In this essay, I will be evaluating how effective strategies are in supporting service users within the health and social care sector. The use of human aids requires a lot of training and knowledge. However human aids make it easier to communicate and create a better understanding. Advantages of advocates is that they are able to help communicate on behalf of service users who can’t do so themselves. They also try to understand service users and would try and assist them in dealing with their difficulties. An example would be a disabled child who is unable to communicate his/her needs, however an advocator would understand what the child wants and speak on his/her behalf. Advocates can make a big difference to a service user’s life. This would include disabled children or young people who have been victims of abuse or neglect and those who are unable to make decisions regarding their lives or not having any say in what should happen to them.
An advocate can have a great impact in a service user’s life, by supporting them and trying to understand their wishes and views and communicating this. Advocates would improve a service user’s confidence and self-esteem. It improves the chance for children to speak out about abuse and neglect. An advocate helps service users want to give more of their opinion. Advocates can improve service users’ quality of life, through establishing a service user’s likes and dislikes, which in turn, contributes to improving their lives for the better. With the help of advocates, hidden problems can be revealed due to the development of the advocate’s relationship with the service user, as service users are more likely to raise more issues. Disadvantages of advocates are that they might sometimes find it difficult to understand what service users might be trying to suggest. So advocates can assume things and it might be the wrong information, thus leaving service users unhappy.
It also takes a very long time to have the skills and experience to be an advocate. To have a service user tell an advocate their problem, the advocate would need to earn the service user’s trust. Moreover, earning a person’s trust takes a really long time. The time taken for an advocate to understand a service user could take a while, so sometimes advocates wouldn’t have enough time to spend with the service users. In my opinion, advocates are really helpful and would benefit service users, because there are more advantages to them than disadvantages. Other examples of human aid are interpreters, translators and signers. Their advantages are their ability to communicate from a variety of different languages. Signers can interpret messages in non-verbal communication. Signers are used to help interpret messages for those who are deaf or mute. For example a service user who is mute, a signer can be used to help communicate with the service user. This is likely to improve the service user social interactions give them more confident. It
allows service users not feel alone, just because they are unable to communicate verbally. An advantage of a human translator is that they would use the most relevant and appropriate words to try and convey what is being suggested. Human translators would understand the language in which they are translating and are likely to understand the language slangs. For example a service user who speaks another language, an human translator can be provide to translate for she is saying, so staff can provide her needs and wants. Human interpreters, translators and signers are also fast at communicating when they need to due to their experience. Translators can also provide the meaning of certain words that might be complicated and express this in simpler terms and sometimes in another language understandable to the service user.
Disadvantages of the above services are that interpreters and translators can make mistakes, therefore causing a breakdown in the communication cycle. In addition, human translators do not always remember certain words or how to describe the word. They might look it up in a dictionary, which takes time, or they could assume or guess what a word may mean. Another strategy used to overcome communication barriers and that helps support service users are Technological aids. Hearing aids are used for service users who are suffering from hearing loss or simply just have difficulties hearing in general. The advantages of hearing aids are that it increases the volume of sounds. The size of the hearing aid makes it easier for service users to handle and adjust, and it holds more features. Hearing aids fill the ear with sounds. They have a longer battery life, meaning battery wouldn’t need changing much frequently. Hearing aids also balance the level of sounds in both ears.
Hearing aids emphasise voices and pronunciations, thus making it easier to understand people. For example a service user who finds it difficult to hear, and ask things to be repeated to her several times should be provided a hearing aid. This allows the service user to hear affectively, and it makes easier for the service user to communicate with other service users. The disadvantages of hearing aids is that they are very expensive, making it harder for service users to purchase one.
If the wrong type of hearing aid is chosen, the custom wouldn’t fit properly and in turn, may be uncomfortable for the service user. Another strategy that can be used to support service user’s, is staff training. Staff training is useful to overcome barriers. The advantage of staff training is that, it improves the quality of the staff communication and interaction with service users. It’s important for staff to learn how to communicate with service users who might have communication difficulties, such as those service users with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Staff training is also used to maintain the improvement of service user’s lives and ways of making it even better. Staff training helps improve staffs knowledge and understanding, on issues they could face when working with service users. For example staff training can lead to the improvement in service user’s quality of life and well-being. This could include staffs listening to the service users’ needs and wants, and the staff providing this for them. This could make service users happier and would feel wanted and important. Staff training improves the staff confidence and well-being. Staff would be more confidence after training, knowing if a situation does occur they would know to handle it. Staff would be more optimistic when handling service users. Without staff training it would be hard for staff to establish relationships with service users.
Staff would find it harder to listen or have patience when attending to the service user. Some staff training doesn’t go into much information about non-verbal communication from staff towards service users. Example would be staff body language, facial expression and eyes contact. Service users can detect or know that staff doesn’t want to care for them, due to the staff’s facial expression or body language. This would make the service users feel unwanted and unimportant. Another strategy that can be used to support service users is the important for staff to be aware of service user’s body language. If staff understands service users non-verbal communication signals could make staff job easier.
For when knowing if service users are troubled and wants to be left alone, staff can give the service user space too calm down. The reason is staff can make it worst trying to get the service user to talk. If the service user does calm down a staff can then try to understand the source of the problem. However this can lead to a negative aspect, staff would need to be careful about making assuming about service users feeling a certain way due to their facial expression. The staff could be wrong and confronting the service user could leave them confused and could leave the service user feeling missed placed.