to communication in health and social care

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1.1 Identify reasons why people communicate
People communicate to express emotions, needs and wants, to get information across/ask for information or to get their point of views across

1.2 Explain how effective communication affects all aspects of own work
Effective communication when working in a supporting role is necessary in being able to be as person centred as possible. From reading the persons care plan you can find out the best way to aid communication verbal or non-verbal, between both support worker and tenant. Communicating using daily records and staff communication books is essential to keep staff aware of the current status of tenants therefore when communicating in this way it is necessary to be as accurate as possible. Fostering good relationships with professionals and family involved with the person being supported require us to think about the way we communicate maintain that everything done is in the best interest of the tenant.

1.3 Explain why is it important to observe an individual’s reactions when communicating with them
Allot of communication is expressed through body language, facial expression, gestures and tone of voice, the position of you to the other person can also affect communication therefore it is important to observe an individual fully and to make sure that you are aware of the individuals care plan and how they communicate

2.1 Find out an individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences
By looking through an individual’s care plan we can understand their level of language, any cultural background that may affect their preferences, their physical ability and make sure that the way we communicate is appropriate to the individual. Asking the individual, other staff and family and friends of the individual are ways in which we can get a better idea of the person’s needs, wishes and preferences When working with an individual and getting to know their communication needs it is essential to make sure that their care plans are up to date and accurate containing all relevant information for new staff and that they are updated if the ways in which the person being supported change

2.2 Demonstrate communication methods that meet an individual’s communication needs, wishes and preferences When communicating with adults with learning disabilities you need to first assess the level of understanding they possess. Then on an individual basis adapt your communications style to best suit them. This could be in staff being aware that they may have to wait for an individual to process information before they respond, staff having to repeat information again and again before it is understood or the use of pictorial aids to support what is being communicated.

2.3 Show when and how to seek advice about communication
If unsure or wishing to ensure you are communicating most effectively to an individual at first speak to the individual to see if they can help. If not possible speak to your line manager to obtain more information or seek professional advice related to the individuals needs.

3.1 Identify barriers to communication
Barriers can be for many reasons, the environment; if it is too noisy or too crowded, someone’s background and beliefs and the approach of the support worker. If unaware of specific communication needs individuals can become overloaded with information, or information full of jargon that will lead to confusion and often anxiety

3.2 Demonstrate how to reduce barriers to communication in different ways
To reduce barriers and aid effective communication in adults with a learning disability is always specific to the individuals needs. Some common ways to reduce barriers would be to remain patient, repeat things as often as needed and that you may need to keep covering the same things. These actions are all specific and dependent on the individual’s level of understanding

3.3 Demonstrate ways to check that communication has been understood
It can be hard to check whether information has been understood with adults with learning disabilities sometimes and simply asking them and receiving a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ may not actually tell you anything. Asking open questions in a none patronising way to encourage the individual to repeat back the information is a better way to check if they have understood. Ensuring that the support worker is listening, does not interrupt, and does not lead the individual are important factors to ensure the individual has indeed understood

3.4 Indentify sources of information and support or services to enable more effective communication
Specialist advice regarding communication can be sought from a speech and language therapist. If there is a language barrier then an interpreter should be contacted through a line manager, social services or the police. For deaf or deafblind people the NRCPD can be consulted to find professionals in sign language, lip speakers, deafblind communicator and note takers. There are also condition- specific organisation that can provide advice and information

4.1 Explain the term confidentiality
Confidentiality is about not sharing information, verbally, written, electronically or any other format, about someone without their knowledge and consent- this is important to maintain a trusting relationship between support work and the individual being supported, to not lower the self esteem of an individual as could happen if they were not able to have any privacy and to ensure safety.

4.2 Demonstrate confidentiality in day to day communication, in line with agreed ways of working
The information passed on within the workplace is often necessary in maintaining their care. Making sure that essential information and no more is passed on than necessary for the purpose it is required for and that the individual is aware. All issues relating to confidentiality and disclosure can be found in the company’s policies and procedures.

4.3 Describe situations where information normally considered to be confidential might need to be passed on
When information is required by a tribunal, a court or by the ombudsman then it will have to be given regardless of whether or not consent is given, however consent from the individual should be endeavoured and if not notifying them at the earliest possible time. Where you are aware of information that could become a public health problem then you would have to disclose to the appropriate authorities. Where abuse is taking place with a child you must disclose confidentiality, however with Adults we can only try to persuade them to allow us to pass on information.

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