1. Identify the different reasons why people communicate (1.1.1) People communicate to build relationships, convey their needs to one another, share their ideas, express their feelings and socialise in pairs or larger groups.
2. Explain how communication affects relationships in an adult social care setting (1.1.2) As an adult care worker, communication is vital to meet the needs and requirements of the service user. If good communication is not formed, then the health and safety of the service user is at risk. Communication also forms trust, not only between the service user but also my fellow care worker/s. Communications between staff allow a good handover to take place between shifts and by using a communications book, any issues of health & safety can be discussed without all staff members being present.
3. Compare ways to establish the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of an individual (2.2.1) In many cases, just by talking in English to the individual, communication can be established to determine their wishes, needs & preferences. If this is not possible, the individual should have a care/support plan or notes; this will hopefully outline any special communication needs that individual may require. For example: a person who is either deaf or of impaired hearing, may need to be spoken to louder and clearer whilst your lips are in full view for them to read, alternatively hand gestures or sign language may be required. I fully understand though that in some cases it may be impossible for me to communicate between the service user and that I may need assistance.
4. Describe the factors to consider when promoting effective communication (2.2.2) There are a number of factors that need to be considered to promote effective communication: Verbal Communication; not everyone speaks my native tongue and therefore may not have my vocabulary and I may need to communicate with individuals that have learning difficulties; I therefore have to consider this when communicating and be sure not to use words that could be difficult to understand. I must also be considerate enough to not sound patronising to adults by speaking to slowly and to use the correct tone and pitch in my voice. Non-Verbal Communication; non-verbal communication is said to account for up to 93% of all daily communication, this leaves only 7% for words.
This clearly shows that non-verbal communication is very important to get right. Examples are; eyes, by talking to someone and (mostly) maintaining eye-contact conveys your intent of care and interest in that persons words and also affirms a solid foundation for trust. Body language can be communicated either consciously or non-consciously and can greatly affect the message or information to be shared between one or many people. There are times in my role when a simple hand on the shoulder has been enough to reassure that person that they are being listened to and understood. Writing a note or using an object can also help with establishing effective communication in a non-verbal way
5. Describe a range of communication methods and styles to meet individual needs (2.2.3) We have the use of our five senses to communicate and receive information with:
Visual – seeing
Auditory – hearing
Olfactory – smelling
Kinaesthetic – feeling
Gustatory – tasting
6. Explain why it is important to respond to an individual’s reactions when communicating (2.2.4) Once communication is established, the dialogue of that conversation is usually determined by either signs of non-verbal or verbal reactions; it is essential that these are responded to in a correct and timely manner, or the risk of miscommunication is increased and the original intention or needs (which triggered the communication) may be lost and could potentially be dangerous to the health and safety of the individual, yourself or others around you.
7. Explain how individuals from different backgrounds may use, or interpret communication methods in different ways (3.3.1) Communication methods can vary between people from different backgrounds and it can, in some instances, be very hard to avoid misunderstandings. There are beliefs and opinions that need to be respected and understood, whether they are from a religious or cultural viewpoint – these factors can greatly affect the effectiveness of the communication between them. Some individuals may be used to very strong non-verbal communication by way of e.g. hand gestures, as opposed to another who may be distracted and feel threatened by such means. Personality has a big influence on the method of someone’s communication, it is up to both individuals to adapt to each other in order to share information correctly.
8. Identify barriers to effective communication (3.3.2)
As previously mentioned, Religion and cultural belief can be a barrier between two parties willing to communicate, there is also: Prejudice; in those beliefs, some of which you may not share but mustn’t let that be a prejudgement before communication. Different or strong accent; If you don’t understand what is being said to you (or what you are telling), it is imperative that you do not be embarrassed (or offended) in asking for the information to be repeated. Health & (or) mental issues; e.g. Aspergers, the individual may lack the necessary non-verbal communication skills and will therefore will require patience on your part. Noise; your hearing may be better than theirs and is not affected by any background noise such as a television. Specialist communication methods; Do you have the necessary skills for effective communication e.g. sign language? Sensory impairment; Is the individual deaf, blind or both?
Emotions; Is this person too stressed to discuss something that is important?
9. Explain how to overcome barriers to communication (3.3.3)
It is part of our job to identify these barriers and open up a good line of effective communication that serves the best interests of the service user. We can also call upon the services of others to aid in the communication e.g. an Interpreter. There is also much research I can do which may include speaking to the family or professionals that are already familiar with that individual and may offer valuable information on how best to communicate. We can also use communication strategies and personal support plans as well as educating ourselves through training to gain new skills.
10. Describe strategies that can be used to clarify misunderstandings (3.3.4) Should a misunderstanding occur, I should not give up, but attempt to rectify it and ensure that the individual does understand, this can be done by e.g. Giving that person some time to calm down and then later on communicate it in a different or easier way, being careful to explain it fully and simpler.
11. Explain how to access extra support or services to enable individuals to communicate effectively (3.3.5) There will be times when extra support is needed because you either lack the necessary skills or you cannot communicate or provide the information directly to the individual that serves them in the best possible way. There are many specialist organisations for a whole host of needs and requirements. You should, if asked, obtain this information for use by either yourself or the service user and make it easily accessible.
12. Explain the meaning of the term ‘confidentiality’ (4.4.1) Confidentiality is a set of rules built upon trust to abide by pertaining to the wishes and needs of others under your care. The information must be kept private with restrictions in place when required.
13. Describe ways to maintain confidentiality in day-to-day communication (4.4.2) ‘Confidentiality’ can be maintained by remaining aware and conscious of the information you share or discuss. Examples of this are:
Information should only be discussed with the permission of the individual and not spoken about out of work, especially social media platforms e.g. Facebook. Any documentation needs to be filed securely and inaccessible to others. Your voice should be kept to a minimum when discussing (with permission) in a public environment (e.g. Hospital) the information of a service user to another person.
14. Describe the potential tension between maintaining an individual’s confidentiality and disclosing concerns to agreed others (4.4.3) In my role as a support worker I may encounter a situation where the matter of confidentiality has to be weighed up against the welfare of the individual in question. In these instances confidentiality has to be broken to meet my obligations and duty of care in reporting to the correct and relevant authorities e.g. safeguarding; this has the potential for tension but for the greater good, must be adhered to.
15. Explain how and when to seek advice about confidentiality (4.4.4) I can seek advice through my peers, management personnel or a professional advice line and this must always be done as soon as possible to ensure the immediate safety of the service user.
Once you have completed, your Learning Advisor will be able to cross reference all knowledge into Unit 4222-301 of the diploma