Often when we communicate there is always an overall power within that communication. The speaker may create the status of ring leader. This power throughout communication may be seen as a strength, as they are leading the conversation, however this power may be perceived negatively. The recipient in the conversation may feel small and belittled as there is no chance for them to talk, this may therefore cause communication to be less effective. In health and social care both the care provider and patients have power. The patient would have power over final decisions that need to be made concerning their care, however the care provider would have power over the level of care given. This balance of power should always be shared positively. Power throughout communication plays an important role. The care giver should always take the lead. It is important for the patient to have their say on any decisions that may be made, however if the care provider feels they are making the wrong decision they should use their all their power of medical intelligence to persuade the patient to make the right decision.
Abuse of power may be seen in the workplace. As an example a care worker may be the subject of abuse) by senior management. The senior management may think that the care worker won’t tell anyone due to his or her higher status. This would be an abuse of power on their behalf as they are using their higher level of management to intimidate. This care workers communication throughout the job may also suffer due to their being in a vulnerable state. A strategy that may help any use and abuse of power being stopped may be to promote individual rights within the workplace. This could help to ensure everyone is clear of what help they could have. Putting staff in touch with trade unions may also help. In relation to the above-mentioned case study, an abused care worker might apply the strategy of speaking to someone in higher management.
If the care worker did not feel comfortable doing this, another idea might be to report it to a complaint company or the police. Reporting to higher management may be seen as a positive or a negative. The positive to this strategy is that fast action could take place to ensure the problem is resolved. However the negative could be that the situation isn’t kept private as each different manger might have to discuss it, this may in turn cause the care worker to feel embarrassed and unsafe. In conclusion I feel the use and abuse of power is a key consideration for the care worker and one that will certainly need to be applied strategically. The use of various strategies to meet various situations will create an image of the personality of the care worker in the eyes of their patient.
The final factor which effects effective communication would be the use of alcohol and drugs. When having to care for persons under the influence of these substances the lack communication will become a great struggle and may cause great difficulties. A case study example could be in an A and E unit. If the carer is dealing with a person under the influence they would have to be very patient. The person receiving the care may be angry, the best way to defuse this anger is to make sure the person has enough space, if they feel overcrowded this may make them more angry as they are unaware of what is going on. As a carer you would ensure yourself to talk slowly, you may also find that you have to often repeat yourself. While communicating with someone who has drank or taken substances they may either be quiet and be struggling to talk or they may say things that don’t make any sense. As a carer you would try to make them understand where they are and what is going on.
Reassuring may gain trust as they know you are only trying to help. If a carer had to undertake a procedure while the patient was under the influence communication would be key. Making sure the person understands what is happening and why is very important. If the person cooperates this will make the procedure a lot easier however there could be a possibility that the person may decide half way through the procedure that they no longer want it or as the drugs or alcohol are wearing off they may feel more confused. Confusion could cause the patient to become angry against the person who is caring for them. Their only defence mechanism they may feel they have to defend their- selves may be to act physically against the carer. To help ensure this does not happen communication throughout the whole process is vital.
However if the patient still reacts angrily having another carer there should ensure more safety. By making the patient aware of their surroundings could bring both negatives and positives. The positive side to this is the patient is aware of where they are, this may help by them being more comparative in any procedures that may need to take place. However this action could also be looked at negatively by telling the patient about their surroundings might make them not want to be there this may cause their cooperation to be poor. Receiving effective communication with a persons under the influence of drink and drugs can be proven difficult however talking slowly and using appropriate strategies should ensure the communication is as effective as possible.