1.1 Review the range of groups and individuals whose communication needs must be addressed in own job role
“Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter.” — Gilbert Amelio
President and CEO of National Semiconductor Corp.
The above statement makes a huge impact, and in the role as manager this is so true. Communication both professionally and personally starts with considerate, open and honest foundations. My team includes over 50 staff members without including the many visitors, and members of the multidisciplinary team.
Everyone is different and should be treated individually; you learn very quickly people’s individual communication styles. You are dealing with a wide range of personalities and abilities and your own communication style has to deliver to a diverse group with differing skill sets, and communication abilities.
My level of communication within my job role is of extreme importance with regards to the client who should be at the heart of all communication around any establishment or company. Dealing with people with hearing impairments, disabilities, cerebral palsy to name a few, it is essential my communication is clear and not lengthy.
Effective communication is what enables all the different departments to work well within the organization including liaising with external agencies and individuals such as the CQC, Social Services, Continuing Health Care, Hospices and health professionals.
It is also essential that whatever the form of communication, be it written, electronic, organizational, promotional, verbal, non-verbal, confidentiality is maintained.
As a manager in a care centre the groups and individuals I work with are varied and can range from clients with disabilities that effect many senses from hearing loss to those with sight loss or impairment. Plus the different members of the multi disciplinary team.
Clients who are profoundly deaf may have the ability to sign or those with partial loss all need support to ensure they can be understood and they can communicate to the best of their ability.
Key statistics state from Access Economics states that over two million people in the UK are living with sight loss and as we age we are increasingly likely to experience sight loss.
Projected statistics of Dementia show there will be over one million people by 2021 and this effects peoples short and sometimes long term memory, speech, orientation, and general well being. We have clients that are borderline and able to stay with us because we can meet their needs. Dementia training is undertaking by all staff to increase the awareness and ability of everyone within the centre to support these individuals.
Also in my care I have individuals with Parkinson’s, clients with Multiple Sclerosis, so it is a broad, challenging and extremely rewarding position when you see things ultimately manifest into cohesive functionality.
1.2 Explain how to support effective communication within own job role Within my role this is done by establishing the appropriate level of support and my role is to empower and promote the individuals rights. One of my observations during my time at work on the following criteria with relevant evidence as feedback from my assessor involved running a meeting with staff from all departments. Everyone has the right to communicate in which ever way is better for them and this is highlighted under the Human Rights Act 1998 which points out the freedom of expression and everyone should having the right to communicate.
It is also part of my responsibility to see that the needs and preferences are assessed correctly and a benchmark can be established so we can see what level of support is required. This is done through completing documentation and making thorough assessments and continual monitoring. Any alterations are recorded and reviews and changes are highlighted to the team.
There are always key elements to assessments and reviews, including the family and friends. Everyone has a responsibility to support individuals and bearing in mind ‘need to know’ information. The aim being able to achieve the highest goal to maintain effective open channels for everyone.
In my role partnerships with:
• Family and friends • Care Staff • GP’s • Nutritionalists • Speech Therapists • Social Workers • Physiotherapists • Consultants • Other Nursing Home Managers • Central Office
All the above are people I may work with in order to gain information, which supports me in my role in making the best decisions and judgments’. Everyone needs educating and supporting including myself when looking at the individuals preferred method of communication, and everyone in the above list can give valid input in assessing for example swallowing by the speech therapists. This can include communication with the RN, GP for referral, to speaking with the catering chef and carers. By doing this with effective communication and documenting accurately we can ensure that everyone’s input is maximized and as well as being written and passed on verbally it is put into practice. This results in the clients personalized care needs being met fully and that best practice is recognized and understood by all individuals. Best Practice may require looking at staff training and that as a centre we have access to any specialist information, which may be through central office or outside sources. Training underpins knowledge and is the cornerstone to maintaining exceptional standards.
1.3 Analyse the barriers and challenges to communication within own job role. We hear it said ad ver batum, effective open honest communication is fundamental like breathing. It is a skill and when people communicate well it is a reflection of how smoothly things operate. Communicating in an appropriate and
Communication is key. Appropriate, open, honest, practical, down to earth and accurate are words which can be associated with effective communication. There are barriers and challenges, which we will look at. A barrier is something which blocks and there can be many in the realms of communication. Anything that interrupts the flow. One thing can be the language used. Eradicating abbreviations, and avoiding corporate or professional jargon makes everything simpler.
Physical Barriers: Possibly the environment, such as loud tvs can have a distracting effect. Temperature, lighting and how people are located, either close to each other. People may be in different locations as we have with central office. Failure of management to cascade information. Failure of technological equipment.
Physiological/Emotional Barriers: Personal difficulties can effect concentration, clients with lack of understanding, or memory loss due to their condition. This could also include poor eyesight or hearing difficulties
Poor Understanding and language differences: Different nationalities and cultural differences, understanding accents and sayings can be amusing or an ambiguity of words and meanings but again a barrier for everyone. Misinterpretation of body language could have an impact.
Attitudes within an organization: This can be because of poor management, weak leadership. People refusing to communicate if they feel a lack of motivation or unhappy with work. General resistance to change can be another factor and lack of understanding about a subject or material. Is the content difficult an complex to understand.
Values and Beliefs: Everyones values and beliefs can create underlying barriers often without people realizing which results in different responses to how something is dealt with.
Use of Power, Corporate Bullying and Aggressiveness: These can lead to potential barriers because people do not function naturally or work to the best of their abilty
Any of the above can result in the failure of communication or in a result, which was not wanted. The audience has to be considered and ultimately it is my role to act immediately to ensure barriers are overcome.
1.4 Implement a strategy to overcome communication barriers By assessing the situation, and implementing a plan initially we can quickly establish what needs to be done. By doing this we can see any barriers, which may arise. When dealing with a client a plan of care will identify the problems and what they would like to achieve. By working with everyone within the multidisciplinary team appropriate assessments with Speech Therapists for example can arrange the necessary aids, training if necessary for staff to understand food consistencies, how the client is to be seated and that they are mindful of the clients needs. Working with all professionals, interpreters, audiologists, GP’s etc, as a manager ensuring staff are adequately trained in all areas and mandatory training is up to date can eradicate many issues.
1.5 Use different means of communication to meet different needs Verbal, non verbal signing, signage, flip charts, pictures, Ipads, audio books, hearing aids, hearing loops, telephone amplifiers. Just a few of the many different ways we use to communicate within the care centre and not forgetting touch. A small gesture such as touch can go a long way and make a huge impression. Verbally I have communications with many people from the clients, staff, families, G.P’s etc and I have used an interpreter and translator for an Italian lady who was being assessed. Some research say the level of non verbal communication is as high as 80 %. There is so much we communicate through our body language, and we show how much we are engaged in communication by showing interest through our expressions. Flip charts and with new smaller technology such as IPads are a fantastic way to assist clients. Obviously hearing aids, and even the smart phones are voice activated and we have one client who loves the voice aid on the Iphone. We can see that we have a huge range and different ways of communicating. Essentially communication comes down to each individuals understanding and how we can best achieve that and making it personalized to each client.