Promote communication in health, social care: Why it is important

Learning outcomes:

Outcome 1

Understand why effective communication is important in the work setting

1.1 Identify the different reasons people communicate.

The main reason we communicate is because we want or require something.

This may be for comfort: We may require something for our comfort in the form of food or drink, keeping warm or cool, the use of the toilet, bathing etc. or emotional comfort. Exchange of information: We may need to give or receive information about ourselves and the choices we may need to make.

Expression of our emotions: We communicate our emotions so that the people around us know how we feel and how to support us whether we are happy, sad or scared.

Communication may be verbal, non-verbal, formal or informal. All communication should remain confidential on a need to know basis whatever the type of communication that has taken place.

1.2 Explain how communication affects relationships in the work setting.

Communication plays a vital role in the care of an individual.

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I need to know what I am required to do at each service user’s call. This information is communicated to me in a variety of different ways. The service user may tell me, it is written in the care plan and in the assessment when a package is taken on. I may speak to family members or be left notes by family or other carers. If a service user is unable to communicate verbally they may gesture to me to let me know what they need or how they feel.

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Effective communication helps to build a trusting relationship which allows care to be successful.

Communication between carers is very important as we need to make sure that care is continuous and we work as a team. Discussions about how a service user likes their care, how difficulties can be overcome, safeguarding and general tips can and should take place via the appropriate forum. Without this communication the care team cannot function at its best. A good working relationship with open communication will lead to a good level of care for our service users.

Communication from line managers is vital for me to carry out my role well. I need to be aware of situations that have occurred and the outcomes so that I can give the best care possible to my service users. As a senior carer I also need to be able to communicate well with my team of care workers. If information is not passed on this can lead to failures in the care we provide.

Outcome 2 Be able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals.

2.1 Demonstrate how to establish the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals.

2.2 Describe the factors to consider when promoting effective communication. I need to be clear of the subject that I am communication. I need to know the person has the ability to understand what I need to communicate I need to know if I need someone to interpret for me.
Is there any way that I need to adapt my communication for the individual I need the environment to be suitable
Does the individual need someone with them for support?
I need to actively listen to what the individual is communicating to me.

2.3 Demonstrate a range of communication methods and styles to meet individual needs.

2.4 Demonstrate how to respond to an individual’s reactions when communicating.

Read more: Strategies That Can Be Used to Clarify Misunderstandings

Outcome 3 Be able to overcome barriers to communication 3.1 Explain how people from different backgrounds may use and/or interpret communication methods in different ways. There are a few different ways that differences in background can affect communication. Different cultures have different views of acceptable behaviour regarding verbal and non-verbal communication for example eye-contact, distance between individuals communicating or patterns of formal conversation. In some cultures a woman should not speak unless spoken to. Different cultures also show different levels of emotion in their conversation or discussions. I some cases some cultures seem to get very emotional whereas some are encouraged not to show emotion. Language differences between cultures can cause problems.

Words that are similar or even the same may have different connotations to different cultures. For example it is unacceptable for certain words to be used by certain people but fine for others to se them. Differences in body language and gestures can cause problems. For example in some cultures the nod of the head actually means no and a shake means yes. These differences mean that we need to research the cultures of the people we work with to promote effective communication.

3.2 Identify barriers to effective communication.

Differences in languages, cultures and dialects including slang and jargon. Hearing or visual impairment.
Relationship between those communicating.
Generation difference.
Physical environment e.g. noise levels, light levels and distance between those communicating. Emotion or distress.
Mental health problems.
The pace of communication.
Learning disabilities.

3.3 Demonstrate ways to overcome barriers to communication.

3.4 Demonstrate strategies that can be used to clarify misunderstandings.

3.5 Explain how to access extra support or services to enable individuals to communicate effectively. If I come across a difficulty in communication I would consult my line manager for advice. Depending on the barriers to communication I could always contact the service user’s doctor or talk to the local authority about support services that are available.

Outcome 4 Be able to apply principles and practices relating to confidentiality

4.1 Explain the meaning of the term confidentiality.

‘Confidentiality is a set of rules that limits access or places restrictions on certain types of information’. Confidentiality relates to the duty to maintain confidence and respect a person’s privacy. I have a duty to keep any information given to me by a service user on a need to know basis. The service user’s personal information that they share with me should not be shared by myself unless it is in the interest of the service user for me to share with an appropriate professional or person with a proven need to know. There are a number of legislations which cover confidentiality within care work.

4.2 Demonstrate ways to maintain confidentiality in day to day communication.

4.3 Describe the potential tension between maintaining an individual’s confidentiality and disclosing concerns. Care work is all about supporting an individual’s choices and allowing them to live their life as independently as they can, but, our duty of care sometimes interferes with this if their choices mean that they are in harm’s way or suffer a loss. If we suspect a service user is in harm’s way, suffering abuse or that they could cause harm to another person we need to disclose this information to those who are in a position to help. If we do disclose confidential information the individual needs to know why we need to share the information and that we are obliged to do this. Policies and procedures we are given to follow help us to understand what we should and should not disclose about someone in our care.

Updated: Jul 06, 2022
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Promote communication in health, social care: Why it is important. (2016, Apr 26). Retrieved from

Promote communication in health, social care: Why it is important essay
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