Communication in Health and Social Care

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Sign language Pages: 25 (6729 words) Published: July 30, 2013
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Unit outline

Communication in health and social care

Care workers require effective communication skills in order to work with the diverse range of people they meet in health and social care settings. This unit will introduce you to: different forms of communication factors that affect communication in care settings ways of overcoming barriers to effective communication. You will have the opportunity to observe and discuss the communication skills of others and to practise and refine your own communication skills.

Learning outcomes

1 Know different forms of communication. 2 Understand barriers to effective communication. 3 Be able to communicate effectively.

Grading guide
To achieve a pass, you must show you can:
P1 Identify different forms of communication P2 Explain barriers to effective communication within a health and social care environment P3 Take part in an effective one-to-one interaction P4 Take part in an effective group interaction M2 Describe the barriers to effective communication in your two interactions D1 Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your two interactions

To achieve a merit, you must show you can:
M1 Describe different forms of communication

To achieve a distinction, you must show you can:

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Topic 1.1

Forms of communication
Getting started
This topic introduces you to the forms of communication used by health and social care workers and the contexts in which they are used. When you have completed this topic, you should: ■ be able to describe and explain the communication cycle ■ know about one-to-one, group, formal and informal communication in health and social care settings ■ be able to describe a range of different forms of communication used by health and social care workers.

Key terms
Decode: make sense of the information contained in a message Empathy: understanding and entering into another person’s feelings Formal communication: official or correct forms of communication Informal communication: doesn’t stick to the formal rules of communication (e.g. a casual, relaxed conversation, written note or text message) Makaton: a system of communication using simple hand signs, which is used by people with language and learning difficulties Non-verbal communication: forms of communication that do not use words (e.g. body language) Objects of reference: objects that have a particular meaning for a person (e.g. a special ring or ornament) Symbol: an item or image that is used to represent something else Verbal communication: forms of communication that use words (e.g. conversation)

The communication cycle
Communication is about making contact with others and being understood. It involves people sending and receiving ‘messages’. We all communicate, or ‘send messages’, continuously. Figure 1.1 describes the communication cycle. It shows that a communication cycle occurs when: 1. A person has an idea. 2. They code their ‘message’ (using words or non-verbal means). 3. They send their message to someone else (e.g. by speaking). 4. A second person then receives the message (e.g. by hearing what has been said or by noticing non-verbal communication). 5. The second person decodes the message. 6. The message is understood. Message 6 understood Message decoded 5 Message received 4 2 Message coded

1 Idea occurs

Message 3 sent

Figure 1.1 The communication cycle

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1 Communication in health and social care

Once the original message has been understood, the cycle will be repeated if the second person replies or responds. Repetitions of the communication cycle are an essential part of our relationships, and occur every time we have a conversation.

Case study
Charlie is 2 years of age. He enjoys helping his mum in the kitchen when she is making a meal. When she says, ‘Can I get some fruit for you Charlie?’, he puts his arms in the air, says ‘me, me’ and smiles at her. His mum responds by picking him up and saying, ‘Okay, you take something...
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