Communication

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Recognition of context is essential to an understanding of communication as a key feature of care. To elaborate on this statement, we need to understand the definition and meaning of communication and its role in health and social care.

Finnegan (2010) cited in Robb et al (2010) argues that communication is both a human and an interactive process which embraces a range of activities and uses resources, thinking about the implications of interactions in care settings. Communication is central to the quality of services in care provision. It is a creative process, creating meanings together.

Relationships and communication in health and social care are important. There are many relationships in the health and social field for example between patient/doctor and colleagues, how we communicate with them is essential to the provision of the service given (Robb 2011a). Finnegan expands on this and shows me that communication is at the heart of health and social care.

Context considers the circumstance and condition which surround an event. In communication, the context is the meaning of a message or sentence and taking that into consideration (Komaromy 2011). To have a better understanding of how context impacts on the quality of relationships and communication, we can look at Komaromy’s model of context (see figure 1).

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Komaromy’s model of context
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Figure 1

There are three dimensions of context; individual; institutional and social. I will mention each dimension.

Individual level of context impacts on communication and relationships by ways of emotion, experience, knowledge and power. Emotion can limit understanding of information being relayed to them.

This leads me to knowledge and power. Power arises in different levels and in many forms. Having expertise creates valued power in health and social care. Komaromy (2011) cites Foucault in the...
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