Unit 1: Communication skills for working in the health sector Assessment

Unit 1: Communication skills for working in the health sector Assessment
You should use this file to complete your Assessment.
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Save a copy of this document, either onto your computer or USB drive. Work through your Assessment, remembering to save your work regularly When you’ve finished, print out a copy to keep for reference Then, go to www.vision2learn.com and send your completed Assessment to your tutor via your My Study area – make sure it is clearly marked with your name, the course title and the Unit and Assessment number.

Please note that this Assessment has 12 pages and is made up of 5 Sections. Name:IOANA DENISA PASCAL
Section 1: Understand how to communicate with a range of people

1. Use the box below to explain at least three forms of communication available for use.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION- used to obtain or give information to others, exchange ideas and opinions with people. Can be made by meetings, phone conversation or face to face, This occurs when one person speaks and another is listen.

WRITTEN COMMUNICATION- is made by letters, care plans, emails, notice boards, reports or diary entries . The purpose is to give or obtain informations clearly and accurate.

VISUAL COMMUNICATION- uses graphs, diagrams, charts,sketches and photographs. Body language is important for visual communication, as we can receive or give information about what we need to know without using the words.

2. Using the table below, describe the range of people you might communicate with during your work in the health sector. Include at least 5 or 6 different examples. For each person you have identified, include a description of a situation when you would need to communicate with them and how you would select the most appropriate form of communication to use in
each situation.

Appropriate form of communication


I have to make an appointment for on of my patient to see the physician. Use of verbal communication- phone conversation to obtain the information.


I have to ensure that the ward is fully clean and safe for others. Written communication – provide information on the notice board. Verbal communication- speaking face to face with the cleaner.

Care assistant

I have to check the reports about how the patients are doing overnight. Visual communication – checking the graphs and charts in the report book of the patients.


I need to obtain information about some blood results of my patient. Written communication – sending a letter or email.
Verbal communication – phone conversation.

Nursery nurse

I going to put my son in the nursery.
Verbal communication – speak to her face to face about my concerns. Written communication – she will provide care plans and objectives for my son . Midwife

Doing my antenatal checking at 26 weeks of pregnancy.
Verbal communication – meeting to make decision about childbirth options. Visual communication – presenting diagrams and graphs for best choices.

Section 2: Understand how to reduce barriers to effective communication

1. By writing a few sentences, describe the different barriers to communication in terms of:

Environmental barriers

Factors such as noise, lighting, heating, seating,ventilation and proximity can have a positive or negative effect in communication with others, and can affect the way in which they interact with care worker and other service users. These are known as environmental factors. Social barriers

Interlocutors represent different social group which may differ their general behaviour( social norms, standards, beliefs); background and education, use of language and level of its knowledge. The main problem in health sector is to avoid stereotypes and labelling service users. Personal barriers

Personal barriers occur when people have or not the ability to effectively communicate, the way people process and intercept information. Level of interpersonal trust between people, poor listening skills, inability to listen with understanding can be some of the common barriers in communication.

2. Read through the scenarios below and, for each one, suggest ways in which the barriers to communication can be overcome.

Scenario 1: A patient whose first language is not English has arrived for an appointment and as the receptionist you must check them in for their allotted appointment. However, they are struggling to communicate that they were running a few minutes late and as a result are worried that they have
missed their slot.

This patient presents social barrier in communication. The encouraging actions that I can provide are: giving a smile, friendly facial expression, use of gestures and pictures, warmth and encouragement( repeat his words with a smile to check understanding). First , I will ask him about his surname and date of birth. If he can not say it I will provide him a piece of paper to write on it.

After that, If still he is unable to communicate this information, I will ask for specialist support staff ( interpreter or translator).

Scenario 2: A health visitor has an appointment with an older patient who is hard of hearing and who has the TV playing very loudly. The health visitor struggles to communicate their concerns about the patient’s dietary habits and overall health.

The actions that cane encourage communication in this case are: removing any distractions and any noises, make sure any aids to hearing are working, use written communication where appropriate,do not shout, speak clearly, listen carefully and respond to what is said. So, the health visitor has to comply with these essentials key points and overcome the hearing impairment and environmental barriers. She has to explain clearly her concerns using visual and verbal communication through body language and facial expression. The health visitor must switch off the TV and look for adaptive equipment such as hearing aids, if they work properly.

Scenario 3: A patient confronts a receptionist as they have waited over an hour to be seen by the doctor. As a result, the patient is now late in returning to work and may receive a warning from their employer because they have been late several times recently.

The patient and the receptionist must overcome the barriers between them. The receptionist must be very calm and try to empathy the patient. A smile is always welcome when you are stress and make you feel comfortable. The
receptionist must be prepared to offer active listening and,by using eye contact appropriately showing that he understand the patient’s situation, could establish their communication way.

Section 3: Understand how to maintain accurate and complete records

1. Explain how to report and record the following work activities in relation to patients/service users or customers. Add one more example of your own to the table.

Work activity
Explain how to report it
Explain how to record it
A patient slips on a wet floor on the hospital ward where you work.

Report the incident by written it in records and care plans, or verbal to another professional staff. I have to write it in my diary and care plan/ accident record of the hospital. The record must be clearly and accurate, full of information for other colleagues- I have to write about the nature of accident, how the patient is feeling and were the actions for feeling safe and healthy. You work in a GP s’ surgery and discover that one of the fire alarms is faulty.

Speak with the manager of the surgery about faulty fire alarm . I can use verbal communication ( face to face or phone conversation) and written communication ( report or notice board ). I will have to write in Health and Safety Book .

I will have to be very precise and clearly about the place of the faulty fire alarm and when I saw it.

A patient sends a letter of complaint about the length of time they had to wait for their appointment at the clinic where you work.

I will have to record it in Complain Book.
I will use written communication to inform my line manager about the complain. To record it I will have to take notice about the concerns of the patient and report to my line manager by letter or email. Your own example:

A patient woke at 10 am and refuse to have breakfast. He is not looking very good and must be seen by the doctor.

I will have to leave a note in his care plan and notice board for the doctor.

I can use verbal communication with other professional staff. I will write in his care plan giving details about the conditions I was saw him. I will put a note on notice board for the doctor.

2. Take a look at this client record then explain the importance of accurate record keeping in terms of it being:

Signed and dated

Sunny Vale Care Home Ltd, Derbyshire


Carer name: DSmith

Client name:

Notes: I cheked on Suzamme yesterday morning, she’s not right,says she’s got belly ache or something. She left most of her food and ain’t drinking her flooids, so I gave the spare food to George. I reckon all she needs is to go to the toilet for a number 2 – should sort her right out. She wet herself
yesterday after I got her dressed, but she had nt clean undies. I put some of Florecnece’s knicks on her – it’s alright cos Flo don’t know what day it is, bless her! She also lost her meds again – couldn’t find them yesterday.


Now use the box below to type your explanation.

Recording information accurately is important in order to ensure that my colleagues do not have to continually go through a process of establishing the communication needs of each individual. So, therefore, I think that this record is not a proper example for me. Firstly, the record has many spelling mistakes so it can be very understandable if another person is reading it. The importance of the time is high because we must know the time when the information was recorded. We always have to know the precise time of written record in order to follow the care plans of service users. The record must be up to date so we can find out about recent information or health changes of the service user. The write of the record must be legible, understandable and respectful because no matter who will read it, he can understand what was write in it. The informations are a way of communication very important between care staffs. The report must be signed and dated so we can know who was writing these information and what date. These records can be use for investigations of the police or used in court .The importance of accurate record keeping is a demand by employer and by law. Anything we write in the record must be true and able to be justified at any time. This why the record must be up to date,legible, understandable,signed and dated because who write the record is responsible for it and can be asked questions about the informations given in the record in case if something is wrong with the patient.

Section 4: Understand how to maintain confidentiality

1. In the space below provide your own definition of confidentiality.

Confidentiality means not giving any information about someone’ s private
life unless there is a reason to do so. Confidentiality means to keep every word for you from a private conversation with another person.

2. With this definition in mind, explain why confidentiality is important.

Confidentiality is the single most important requirement for anyone who works in a care setting. This means that you have to be trustworthy because most individuals want that above all else Care workers have a responsibility not to talk about service users in a way that can identify them, either outside work, in a a public place or in their own homes, and not to leave service user’s written records where other people can read them. A service users file should be returned immediately to the secure area as soon as it has been finished with. Confidentiality is important in health sector and applies to all ways of communication we use with other individuals. Individuals using health and care services often have to provide personal information. They trust that care workers will not disclose or use this informations inappropriately and will ensure that they will remain confidential for anyone. This is a requirement by law and who is breaking the law will be responsible in front of the police or a court judge. Every people has the right to confidentiality by law as a result of Data Protection Act 1998. Confidentiality is important because:

it maintains a sense of trust
it may help to preserve a client’s self esteem,
it helps to meet physical and emotional safety needs,
professional services have to be confidential to be professional, confidentiality is a legal requirement.

3. Explain how to maintain confidentiality when sharing information. You could discuss procedures and processes for maintaining confidentiality, or provide examples in your answer. Refer to any relevant Acts of Parliament in your answer.

The most common way in which workers breach confidentiality is by chatting about work with friends or family. It is very tempting to discuss the day’s
events with the friends or family over a drink or a meal. So, the first rule, is to not use names of the service users and better use other characteristics to describe people. Instead you can use initials in your discussions with other individuals. The confidentiality is important in health care sector because there are a lot of laws about human rights such as Data Protection Act 1984 and 1998, the Access to Personal Files Act 1987 and the Access to Health Records Act 1990. The Data Protection Act 1984 and 1998 requires that all records about clients which are filed will be seen as data, whether they are held electronically or on paper. The 1998 Act provides individuals with a range of rights including: the right to know what informations held and to see and correct the information if necessary, the right to refuse to provide information,

the right that data should be accurate and up to date,
the right that information should not be kept for longer than necessary, the right to confidentiality – that the information should not be accessible to unauthorised people.

4. Which guidelines affect how information is shared within your health sector organisation or one that you are familiar with? Provide an outline below for two examples.

Guideline type
How does it affect how information is shared?

Information may be required by a tribunal, a court or by the ombudsman. Another situation is that we may give this information to the police, only when is about a serious offence ( e.g. death, serious harm to the security of the state or to public order, serious injury, substantial financial loss or gain). The Data Protection Act 1998

Ideally the information should be passed on with the service user’s consent, but it will have to provide regardless of whether the consent is given. By law this document covers the confidential storage, retrieval and handling of verbal, written and electronic information to protect the rights of
individual. It sets out guidelines and identifies good practice on the disclosure of information and breaching of confidentiality where this serves to protect the individual or others from harm.

The Computer Misuse Act 1990

This was passed by Parliament and made three new offences:
-Accessing computer material without permission, e.g. looking at someone else’s files – Accessing computer material without permission with intent to commit further criminal offences, e.g. hacking into the bank’s computer and wanting to increase the amount in your account. -Altering computer data without permission, e.g. writing a virus to destroy someone else’s data, or actually changing the money in an account.

5. Outline relevant guidelines in terms of up-to-date legislation and guidance which affect your work, in two of the following area


Data protection
If you handle and store information about identifiable, living people – for example, about patients – you are legally obliged to protect that information. Under the Data Protection Act, you must:
only collect information that you need for a specific purpose; keep it secure;
ensure it is relevant and up to date;
only hold as much as you need, and only for as long as you need it; and allow the subject of the information to see it on request.

Codes of practice in relation to confidential information
Keeping information confidential is not the same as keeping it secret. It is essential that relevant confidential information is available to those who have a need to know it in order to do their work.

Confidential information should only be used for the purpose it was provided, which the individual has been informed about and has consented to
unless there are exceptional circumstances.
This code sets out the principles for handling confidential information and explains what this means in practice. It is based on the NHS Confidentiality Code of Practice published by the Department of Health.

Information sharing policies and guidance
Information sharing can help to improve the quality of care and treatment, but it must be governed by the legal and ethical framework that protects the interests of patients. Without assurances of confidentiality, patients may be reluctant to provide the information needed for their treatment and care. Patients have a right to expect that information about them will be held in confidence and protected at all times against improper use and disclosure. There will be instances when staff will be expected to share information with professionals working with children and families for the purposes of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. In most instances this will be done with the consent of the patient but there may be situations when information will need to be shared without the child or parent’s consent.

Safeguarding adults
Those who need safeguarding help are often elderly and frail, living on their own in the community, or without much family support in care homes. They are often people with physical or learning disabilities and people with mental health needs at risk of suffering harm both in institutions and in the community. Safeguarding encompasses six key concepts: empowerment, protection, prevention, proportionate responses, partnership and accountability. Social care organisations play an important role in the protection of members of the public from harm and are responsible for ensuring that services and support are delivered in ways that are high quality and safe.

Safeguarding children and young people
Who has direct or indirect contact
with children, must be able to identify
children and young people who are
vulnerable, at risk of harm or abuse, and
act accordingly.
A child’s welfare is paramount in every
respect, regardless of whether you feel
sympathy for the parent or carer. You must
always act on a child’s behalf if you have
This concept is enshrined in the Nursing
and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of
conduct16. The code states that all nurses or health workers have a duty and personal responsibility to act in the best interests of a child or young person, and to inform and alert appropriate personnel if they suspect a child is at risk or has been abused.

Section 5: Know how to present a positive image of self, organisation and service

1. Describe how to present a positive image of yourself.

Your positive personal profile

Currently, I am not working in health sector, but my dream is to become healthcare assistant in future. I choose to do this course because I enjoy working with people and I want to have the necessaries knowledge and qualifications for this job. I like to care for people and make a positive difference to their lives and as a healthcare assistant I can do this either in hospitals or in patients’ home. I work as a waitress in a restaurant which has given me a valuable experience of working with people and how to assist their needs in any way possible. During this time I was developing effective communication skills and good working relationships. In addition to this it is also helping me to show how committed I am to my responsibilities as well as demonstrating good organisational skills. Having to juggle work and school as well as social activities this also shows that I am developing my time keeping skills to make myself more committed and more punctual. I am a good listener, independent, organised
and self disciplined which should prove invaluable preparation for this job.

2. Describe how to present a positive image of the health sector organisation or service you work for (or one that you are familiar with).

Your organisation’s positive profile

People often want to know which care services are ‘ best’ and which might help them most. Care organisations that provide high quality, person- centred services and which have a positive reputation within a local community are more popular than those that do not prioritise individuals’ needs or which do not have a good reputation. The quality of care provision in an organisation is closely linked to the way that service users are treated by the health and social care workers who deal with them. Service users expect their, wishes, rights and preferences to be respected by healthcare workers and to have their dignity protected. People want to access and use services that meet their expectations in these areas and will avoid services that don’t. As a professional carer I am required to provide the same quality of care for all, not just for those who share my view and beliefs. This my point of view regarding a positive profile of my organisation ( private healthcare services provided by agency) . Working in care requires that in order to be effective and to provide the best possible service for those I care for, I need to be able to think about and evaluate what I do and the way I work, and to identify my strengths and weaknesses. I will have to use reflection and evaluation to identify areas which require improvement. Ways of developing professional are: learning from my work practice,use feedback, making good use of training opportunities and to ensure my practice is up to date.

3. Why is presenting a positive image of yourself, the health sector organisation you work for or the service you provide important? Use the table below to state your answers.

Positive image

Why is this important for the organisation you work for?
1. Yourself
Is important for my personal development, self esteem and my career. I will feel more confident and able to provide the ‘best’ of me.

2. The organisation you work for

The organisation I will work for is represent the interests of me and service users. Positive image will ensure everyone about the quality standards and requirements for providing the best services.

3. The service you provide

The service I provide is important to be presented in a positive image because the service user will be more confident in the services I provide for him and in this way I will feel rewarded for my work.

Once you have completed all 5 sections of this Assessment, go to www.vision2learn.com. Log in to the platform and send your Assessment to your tutor via your My Study page for marking. Good luck!

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