Health and Social Care- Communication

Explain the role of effective communication and interpersonal interaction in a health and social care context.

The role of effective communication is very important in a health and social care unit as, without it, it will be very hard to communicate with the clients. But also communication is the process of sharing information, thoughts and feelings between people through speaking, writing or body language. Effective communication extends the concept to require that transmitted content is received and understood by someone in the way it was intended. The goals of effective communication include creating a common perception, changing behaviours and acquiring information.

Verbal Communication
Verbal Communication is the basis of communication is the interaction between people. Verbal communication is one way for people to communicate face-to-face. Some of the key components of verbal communication are sound, words, speaking, and language.

Formal communication is used at to door to sales, office meetings and so on. This is because it is most effective in a work place. There is also the use of informal communication which is mostly used with friends and family, which you have a comfortable relationship with. Informal communication can sometimes make people feel uncomfortable if used within a work place. Also when using formal communication within the work place as it can give you an advantage of being taken seriously than that of somebody who uses informal communication. It is of the upmost importance that you try not to use informal communication within a Health and Social care setting as it can sometimes cause confusion.

We used informal communication within my health and social care setting (the classroom), this was because myself and Kirstie Cutts had to evaluate Abby Allen’s and Olivia Bangam’s informal communication between each other. They were talking about the X Factor and they said phases like ‘OMG’ ‘No Way’ ‘As If’. And so much more in that kind of context but yet they had a table apart from themselves; however they were each respecting each other’s personal space. And so it was very comfortable for them to communicate with each other, there was no awkward silence between them both but there was also no backlash of them never even talking to each other before that time then when we observed them talk to each other. But yet they were also able to communicate Non-Verbally as well, as they looked at each other’s faces and body language to see when they were existed about what they were about to say but also they were showing that they were listening to them. So in other words they were reflective listening to each other but they were also performing the communication cycle.

I also did this with Asher Keeton, in which it was one to one communication between us verbally. With this I was able to see that I worked better in one to one communication than that of group communication, I was able to see that I used reflective listening and within using this it makes it much easier to communicate. This was because I was able to see that I used questions to answer her back showing her that I understood what it was that she was trying to saying to me. I did a poster within my Health and Social Care setting explaining what reflective listening is and what it is used for, it is attached to the back classed as number 1. But we also used the Communication Cycle as well.

The Communication Cycle

also within my Health and Social Care setting we used verbal communication, within a group of four people. There was myself, Asher, Carley and Beth. Within finishing this task I filled out a work sheet where I criticised on what I do well and what I need to improve on within group communication. The sheet that I did this on is at the back and is classed as number 2.

If you were to use dialect (words and their pronunciation which are specific to a given community) they might not be able to understand you as they might be unfamiliar with the words that you are saying. Such as if you say ‘’ would you like a Bacon Cob for breakfast to day Mary?’’. Mary might not understand what you are saying by Cob, but yet if you say ‘’would you like a bacon Sandwich for breakfast today Mary?’’. She will understand in what you are trying to ask her. This is because it is in a simple term in which everyone is able to understand what you say. As people are able to understand that that you are asking would like a sandwich. Whereas if you were to ask people would you like a cob only a few certain people would be unable to understand you as they either live there or they moved there for a short period of time.

Whereas if you use jargon (words that are by a particular profession or group that are hard for others to understand.) this is often used in an office or a meeting and is using words that are not usually understandable such as for example:- well that the national framework for NHS continuing health care and NHS funded nursing care provides principles for an assessment process that will establish eligibility for NHS continuing health care. This can sometimes come across literature that is very hard for some people to understand unless that they are in that profession. This is from a case study that we had a look at within the classroom, as you can see it is very hard for you to understand in what it is that they are trying to say. This is because they are using Jargon and that she was speaking it to somebody that is not in the same profession as her and so hence forth they are unable to understand in what she was trying to say. I got this case study information from my textbook (Beryl Stretch, Mary Whitehouse (2010), Health and Social Care, Level3, Book 1, page 10, Essex, Harlow) but thee is also two other case study’s that I had a look at and they are also about the way the speek the words and also hwo they fronounce them and the tone that they are using. These are numbered as 3 and 4.

However there is also slang (informal words that are not found in standard dictionaries but which are used within specific social groups and communities). This is like saying to an old lady in a health and social setting:- Yo would you like some tea or summat?’. They might think of that kind of language as disrespectful as they are not accustomed to this type of language and they might not be able to interpretation it as slang, but at something that is disrespectful.

Non-Verbal Communication

Non-Verbal communication is very important in and outside of a Health and Social Care setting this is because. Nonverbal communication is behaviour, other than spoken or written communication, that creates or represents meaning. In other words, it includes facial expressions, body movements, and gestures. Nonverbal communication is talking without speaking a word. It is very effective, maybe even more so than speech. Remember the saying, “Actions speak louder than words.”

I was able to experience this in first hand as we did a task within the classroom. And what I had to do was do one to one communication Non-Verbally, and I did this task with Kirstie Cutts. Had to show her what it was I wanted to say to her rather than communicate verbally. Through this experience I learned that it is hard to see what it is they are trying to say to you. Unless you looked at what it was they were doing as, when I focused on the larger picture. Rather than just focusing on the sign language that she was doing I noticed that she was also communication with her eyes, body posture, gestures and facial expressions. And when we found this out it made it much easier to talk to someone Non-Verbally, as once we found out you had to look at the whole picture of them when they were talking to you. It made it much easier to understand what it was that she was trying to say to her. And it made it much easier when we also focused on body language, gestures, eye contact and facial expressions also sign language, which is how we chose to communicate with each other it was much easier to understand what it was that we were trying to say to each other.

Body language is a main factor of Non- Verbal communication this is because, Body language is body movements that depend on a person’s attitude or feelings. Body language includes the way people walk, how they stand, and their facial features. In other words, any kind of meaning that is shown by a person’s body attitude or movements. For example, when a boy is sad he may drop his head and walk slowly. Or, if a girl is happy, she might run and jump or stand up straight and put her hands in the air. People don’t have to say anything to show how they feel about things. The colour of people’s skin may even show how they feel.

For example, if people with light coloured skin get embarrassed, their skin may turn red, or if they are worried, they might get pale. Body language can be voluntary (on purpose) or involuntary (a person can’t help it). I was asked to do this within the classroom as I made a good example of looking excited with only using my body language and facial expressions. I thought that it was really effective as it showed me how easy that it is for people to understand what emotion that I was trying to show through my Body Language and Facial expressions.

Mutual gaze and mutual attention are important for the development towards per-formative communication. Gaze is an important tool for the child to use and gain knowledge and experiences which lie outside the development of communication. This aspect also motivates early visual stimulation for people with learning difficulties since the ability to use selective attention is vital for the learning process. We did this within my class room (My Health and Social Care setting), in pair of two people. For me it was myself and a friend Abby Allen we were each asked to communicate without any Verbal Communication. We first did this with our eyes trying to tell them something with only our eyes and with no movement of our body. We did this and I thought that it was very effective this was because we learned how hard that it is too actually to say something without using your voice. It was hard at first until we got used to it and were able to understand what we were trying to say to each other. This was because we learned that you could also use your facial expressions with a mutual gaze and mutual attention and once we learned this it was much easier to understand what it was that Abby was trying to express to me.

There are also gestures like facial expressions, hand signals, eye gazing, and body postures. Examples include smiles, handshakes, waving, and raising certain fingers to say something. For instance, if you saw a friend at a noisy carnival, you might smile and wave at your friend. You might also point at the Ferris wheel if you wanted to meet your friend there. You could do all of these things without saying a word. Another great example is in baseball when the catcher signals to the pitcher the kind of pitch to use for the batter that is up. I did a poster but in a way that it varies in different cultures and how they are and what they find offensive.

British Sign Language (BSL)

British Sign Language (BSL) is also another form of Non-Verbal communication, but this is used mostly for people that are deaf. It commonly known to be an own language on its own this is because it is not the signed version of the spoken English. I did this within my Classroom and was one of eth four persons with in the class that got up to the front of the classroom and showed them the BSL alphabet that I had learned that day within the classroom from the teacher showing us a video of how it is done on Video Jug. I thought that this was very effective in a way of me learning the BSL alphabet and is a way in which it can help people learn a basic understanding of the British Sign Language.

Finger Spelling
Finger Spelling is a form of hand-shapes which can be used to represent the individual letters of the alphabet or numbers – as opposed to sign language, in which hand-shapes and gestures can represent whole words or phrases. Finger spelling is a supportive addition to sign language, not a substitute for it – many sign language users have difficulty with literacy so that fingerspelling will always be of limited benefit to them. As this makes it much easier for themselves and who they are trying to communicate with.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order. With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally at their own pace, as they develop speech. For example the CBeebies television program called ‘Mr Tumble’.

Braille is a great way for blind people to read and write. Braille just consists of the alphabet and numbers designed to read by the hand rather than the eyes. Braille is a writing system which enables blind and partially sighted people to read and write through touch. It consists of patterns of raised dots. Each cell represents a letter, numeral or punctuation mark. Some frequently used words and letter combinations also have their own single cell patterns. However braille only consists of letters of the alphabet and numbers designed to be read by the hands rather than the eyes so in a way making it perfect for blind and partially sighted people.

Pictures and Writing
Form of communication using a set of symbols. Written English has its own techniques and conventions. The content, structure, and style of a piece of writing are guided by its purpose. Where a piece of writing is narration and is intended to entertain it will often take the form of a story, make use of direct speech, and build up to a climax. Traditionally, narrative is carefully structured and there is likely to be a clearly defined beginning, middle, and end.

Touching with communication is experienced in many ways, such as handshakes, pats, and kisses. These touches are used to express various feelings and emotions, either ritual or affectionate. But touching has culturally specific meanings. Different cultures emphasize various ways of touching. According some anthropologists, cultures can be categorized as high contact or low contact, depending on which senses a particular culture stresses. For example, American culture is classified as low contact because there’s less touching than in Arabian cultures which are recognised as high contact cultures. There is a poster in which I was able to explain how gestures are different in different cultures and how they are sometimes seen as offended. It is the poster on the back that has the number 5 with on it.

Silence within a communication context is a way in which the person that you are talking to able to comprehend, in what is being said to them and be able to come up with a response. Silence is also very important for a person as it can be a sense of understanding of what is being said to you and it connects bigly to the Communication Cycle.

This comes in to detail about Edward Hall (1966) who came up with the idea of personal space. This is because most people value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when their personal space is encroached. Permitting a person to enter personal space and entering somebody else’s personal space are indicators of perception of the relationship between the people. There is an intimate zone reserved for lovers, children and close family members. There is another zone used for conversations with friends, to chat with associates, and in group discussions; a further zone is reserved for strangers, newly formed groups, and new acquaintances; and a fourth zone is used for speeches, lectures, and theatre; essentially, public distance is that range reserved for larger audiences. And this is of the up-most importance within a Health and Social Care setting, as it is a way of expressing on how familiar you are with someone and how unfamiliar with somebody that you do not know. I did this within my health and social care setting with Abby Allen, in which we had to stand as close as possible. There is my homework sheet in which ii went in to detail about Edward Hall (1966) and is referenced as number 6.

Music and Drama
Music and drama is a form of communication that is sometimes hard to comprehend, as sometimes people prefer to communicate through Music and Drama. But yet sometimes people get the wrong message across and can confuse many people. People who have learning difficulties are able to communicate more effectively through Music and Drama and this is because they are able to comprehend within the double meaning behind the message that is being expressed.

Objects of Reference
An object of reference is a term that describes the use of objects as a means of communication. Objects, just like words, signs and symbols, can be made to represent those things about which we all communicate: activities, events, people, ideas, and so on. Just like words, signs and symbols, they have to be chosen with care. Objects of reference have been one of the
communication systems used by people who are deaf-blind. They can also be used as a means of communication for people with communication disabilities who do not respond to sign, symbol or photographs. They may also be used by people who have problems with short and long term memory, such as people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

Role Play
Role play is another form of communication and this is because Role playing happens when two or more people act out roles in a particular scenario. It’s most useful for helping you prepare for unfamiliar or difficult situations. You can also use it to spark brainstorming sessions, improve communication between team members, and see problems or situations from different perspectives. To role play:

1. Identify the situation.
2. Add details.
3. Assign roles.
4. Act out the scenario.
5. Discuss what you have learned.

Technological Aids
An electronic communication aid can be a device that has been purposely built for that job, and does nothing else, or a standard computer running specialist communication-aid software with the added benefit of being a computer as well. There are many technological aids that help, the most popular technological aid is something called the cochlear implant which is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly death or severely hard of hearing. And looks something like this:-

There is a leaflet that I did within the Classroom talking about technological communication and is referenced as number 7. There is also other ways to communicate technologically. And one of them is shown below:-

Mobile phones
This is another form of communication in which you can communicate Verbally and Non- Verbally. This is because with a Mobile Phone you are able to ring somebody and that is a form of communicating verbally, where as there is also text and email and this is a form of communication that you see near enough everybody using. As it is a form of communication in which you can see but is not yet verbal but yet there is a setting within a certain phone that you can have the message read out to you if you are blind or partially sighted, but is also a form of communication that is also Non- Verbal.

Communication Passports
Communication Passports are a practical and person-centred way of supporting children, young people and adults with disabilities that may find it difficult to communicate with speech in ways a death blind person. They are a clever way of pulling complex information together and presenting it in an easy-to-follow format. They are easy to read, informative, useful and fun and have been widely used throughout the years all over the world. I have created one of these within my Health and Social Care Setting, and you are able to see it as it is attached on the back and the front cover consists of a photo of myself and says This Book Of Me. And it has in it what an official communication passport should have in it. And I referenced as number 8.

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