Unit 2: Portfolio Work (AS Unit F911)
Oral can be defined as “spoken rather than written” (2012) Oxford Dictionaries.com Oxford University Press [Online] Available from: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/oral?q=oral (Accessed 25 October 2012). Communication can be defined as “the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium” (2012) Oxford Dictionaries.com Oxford University Press [Online] Available from: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/communication?q=communication (Accessed 25 October 2012). Therefore, oral communication is the conveyance or swapping of information using spoken language. Communication is fundamentally important in all settings but especially in care settings. Talking doesn’t cost anything; it is the easiest and the quickest way for health care professionals to exchange vital information with other health care professionals.
As health care professionals, we need to always be aware of client’s needs, both medical and personal. Our job as a practitioner is to make sure that our clients can understand what we are saying to them and that we can understand exactly what they are saying to us. Communication of any kind is a two way street. Barker (2000, p.2) states “Until you have shared information with another person, you haven’t communicated it. And until they have understood it, the way you understand it, you haven’t shared it with them”. Information needs to be passed to clients using any method that they can understand. Health care professionals need to make sure that they can interact with their client in the best possible professional manner. Some practitioners offer “talking therapy”. This involves listening to a client’s innermost thoughts and feelings and talking about problems. A client has to be able to share their thoughts and by talking to a practitioner, can offload any problems or worries they may have. A practitioner has to listen very carefully and has to be able to understand what is being said to them. The practitioner can then potentially offer practical, helpful solutions to the client’s problems. The client has to feel comfortable with the practitioner before they can start talking about personal issues, the practitioner’s job is to make the client feel warm and welcome and he does this by talking to the client and making them feel relaxed and totally at ease. A client would be more likely to talk about their most private worries if they felt comfortable and relaxed with the practitioner. Listening is also imperative in the whole communication process; we need to listen to information first to understand it. Oral communication is usually the first form of contact that can be made; we usually start conversations by saying “hello”. Talking is second nature to the majority of people. We do it automatically. We do not have to even think about it, we just open our mouths, and out the information flows, for some, though, it is not so easy. This is why we have lots of other forms of communication. When a surgeon is operating in theatre, he has a mask on and so he communicates by talking to other health professionals. Without oral communication, he would not be able to convey important information to others. It is vital that his staff listen carefully to his words whilst he is operating on a patient, any misunderstanding could potentially result in the patient being harmed accidentally or even death. The Anaesthetist also has a vital role during an operation. They have to continually monitor their patient and relay the patient’s vital signs to the surgeon at all times. This is done by talking. It is also imperative that the rest of the theatre staff can hear properly so usually there is no background noise to allow the staff to hear the surgeon’s instructions clearly. Any misunderstanding in the operating theatre could literally be a case of life or death. Oral communication is used...
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