Promoting Communication in Care Settings

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There are many different reason people need to communicate. People need to communicate to share information and knowledge and to ask for help from others. People also need to communicate to express wants and needs, give instructions and to develop social relationships. People also choose to communicate by giving encouragement to other and showing affection to service users especially in the health care profession. During working hours, you would need to be able to receive information from service users in order to be able to understand how to meet their wants and needs. In the health care setting it is also important to communicate with managers and co-workers and extended professionals in our field to ensure that the needs of the services users are met to standard and to by communicating and working as a team we will succeed in meeting the needs of the service users. Working with a high standard of communication we can be sure that better care is provided to our service users by communicating with them on a daily basis. We can also assure to improve on the care plans of the service users through communication through feedback. When working in the health care setting, we need communication to be able to give hand overs, action and care plans for service users and risk assessment on new service users. Communication is key in the health care setting, especially when handling management in the health care setting. Professions like social workers, probation officers and personal advisors all require very good communication skills. In the health care setting communication is key when informing or being informed of what the service users are doing and what they are studying on e.g. daily or monthly reports on the service users and independent progress reports and their living assessments. 

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Communication is vital when it comes to working as a team and making sure everyone has an understanding of their role and the services users’ needs and requirements and to also ensure all works and co-workers are on the same page. Affective communication is important in the adult care setting because we have to be able to give and receive information in the work setting. Affective communication will enable the service users to feel comfortable enough to confide in the workers, it is also useful if their friend or member of family has a question or any queries they wish to ask. Affective communication is important in case a colleague or team worker wishes to give me directions or instructions and any visiting professionals may want to take out an observation whilst I am doing work. Giving, receiving and passing on information will all help with making affective communication and affective working. People communicate to make and keep relationships, to ask questions, to give and receive information, to give guidance and advice, to offer choices, to give reassurance and emotional, physical and mental support, to give encouragement, to give motivation, to persuade, to show compassion, to give instructions, to show empathy and sympathy, to express ideas and feelings, to share experiences, to express a type of need or desire for something. Social interaction can consist of a conversation, a hug, writing written letters and emails. For some individual’s social communication can help with relieving stress and anxiety that’s been built up. 

Expressive communication can be used to verbalize and express the way a individual feels and what the individual wants and needs. For example sign language an example of expressive communication because when a individual uses sign language they use their body language and facial expressions to express what an individual wants and needs. Information is shared between individuals by using verbal or written communication to share and express ideas or to give help in the working place for example to give help when doing a task or to give medication in the work place to find out if the service user is due his or her medication. Supportive communication is given when advising or helping someone physically or emotionally e.g. if a service user has soiled themselves, they would need the help and support to bath and clean up hygienically. Another example is if a co-worker or resident has passed out on the floor and an ambulance was called, they would need reassurance so they know they are in safe hands and will be ok. 

The effects of poor communication in the health and social care work setting can cause mis understating and the needs of the service users to not be and can cause tasks to not be completed. Effective communication is a two-way process so both parties have to give off clear effective communication skills by sending a very clear and concise messege between the recipient and the responding party. Communication can be vocal, by emails and text messages, by hand written messages, telephone, sign language and interpreter. Clear communication is the important in the work setting. In order to work effectively with service users and to meet their needs and requirements it is essential to establish good relationships with the service users. Communication skills and relationships go hand in hand. Workers in the health care setting who have established good communication skills go on to have strong bonds and relationships with the service users and are able to meet their needs and requirements a lot better than if they did not have such good communication skills. This because relationships are influenced by facial expression, body language tone of voice and gestures. It is also influenced in the way others listen, talk to and see you interpret the communication that is how we naturally communicate. Communication can really affect the mood you present to people and in the work place. Positive communication can give a pleasant feeling in the work place and in hand the work place with run smoothly and effectively in the work environment in the health care setting. Positive communications skills will allow your team to come together and work effectively and happily in the work setting which in turn will create a healthy and positive atmosphere for the workers and the service users. If there was poor communication in the health and social care work setting the atmosphere would be unpleasant, all the work will seem like a bigger task, the needs of the service users may be delayed or not met and the workers would not work effectively in a team. Poor communication will also cause unnecessary extra stress on the workers and service users. Poor communication in some cases can also cause harm, depression or death to the service users. It is important that we find ways to effectively communicate with the service users in the work setting so that they feel comfortable and can adapt to change positively and effectively and to feel secure and comfortable enough to be parted from their loved ones knowing they are in good hands being looked after when in a care home. 

There are many ways to manage challenging situations in the health care setting. The first thing for managing challenging situations in the health care work setting would be to take a step back, take a deep breath and to put yourself on the other side in the other persons shoes so that you can effectively understand their situation. If you have someone that does not speak or understand English you could hire an interpreter so that you and the other person can understand each other through the interpreter by communicating to the interpreter so that the interpreter can relate it back. The best way to also manage a challenging situation in the health care setting is to negotiate well and come to a mutual agreement. The approach made towards the person is very important when managing challenging situations in the health and social care work setting for example, speak slowly and clearly, use a positive tone of voice, act calmly and do not rush the person, take a moment before approaching the situation, explain health care actions and show some dignity and respect to people at all times remembering they are people with needs and requirements that needs to be met appropriately and affectively. 

The three main factors there are in the health care industry is verbal communication, non-verbal communication and written communication. In the health care setting it is important to understand what to consider when promoting effective communication. It is important to ensure there is a suitable environment, for example heating, seating, the noise levels, temperature and lighting. If the environmental needs of a service user is not met that will make communication difficult. It is important to understand and consider the basic needs in health care for example if they are tired, feel ill, hungry, thirsty or need help going to the toilet. If the basic needs of a service user is not met they will feel uncomfortable and may not be open to participate in communication. It is important that the language needs of a service user is met for example if they cannot speak clear English or if they have a speech impediment, stutter or speak a native language you should take time to understand what they are trying to say, hire a interpreter to ensure everyone has a chance of being understood in communication. To communicate effetely the individuals should share a common spoken or written language so that they can be easily understood. Attitude is very important to consider in the health care setting especially when communicating with service users because if the service user feel your body language, way of speaking, tone of voice or attitude is offensive to them they will not be willing to communicate and become withdrawn to communication. The service users will not be willing to communicate if they feel that they are not being listened to and their views are not being understood or taken seriously. It is important to have empathy, sympathy, and a non-judgemental mindset and attitude and behaviour when communicating with the service users minimising misunderstanding and misinterpretations can conclude to effective communication in the health care setting. In verbal communication the biggest factors are language as some of the service users may have difficulties expressing themselves due to a speech impediment that they have or learning difficulties or disabilities. For example, dyslexia. They could also be from another country where English is not their first language. The next thing to consider would be if the service users or workers have any form of disability for example visually impaired, mute, sever dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease. It is also important to consider amputees, mobility issues or a deteriorating disease. These are all also important to challenging issues and all these matters should be taken into consideration when making effective communication with workers and service users as all these things will establish how to do so effectively. 

In the health and social care industry we help many people that come from different backgrounds and have different ethnicities. The first way in which communication is interpreted differently in the health and social care industry is through language of speech. When giving help to a person that is from a different country where English was not practiced as their first language, they may not understand the words that are being used when trying to communicate with them verbally and they may not understand certain expressions or sounds weather that is facial expressions or physical gestures. The service user or worker may take what I have said to them and misinterpret it or plainer matter just not understand what was said to them. Another way an individual may misinterpret communication differently is through eye contact, body language and body gestures. An individual that is from a different culture may not be used to making eye contact because they may not practise that in their culture. Many Asian cultures do not practise eye contact and may find it offensive because in their culture it is not respectful to make eye contact with someone who is of more high authority than they are, whereas in the England and Wales it is respectful to maintain good eye contact with the individual you are communicating with. The same applies to body language, in some cultures it is known to be disrespectful to make physical contact between male and female and sometimes this can be due to cultural upbringing or religious beliefs for example in Christianity it is disrespectful to have a physical relationship contact between male and female before marriage. 

The many forms of communication are, verbal communication, body language, eye contact, han gestures and the tone of voice. Although there are so many ways to communicate there will also be many barriers that will need to be overcome when working in the health care industry. The most important is spoken language, this would be an individual e.g. a co-worker or service user that does not speak the same English language as you do. The reason this situation would then become a barrier is because the team member or service user is unable to understand what the other individual is trying to say and this will lead to inadequate care. The next thing to consider would be Body language, hand gestures, tone of voice and eye contact. These things can be interpreted in different countries and cultures. Something that is considered respectful within the UK may be considered as disrespectful to someone who comes from a different country and has been bought up in a different cultural background. A misunderstanding of these things can lead to miscommunications or unintentional disrespect and insult which can also then include a breakdown with co-workers or stress caused unnecessarily to service users. The last to consider would be co-workers or service users that suffer from a disability. For example, blindness, deafness, mute disorder, autism, dementia, multiple sclerosis and other disabilities affect ways in which how we understand, interpret and communicate effectively. All these are all forms that create barriers to effective and successful communication. 

There are numerous ways in which communication can be used to create different solutions for a range of situations. In a complicated or sensitive situation as simple as it may be listening could have a big effect in an outcome. Lack of listening will have a negative affect and more listening will have a positive effect. Patients and individuals need to be able to know when they are being heard and understood when communicating to ensure the massage is delivered through effectively and then can be assured that they are being related to properly. If a service user was encountering a form of abuse for example physical or emotional abuse, they may not have the confidence or find it easy to confide in someone for help advice and they may find it difficult to verbalise what they are trying to say so writing would be a more private and confidential way of handling the matter. The environment you are in should also be taken into consideration, for example it should be confidential. 

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