Unit 31 – Understand why effective communication is important in the work setting 1 – Understand why effective communication is important in the work setting. 1.1 – Identify the different reasons people communicate People communicate for a number of reasons, for example, to express emotions (i.e. sadness, happiness and anger), pain, personal opinions, to relay information with regards to an individual’s health, personal preferences such as religion, sexual or culture and also to obtain knowledge or information on any given subject; communication can also be viewed as a learning experience. Communication can be informal or formal depending on the circumstances. For example; formal communication would occur in professional settings, i.e. when attending a doctors surgery it is likely you will be greeted with a phrase similar to: ‘Good morning/afternoon sir/madam. How can I help you?’ Informal communication is more likely to be the way you would communicate with friends and family. It is important for health care professionals to take care when communicating with service users and to remain professional, for example, health care professionals working with the elderly will communicate differently to those working with young children/adults. Some communication can also be written such as medical records or care plans, all of which are confidential and are there to be called upon for legal reasons, or if at any point service users wish to look at their personal records. It is important to remember that in all health and social care environments, all records are confidential unless a disclosure of abuse occurs which it will have to be reported to the appropriate person, i.e. line managers in order for a thorough investigation to take place. Communication between colleagues is important in order to ensure a high level of care is given and the needs of the individuals within your care are met. It is therefore essential that information is passed on and written clearly. All records must be up to date. Communicating with service users is also very important as it allows them to be involved with their care and demonstrates that they are valued and respected. Communication is an everyday occurrence, however it is sometimes difficult but we as health care professionals need to communicate effectively in order to provide the best level of care. We need to be able to communicate with our colleagues for many different reasons, for example; I won’t be at my place of work every day, however I need my colleagues who have been there when I return to tell me if there has been any change in Mrs Smith’s care needs or if Mr Jones needs a bit of reassurance as he is feeling a little down today. We also need to communicate effectively with our colleagues in case we need to ask for help, e.g. Mrs Davies has had a fall can you go find the nurse while I sit with her and reassure her? We also have to be able to communicate with the service users effectively so that they feel comfortable and safe, for example; Mr Jones has dementia he cannot always find the words to explain how he is feeling. He has a headache and he is tapping at his head to show the health care assistant however he can get frustrated and start to hurt himself if his carers do not pick up what he is saying quickly. It is important for health care professionals to take the time and to know the individual behaviour in order to work out what it is the service user is telling you. Therefore it is essential for health care professionals to know how to communicate effectively by listening, observing and be patient, it could help prevent an incident where Mr Jones harms himself. In the care profession we communicate with people to provide good quality care and ensure we meet the service users’ needs, companionship, and assistance, to keep individuals involved and for respect.
1.2 – Explain how communication affects relationships in the work setting When working in care...
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