Communication and Social Care

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Introduction to communication in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings (SHC 21) AC
1.1 1.2 1.3


What you need to know
Identify the different reasons people communicate Explain how effective communication affects all aspects of your work Explain why it is important to observe an individual’s reactions when communicating with them

AC What you need to do
2.1 2.2 Show how to find out an individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences Demonstrate communication methods that meet an individual’s communication needs, wishes and preferences Show how and when to seek advice about communication Identify different barriers to effective communication Demonstrate ways to reduce barriers to effective communication Demonstrate ways to check that that communication has been understood Identify sources of information and support or services to enable more effective communication Explain the term ‘confidentiality’ Demonstrate confidentiality in day-to-day communication in line with agreed ways of working Describe situations where information normally considered to be confidential may need to be passed on Explain how and when to seek advice about confidentiality

Assessment of this unit
This unit introduces you to the central importance of communication in health and social care work. It focuses on the reasons why people communicate in health or social care settings, the methods they use and the importance of ensuring that communication in care settings is effective. You will need to: ▶ understand why communication is important in the work setting ▶ be able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals ▶ be able to reduce barriers to communication ▶ be able to apply principles and practices relating to confidentiality at work. The assessment of this unit is partly knowledge-based (things you need to know about) and partly competence-based (things you need to do in the real work environment). To successfully complete this unit, you will need to produce evidence of both your knowledge and your competence. The charts opposite outline what you need to know and do to meet each of the assessment criteria for the unit. Your tutor or assessor will help you to prepare for your assessment and the tasks suggested in the chapter that follows will help you to create the evidence that you need.

2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4

Assessment criteria 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3 and 4.2 must be assessed in a real work environment.



Understanding why communication is important in the work setting Your assessment criteria:
1.1 Identify different reasons why people communicate



2 Message coded 1
Key terms

Idea occurs

Message sent


Verbal: forms of communication that use (spoken or written) words

Non-verbal: ways of communicating without using words (for example, through body language)


Message understood Message decoded 5

Message received


Effective communication is needed to motivate people and build relationships in health and social care settings

What is ‘communication’?
People who work in health and social care settings need to develop effective communication skills in order to make and maintain relationships. Health and social care practitioners communicate with adults for a number of different reasons. This unit will help you appreciate the importance of this aspect of your own work. You must understand: ▶ what communication involves ▶ the different reasons for communication ▶ the way communication affects how practitioners work. Communication is about making contact with others and being understood. When communicating, people send and receive ‘messages’. We all communicate continuously by sending messages. Figure 1.1 describes how this happens through a communication...
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