Communication in Adult Social Care Settings
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Tone of voice The tone and pitch of your voice can in itself communicate mood, urgency or intent. It Is important to be mindful of this when overcoming language barriers or when dealing with those with service users with hearing impairments. Vocabulary Using different words in order to simplify or rephrase what you are saying can enable effective communication. It is important to be clear and concise at all times when working in dementia care. Aii Describe two methods of non-verbal communication. Body language Posture and gestures are a very important part of communication. For example it is important to maintain an open posture and avoid sudden movements when attempting to de-escalate a situation in which an individual is exhibiting verbally or physically aggressive behaviour. Visual aids Flash cards and other visual aids are useful for basic communication with individuals who have difficulty with verbal communication. For instance, I had a resident who only spoke Mandarin and also had difficulty forming words. I made some flash cards with pictures of a toilet, food, drinks, happy and sad faces etc. to enable her to communicate with me more effectively. Aiii Identify five different reasons why people communicate.
To express needs To express wishes and preferences To establish relationships To establish mutual understanding and trust To maintain a feeling of inclusion and control Aiv Give two reasons why it is important to observe the reactions of an individual using the service when you are communicating with them. To ensure that they understand what is being said if they appear confused then it may be useful to rephrase or use visual aids. To identify any unmet needs for example if a service user appears agitated they may be struggling to communicate what they want or need, or perhaps that they are in pain. In this instance it would be useful to use an alternative means of communication such as pain scales, gestures or visual aids. Av Explain why it is important to find out about an individuals a) communication and language This is important to ensure that we are using the most appropriate means of communication.
For example, if a service user is hard of hearing then it may be useful to know if they are able to lip-read. Additionally, if a service user speaks a different language or has difficulty with speech then it may be appropriate to use visual aids and gestures (while being mindful of any cultural differences which may cause offence) b) wishes and preferences If, for example, a service user prefers assistance from a female (or male) carer and also has difficulty communicating effectively, then it may cause unnecessary distress or lead to challenging behaviour to provide personal care from the opposite gender. Equally, my organisation is owned by the Methodist church and as such provides regular church services. It may cause great offence to subject a service user to this if they are not religious or are of a different religion. Personally I can think of little worse than having to sit through a church service twice a week when Id rather be sat in the lounge reading the latest paper on quantum theory Avi Explain how good communication can have a positive effect on the way a social care worker interacts with a) colleagues Good communication is crucial to a good working environment.
Colleagues must be able to understand each other and maintain a relationship of trust in order to provide a safe and effective service to our service users. individuals using the service and carers It is imperative to communicate effectively with service users in order to make them feel included in daily life within the care setting and included in decisions about their care. c) other professionals Good communication is important in maintaining a good professional relationship with others. For example, a GP cannot perform their duty properly if they are not aware of all the facts regarding an individuals well-being, or are not aware of their needs, wishes and preferences. Avii Identify three examples of barriers to communication, and describe ways each barrier could be reduced. Pain Arranging meetings/discussions to take place after analgesics have been administered can help to overcome this barrier. Environmental barriers Noisy or busy environments can have a negative effect on communication. Objects can also act as barriers, for example sitting side-on as opposed to on opposite sides of a desk can encourage open and relaxed conversation.
Closed questions It is important to ask open questions i.e. How do you feel as opposed to Do you feel depressed gives the service user the opportunity to give a more comprehensive answer instead of a simple yes/no. Aviii Describe two ways to check that communication has been understood by all involved. Ask questions Asking the other party questions can help to ensure that they have understood fully. Paraphrase Repeating what someone has said in your own words demonstrates that you are listening and that you understand what has been said to you. Aix Identify three services or sources of information and support that enable effective communication in an adult social care setting. Interpreters Help with people who speak different languages Speech and language therapists Aid communication for stroke victims, people living with dementia etc. NHS website e.g. contains information to help understand communication problems (as does Alzheimers UK) Task B Poster Create a poster about confidentiality, which can be used in an adult social care setting. The poster must Bi give a definition of the term confidentiality as it applies in adult social care settings Bii describe examples of how to maintain confidentiality in day to day communication Biii describe examples of situations where you might need to share confidential information with other professionals or the carers of individuals receiving the service Biv explain how and when to seek advice about confidentiality and where to go for help.