Unit 303 Promote communication in care settings
Unit aim: This unit is aimed at those who work in care settings or with children or young people in a wide range of settings. The unit is about the central importance of communication in such settings, and ways to overcome barriers to meet individual needs and preferences in communication.
1 Understand why effective communication is important in the work setting
- Identify the different reasons people communicate
People communicate in order to:
- establish, build and maintain relationships with others,
- to give and receive information and instructions,
- to understand and be understood,
- to share opinions and experiences
- share knowledge,
- share and express their feelings,
- share emotions,
- to give encouragement and show others they are valued.
- To give reassurance
- Make choices
- Ask questions
- passing on culture, beliefs, wisdom and memories
- Make plans
- Agree actions
- Explain how communication affects relationships in the work setting
In your job you need to communicate with people all the time. First there is the service user, also their family and friends, who are likely to be involved in their care. You will also have to communicate with colleagues and with other professionals such as the district nurse, doctors, pharmacist, social workers, occupational therapist etc. The way in which you communicate will be different depending on the person with whom you are communicating and the purpose of the communication. You will adopt a different approach with different people, to convey the same communication. Effective communication is especially important for example, with regards;
health and safety– required for good team working in moving and handling
with service users – to ensure their choices are being met
with your manager – to report any problems
In an emergency – to summons assistance
Communication is also about written items such as records, which must be clear, accurate, precise and easy to read. Records form the basis of information which can be shared within the team and may also be used as evidence in a court of law if necessary.
- Ensures people rights are being met
- Builds good relationships with your colleagues
- Helps you to resolve conflicts
- Share information
- Relieve stress
- Give feedback to others
If an individual’s communication needs were not met they would possibly:
- Feeling of isolation and disempowered.
- Resistance to complying with their care plan because they feel that they did not have a part in designing it.
- Deterioration in health/well-being because they do not feel that they need to follow the advice of the practitioner. They do not understand the consequences of not following the advice.
- Possibility of harm to themselves or others as they feel that they are not being supported or listened to.
1.3 Explain ways to manage challenging situations
In your work role you will face conflicts and challenging situations with colleagues, those you care for and others within the care team. Most people want to avoid conflict and potentially stressful situations – this is human nature. People often find it easier to avoid communicating something that they think is going to be controversial or bad, putting off the communication and letting the situation fester.
With those you care for, you may face challenging situations which have been brought on by various factors. It could be that they are in pain, it could be due to their condition, their medication or through substance misuse, they are bored or lonely, they cannot understand what is happening to them or are frustrated. If you are faced with a challenging situation always follow your workplace policies and procedures.
The best way to manage any challenging situation is to discuss what the issues are with the person and try to find a solution to the problem. Try not to get emotionally involved. Relax and listen carefully to the views, opinions and feelings of the other person. Always treat the person with respect and dignity and also try to understand their feelings of being upset or angry. Ask the individual questions and listen to their responses. You will need to use all your communication skills in this type of situation. Look at the individual’s body language, tone of voice and their reactions to what is being said. Remain calm and non-confrontational and try to avoid the situation becoming aggressive. Communication is easier when we are calm, take some deep breaths and try to maintain an air of calmness, others are more likely to remain calm if you do. If it does appear to have the potential to escalate you should walk away and give the individual time to calm down
Your manager will provide guidance, explain ways of working and support you to develop your knowledge and skills as you progress in your work.
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 in order to maximise the quality of the interaction
It is important to find out the individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences because they can be so varied. The way you communicate with someone can differ depending on things such as:
- A sensory impairment
- Their disabilities
- Their health
- Their culture
- Their values and beliefs
- Their level of communication skills
- The nature of the communication
- Who you are communicating with
- If there are distractions
- Personal space
- The type of communication etc
The best way to establish the communication and language needs of an individual is first by asking them and also by observing them and their reactions when communicating with them. This would immediately allow you to establish their usual language, if they are visually or hearing impaired or if they have any learning disabilities. Next you would check the care plan for any special requirements or aids which the individual needs. You could also consult with colleagues. If the individual is new to your place of work you would try communicating with the individual on a one to one to establish their needs, wishes and preferences. If this was not successful you could also ask the individual’s family, friends, doctor or other professionals who have worked with the individual, for advice. Any information regards the individuals would be noted in their communication notes so that others were aware of the appropriate methods to use.
2.2 Describe the factors to consider when promoting effective communication
There are many factors to consider when promoting effective communication.
- Does the individual have a specific communication problem
- Do they have the correct equipment to support them to communicate
- Are there any barriers to communication
- Do they understand what the communication is about
- Are there cultural differences which need to be taken into account
- Do they need extra support such as an advocate
- Are you a good listener
- Do you think about yours and the individual’s body language, tone of voice, gestures, posture, eye contact
- Ensure the individual understands what you are saying
- Allowing time to understand and respond
- Not using jargon
Effective communication is about both the giving and receiving of messages, promoting effective communication requires you to consider both the way you give a message and the way that you receive a message.
It’s important to remember what communication is about. When communication with individuals it is about being competent at establishing how that person communicates in order to understanding their needs and wishes, letting them know that you have heard and understood them, being honest and open about what you can and cannot do to meet their needs and wishes and on its most basic level, about getting on with people – ie treating them with respect as individuals and as equals.
The individual’s communication needs must be reviewed and reassessed regularly in order to ensure ongoing effective communication.
2.3 Demonstrate a range of communication methods and styles to meet individual needs
Your assessor will carry out an observation of you in your practice. The first thing you should do is check the service users care plan for details of the communication methods which meet this particular individual’s communication needs. As a carer you should understand that only 7% of communication is done verbally. When listening to an individual, it is important to recognise other factors which make the listening effective. It is important to be aware of, body language, having good eye contact with the person you are speaking to, a positive facial expression, gesturing with your hands, pointing at objects, nodding of the head, body language should show you are interested in what is being said, not slumped in a bored position, a positive facial expression showing interest in what is being said. allowing individual time to answer questions, checking understanding, speaking at the individuals level of understanding, ensuring the correct environment such as good lighting and seated comfortably, using open questions to encourage communication.
When communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired or sight impaired it is important to lean in close when speaking to them and speaking a little louder. However you s