Principles of Communication in Adult Social Care Settings
Within the adult social care setting communication is used to convey information, this could be with the client about what they want to wear or eat, relatives and friends of the client who might want to know if any food products need replenishing or if there has been an accident and colleagues or other members of the multi-disciplinary team who might need information on past health information or daily routine.
Effective communication affects all aspects of working in a care setting, one aspect would be with the client where, with effective communication, you could establish what the clients needs are and agree the best way of meeting those needs. One is also able to empathize with the client’s thoughts and feelings and challenging situations can be interpreted. Another side is with the relatives and friends of a client where support could be provided. A different aspect is with colleagues where new information affecting the client can be passed on such as medication, injuries; also information about rota changes or training to be undergone. In addition, communication with other health professionals about a client or researching information on an illness. Without effective communication provision of a high standard of holistic care and support as well as performing safe clinical practice would not be able to happen.
When communicating with an individual their reactions may indicate different emotions or feelings so it is important to observe them. For instance if they where having a difficult or sensitive conversation, the physical effects of their strong emotion could include a change of pattern in their breathing, sweating, goose pimples, dry mouth feeling, pupils dilating and an increase of adrenaline. Clients may also show that they are becoming distressed by a change in their voice, a change in their facial expressions or overall body language and reddening of the neck. From observing these reaction you can respond to them appropriately to reduce their stress.
In order to communicate effectively it is important to find out an individual’s communication style and preferences so that if there are any differences in communication styles we can look at ways of overcoming them, perhaps with equipment, and ensure that we have the skills and ability to address these differences By doing this the client is able to communicate their needs and wishes and we can promote equality and diversity for the clients and give them the best possible care.
Communication methods include:
▪ Verbal – vocabulary, tone and pitch
▪ Non Verbal i.e. body language, behaviour, touch and eye contact ▪ Written - words, signs, symbols and drawings
▪ Mime and Gesture
▪ Electronic communication aids e.g. mobile phones, light writers and computers ▪ British Sign Language
▪ Unconventional – clients own interpretation of the world around them
3.1 & 3.2
Barriers to communication and how to reduce them include:
▪ Visual impairment. Use of touch (where appropriate), increased use of tone of voice as opposed to facial expression, ensure all that is normally visually communicated is transferred to a method that can be heard and use of Braille, tapes and computer programs ▪ Hearing impairment. Speaking slowly and clearly, removing any other distractions that cause a noise, positioning so that you face the person, allow person to lip read, make sure hearing aids are worn and fully functioning, use of sign language and use of flashcards or electronic note taker ▪ Language differences. Use of gestures, pointing to various objects, use of pictures or flashcards, use of a relevant language dictionary and through an interpreter. ▪ Cultural differences. Explore their culture so that you have an understanding of it, accept that they might have a different way of expressing themselves and try to reach a...
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