The Barriers to Effective Listening and Attending for Communication

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Within this assignment the author will be talking about confidentiality within healthcare. They will be discussing the different responsibilities for healthcare workers for confidentiality, the author will then go on to talk about the role of the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication in healthcare workers. The author will explain the barriers to effective listening and attending for communication. The author will talk about the differences between passive and active listening in communication within healthcare. 

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Everyone has the right to their privacy and confidentiality of personal details and medical information. It is something that should be protected. Only authorised personnel should see this information but only with the person’s permission. Health care settings have a legal framework and legislations they must follow. These are set by the government, and the setting would have policies and procedures in place for the protection of information. There are various legislations in place in the United Kingdom for confidentiality as stated above the main one is Data Protection Act 1998; this act is in place to protect the individual’s personal information; it is against the law not to follow the guidelines set in legislation. The company or organisation should give all employees the training needed to understand about confidentially and how it protects people’s details.

 This in place means the personnel who has the information must keep it secure, protected and have full responsibility for the information, so that, not everyone, can see it or have access to it. Whether it is in a care home, hospital or doctor’s surgery all the personal data they have been provided with must be secured in the correct matter. Information that is considered private and personal to the person is the patient’s name, date of birth, address, telephone number, NHS number, next of kin and medical history. This information should be stored in the correct way. This can be if stored on a computer having secure password and only authorised personnel having access to it. If the information is on paper, it should be stored behind a locked door, either key coded or locked with the key holder being responsible for keeping the door always locked, if the information is stored in a filing cabinet this should also be locked. Personal information should not be left unattended, unlocked or letting anyone have access to the data. People with responsibility should behave in the correct matter by not discussing personal matters or details with anyone, this can be discussing information outside of the workplace such as at home or in a public place this is against the law and information could easing be heard by others who shouldn’t have heard this information if this happens to the person, they will lose trust and be very reluctant to share any further information. It can also mean the person who linked information could have broken the legislation and means criminal charges could be bought against them.

 Many things that affect our ability to listen to any sort of communication whether it is verbal or non-verbal. The environment around people talking affects their ability to listen. This can be detraction such as background noise often the television, others talking, radio. The lighting and setting can affect communication between people and if the person they are talking to are not listening, they could be looking at their phone, television, computer screen and maybe listening to others talk. This is a form of not actively listening, without eye contract, the correct body language can Indicate if the person is actively listening. Other barriers that can affect communication can be an illness although with illnesses their ways of communicating such as sign language, picture cards, braille, lip reading, music therapy and hand signals. However, some illnesses affect the ability for the person to communicate. These are deafness, blindness, deaf blindness, dementia, brain injury, a stammer, cleft palate, stroke, autism, cancer, mental and learning disorders. These illnesses can not only affect the person’s ability to understand what is being communicated with them such as speaking or writing words they find it hard to communicate back with their needs or basic conversation.

 The illnesses and language barrier can affect communication, but it is very important not to treat them any differently, being patience by giving them chance to communicate back to you, responding back to them to show you have understood them, taking away any distractions, sitting down by them or kneeling next to them, keeping eye contract and finding a method that would help them to understand and communicate to the best of their ability. Considering the tone of your voice and how fast you speak can also help when speaking to the person. By trying, remove the barrier or limiting them this is lowering the risk of miscommunication, frustration, stress and can affect their mental wellbeing. Which may mean they don’t want to communicate at all and become depressed. 

There are professionals that can help with communication such as speech and language therapy, Sense a charity for the deaf and blind.

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