Unit 1 Health and Social Care

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Sign language Pages: 65 (16213 words) Published: December 26, 2011

Developing effective communication in health and social care

LO1 Understand effective communication and interpersonal interaction in health and social care contexts of communication forms of communication interpersonal interaction communication and language needs and preferences

LO2 Understand factors that influence communication and interpersonal interaction in health and social care environments theories of communication environmental factors affecting communication barriers to communication


Developing effective communication in health and social care


LO3 Understand ways to overcome barriers in a health and social care environment

LO4 Be able to communicate and interact effectively in a health and social care environment one-to-one and group contexts of communication

communication and interpersonal interaction strategies aids to communication

verbal and non-verbal communication skills effectiveness


Contexts of communication in health and social care
Health and social care professionals have to develop effective communication skills in order to work with the diverse range of people who use and work within care services. The two contexts, or types of circumstances, in which communication and interaction occur are one-to-one and group contexts. Your assessment criteria: P1 Explain the role of effective communication and interpersonal interaction in a health and social care context

Effective communication is an important feature of care practice.


One-to-one communication
Who was your last one-to-one communication with? Did it follow the three phases of effective communication described on the left?

One-to-one communication occurs when one person speaks with or writes to another individual. This happens when a care professional meets with a person who has health worries or personal concerns, such as during a doctor–patient appointment for example. Lots of oneto-one communication also occurs when care professionals meet with and talk to each other or with the partners, relatives or friends of people receiving care. Communication in one-to-one situations is most effective when both parties are relaxed and are able to take turns at talking and listening. Effective communicators are good at: • beginning the one-to-one interaction with a friendly, relaxed greeting • focusing on the goal or ‘business’ of the interaction • ending the interaction in a supportive, positive way.

Key terms
Effective: something that works or achieves a desired result or goal Interaction: a two-way communication


Developing effective communication in health and social care


Reassuring service users Assessing service users’ needs Talking to relatives

Support or supervision sessions

One-to-one situations

Sending emails

Answering the telephone Sharing information with colleagues

Listening to others

Figure 1.1 Examples of one-to-one communication situations.

Effective communication and interaction play an important role in the work of all health and social care professionals. For example, care professionals need to be able to use a range of communication and interaction skills in order to: • work inclusively with people of different ages and diverse backgrounds • respond appropriately to the variety of care-related problems and individual needs of people who use care services • enable people to feel relaxed and secure enough to talk openly • establish trusting relationships with colleagues and people who use care services • ask sensitive and difficult questions, and obtain information about matters that might be very personal and sensitive • obtain clear, accurate information about a person’s problems, symptoms or concerns • give others information about care-related issues in a clear, confident and professionally competent way. If you have been to your doctors’ surgery lately, your GP or practice nurse may have used their communication...

References: Argyle, M. (1967) The Psychology of Interpersonal Behaviour, Penguin, Harmondsworth Bales, R.F. (1970) Personality and Interpersonal Behaviour, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York Burnard, P. (1992) Communicate! Edward Arnold, London Tuckman, B.W. (1965) ‘Developmental sequences in small groups’, Psychological Bulletin, 63, 384–99
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