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Nonverbal Communication and Service Users

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Nonverbal Communication and Service Users
Be able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals

1. Find out an individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences.
2. Demonstrate communication methods that meet an individual’s communication needs, wishes and preferences.
3. Show how and when to seek advice about communication.

It is always important to find out about each individual’s particular communication and language needs, wishes and preferences.
Effective communication happens when the right method is used to send a message, so it can be received and understood. Health and social care practitioners need to know about a range of communication methods. They should also be skilled at identifying the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of the people with whom they work and interact.
Health and social care settings are used by people from a diverse range of backgrounds who will want to communicate in different ways. Finding out about each individual’s language needs, wishes and preferences is an important part of my role. I can do this by:
• asking people whether they or their relatives have particular language or communication needs
• reading reports and notes about service users that provide information on speech and language issues, learning difficulties, disabilities (e.g. hearing or visual impairment) or physical conditions (e.g. stroke, cleft palate) that may affect their ability to communicate
• being aware that an individual’s culture, ethnicity and nationality may affect their language preferences and needs
• observing the people who use my setting to see how they use their communication and language skills
• asking my supervisor/mentor, senior staff and specialist professionals such as speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and social workers for information, advice and support about how best to communicate with adults who have special communication needs.

Hearing impaired

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