Communication is a process that involves exchange of information, thoughts, ideas and emotions. Communication is a process that involves a sender who encodes and sends the message, which is then carried via the communication channel to the receiver where the receiver decodes the message, processes the information and sends an appropriate reply via the same communication channel. There are many types of communication and interpersonal communication within health and social care setting. This is interaction between two or more human beings.
Sometimes communication can be portrayed in a negative way but it is important to realise the message you are giving out to people so that the communication stays positive. One of the ways we can communicate is through text, written communication - using words but without speech. This could be a written report, in an e-mail, text message and any other forms of electronic communication or hand written communication. This can be a really positive way of communication especially when someone doesn't feel comfortable speaking aloud they could write their thoughts or feeling down.
For example if someone wouldn't open up to a counsellor about their problems the counsellor could get them to write a story and a lot can be told about the persons feelings by looking at the sort of words etc. that they had used. Also doctors could pass on information more easily and confidentially through text e. g. analyses of patient’s blood results conveyed in letter which will make the information clear. Or a summary in writing to the patient of what was discussed at the meeting so they can be sure they understood the message sent. Formal communication includes all the instances where communication has to occur in a set formal format.
Typically this can include all sorts of business communication or corporate communication. The style of communication in this form is very formal and official. Official conferences, meetings and written memos and corporate letters are used for communication. In the Health and Social Care setting this would include staff meetings like formal reviews of staff work in supervision with their Line Manager. A record would also be kept of these formal meetings. Or a Child Case Conference would also be considered formal communication both written and oral.
Although every effort would be made to ensure the child and the family understood the proceedings. Formal communication can also occur between two strangers when they meet for the first time. Hence formal communication is straightforward, official and always precise and has a stringent and rigid tone to it. Informal communication includes instances of free unrestrained communication between people who share a casual rapport with each other. Informal communication requires two people to have a similar wavelength and hence occurs between friends and family.
Informal communication does not have any rigid rules and guidelines. Informal conversations need not necessarily have boundaries of time, place or even subjects for that matter since we all know that friendly chats with our loved ones can simply go on and on. For example a nurse could take time out of a busy schedule on a ward to have a conversation with an elderly patient about the weather, television, their family their general health or how they are feeling and if they don’t understand anything about their illness or medication.
This would make the patient feel more secure and trusting of the staff; And may boast their mood because they feel that someone cares about the person, would allay any concerns they may have and open a new channel of free flowing communication which has put the patient at ease and given them the confidence/empowered them to ask questions about their care. One to one interactions: take place between one person to another, nobody else is involved.
It ensures that each person that is in the communication has each other’s attention in any given moment. Examples of one to one interaction are: A Doctor giving medical information to the patient following the patient explaining their symptoms and how they are feeling. A counsellor assists a client in a therapy session. One to one interaction is beneficial for the patients because, it helps aid self-esteem and confident. And it can make them feel as if they are being listened too, as this is a way of saying to a person that you have time for them.
It should also help the client to open up and feel more confident in expressing their feelings and thoughts as it is only one person listening and there is no audience. There should also be no distractions like a phone ringing or faulty lighting has this could interrupt the communication flow. If the professional is a good communicator they will be a good listener and use questioning techniques to help the client to open up both verbally and in their thought process. Group interaction is a way of sharing views, ideas and important information with more than one person at a given time.
Examples of group interaction in a social care setting are service users meetings, support groups, group therapy sessions and social events. Group interaction is beneficial for the patient because it is useful for presenting and sharing ideas from one person to another or in a group to find a solution. Also, it’s good for their social skills and enjoyment of life. For example lunch and a tea dance for older people who perhaps don’t get out of the house very often and are able to socialise and boast both their mental and physical health with those of a similar age and interests.
Or perhaps a mother and toddlers group in the community were parents and carers can share advice and get help with problems from their peer group and the children begin to form bonds outside the family and begin to develop their own social skills. Many group interactions are important just so that an individual does not feel so alone. Another type of communication out of the types of communication, is visual communication. Visual communication is visual display of information, like, topography, photography, signs, symbols and designs. Television and video clips are the electronic form of visual communication.
Those with low self-esteem, depression, anxiety or other mental health problems may find it easier to communication or express themselves visually and creatively using art or photography in a class or art therapy to deal with particularly distressing issues. Many ways have been devised to help disabled people communicate visually and deaf people will use BSL to communicate. Some disabled people will carry communication passports which will explain how the individual communications. Many will use signs and symbols but often they will be enclosed in the passport like a pack of cards so that it is made easier to communicate.
Music and drama when used appropriately can be a very positive way of communicating it can set a mood for a group e. g. in a youth club if a group got to excited loud music could be used to calm the spirit and set a good atmosphere. Also if a group created a piece of drama it would persuade them to work as a team which can be a great team building activity and can promote communication and social skills within the group. Arts and crafts can be used in this same way and provide the same effective outcomes but with younger children.
Children find it easier to express themselves through arts and craft and so this can be helpful when specialists in health and social care settings are trying to get young patients to show their feeling inside or pain felt on the outside e. g. smiley and sad faces to pinpoint amount of pain being felt. Disability: disability can lead to communication barriers because people tend to speak to people that are assisting them instead of speaking directly to the person. And this makes the person with disability to feel invisible from the public.
To help those with language barriers people in the social care field have developed special skills: Advocates: an advocate is someone who speaks behalf of someone else. If service users are unable to speak for or represent themselves an advocate will sometimes speak for them. This may occur if a person has a learning disability or an illness, such as dementia. The advocate might be a family member or someone who works closely with the clients. Interpreters: an interpreter will ensure that individuals who speak different languages can communicate effectively with each other. He or she will be able to speak and understand both languages.
Skilled interpreter have in-depth knowledge of the language and idioms used by both parties. Translators: are responsible for interpreting the meaning of a written text from one language to another. In order for me to communicate easily with a person who does not speak good English I will ask for interpreter to interpret between English and the language the person speak. People with poor visual barriers will need aids and adaptations: there are many types of visual support aids available such as enhanced computer software to help with reading and writing, video magnifiers, talking books, voice translators and so on.
To help people like those that are blind and others with disabilities to communicate effectively. Technology: communication devices are provided in health and social care in order to support communication by enhancing sound, enlarging letters and helping other people to process information using a variety of formats. Braille: is a way of communication for people who are blind or have limited vision. It uses a system of raised dots that can be felt with the fingers. In other words one to one communication, the professional will request Braille signs so the person can touch and feel.
Hearing impaired people need additional technological aids: Sign language: is a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression and body language. Text phone or Mobile phones: allows people with hearing impairment to keep in touch with their friends and relatives and can be used in health and social care to remind them or book appointments or to inform them of the outcome of a meeting regarding them. Hearing aids: are devices that fit in the ear in order to amplify sounds. This assists the person with hearing impairment to hear although make all sound louder.
Information Communication Technology is also a manner in which communication can take place. For example computers and the internet is a usual tool to finding information and connecting people who may find it hard to meet people because of a physical or mental disability and means they can stay in touch with family and friends, keep up to date with a group they are involved in or recent developments with their illness or order shopping on-line which can help them live more independently. Communication skills are so important within a health and social care environment and the different contexts for communication.
We communicate with others all the time, wherever we may be, often without even realising it and sometimes without intending to. We have explored different forms of communication. Interpersonal skills are those skills that enable us to interact with another person, allowing us to communicate successfully with them. Good communication skills are vital for those working in health and social care as they help them to:
• develop positive relationships with people using services and their families and friends, so they can understand and meet their needs • develop positive relationships with work colleagues and other professionals share information with people using the services, by providing and receiving information • report on the work they do with people. Another way that communication can be broken down is verbal and non-verbal communication. Verbal communication is further divided into written and oral communication.
The oral communication refers to the spoken words in the communication process. Oral communication can either be face-to-face communication or a conversation over the phone or on the voice chat over the Internet. Spoken conversations or dialogs are influenced by voice modulation, pitch, volume and even the speed and clarity of speaking.
The other type of verbal communication is written communication. Written communication can be either via mail, or email. The effectiveness of written communication depends on the style of writing, vocabulary used, grammar, clarity and precision of language. Non-verbal communication includes the overall body language of the person who is speaking, which will include the body posture, the hand gestures, and overall body movements. The facial expressions also play a major role while communication since the expressions on a person's face say a lot about his/her mood.
On the other hand gestures like a handshake, a smile or a hug can independently convey emotions. Non-verbal communication can also be in the form of pictorial representations, signboards, or even photographs, sketches and paintings. Factors that contribute to non-verbal communication include: Body language – The way we sit or stand, which is called posture, can send messages. Slouching on a chair can show a lack of interest in what is going on and folded arms can suggest that you are feeling negative or defensive about a person or situation.
Even the way we move can give out messages, e. g. shaking your head while someone else is talking might indicate that you disagree with them or waving your arms around can indicate you are excited. Facial expression – We can often tell what someone is feeling by their eyes. Our eyes become wider when we are excited or happy, attracted to, or interested in someone. A smile shows we are happy and a frown shows we are annoyed. Touch or contact – Touching another person can send messages of care, affection, power or sexual interest.
It is important to think about the setting you are in and what you are trying to convey before touching a person in a health and social care environment. An arm around a child who is upset about something in hospital or a nursery can go a long way to making them feel better but a teenager might feel intimidated by such contact from an older person. Signs, symbols and pictures – There are certain common signs or gestures that most people automatically recognise. For example, a wave of the hand can mean hello or goodbye and a thumbs up can mean that all is well.
Pictures of all forms and objects also communicate messages; an X-ray and a model of a knee joint can more easily communicate to someone needing a knee replacement exactly what is involved. It is very important to be able to communicate effectively in a health or social care setting. A service user will not be able to take part in a discussion about their care or planning their future if they do not understand what is being said. Equally, the person providing the service cannot help if they cannot find a way to understand what the service user is trying to ask for.