Amy PriceUnit: 5465
1.1 – The main reason people communicate is to express themselves, their ideas and their knowledge. People can also use methods of communication to offer reassurance, advice, encouragement and instructions to other’s around them.
1.2 – Effective communication between myself, colleagues and residents ensure that everyone’s working together in a safe, person-centred way because their needs and preferences are being listened to and understood. I can offer residents choices and organise activities for their day by discussing their ideas with them. I can also alert other colleagues if a problem arises such as a resident having a seizure or a fire.
1.3 – People use body language as well as verbal/non-verbal communication methods to get across their feelings or response, so it’s important to observe their reactions to ensure the message has been heard, understood and they are happy to proceed with the conversation or activity.
2.1 – It’s important to find out about an individual’s communication needs and preferences because everyone is different and prefer to communicate in different ways likewise the way you speak to them will be different. Someone with a learning difficulty may prefer you to use visual aids to help them understand verbal instructions where as another individual may need you to speak slower or in shorter sentences in order for them to lip-read or process information more effectively. By using the correct communication method for an individual you’ll be able to communicate effectively and build a professional relationship with them as it can be as simple as calling them by their name rather than Mrs A or a pet name such as ‘Hun’.
2.2 – There are three main methods of communication including:
Verbal – This is about the words/terminology we use and the way we vocalise them using our tone and pitch.
Non-Verbal – Hand gestures such as pointing to demonstrate direction or thumbs up to express all is good/well done, body language being open by not crossing arms and/or legs and using eye contact
Visual/Technical Aids – These are mainly used by those with learning or communication difficulties, so that they can get their needs or preferences across more clearly. Some individuals with Autism may have visual cards for brushing teeth, doctor etc or they may use British Sign Language or Makaton
2.3 – It’s important to seek advice about communication as soon as you notice there is a barrier because you need to be able to communicate effectively in order to be understood and gain their permission. You can get advice from other colleagues and managers or the person’s family members as they have been communicating with the individual effectively in the past. You can also seek advice for external agencies and training courses.
3.1 – There are several barriers to communication including:
Sensory impairments such as deafness, blindness
Learning difficulties/disabilities such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and Autism
Environmental problems such as background noise, poor lighting or inadequate facilities
People’s religion, cultural background, native language and accent
3.2 – You can reduce communication barriers by reducing the background noise by moving to another room or turning down the volume of the TV/radio or closing doors to neighbouring rooms. You can use visual aids, body language and gestures to demonstrate or clarify your words for people who with a sensory impairment or learning difficulty. You could also look into getting a translator/interpreter to help with language barriers who may also be able to help you understand/learn simple everyday words.
3.3 – By observing the individual’s body language as well as verbal reaction you can gauge if communication has been understood. If you are unsure the information has been understood you could re-phrase the information or ask additional questions to clarify and confirm with them.
3.4 – You can access information and support from an individual’s care plan or their family as well as your colleagues and managers. You may be able to get information and support from other professionals that are working with the individual such as therapists and doctors. There are also various external services available to help with reducing barriers to enable more effective communication such as:
Translators – A translator usually helps translate written text from one language to another
Interpreters – These usually help translate spoken language from one to another. They can also help translate spoken word into sign language or Makaton.
Advocates – These can be friends, family members or external agency that can help voice or act upon an individual’s needs and preferences when they aren’t able to.
4.1 – Confidentiality means information should be shared on a need-to-know basis or with the individual’s consent and knowledge. The information shouldn’t be easily accessible to others that don’t need to access it.
4.2 – You maintain confidentiality in day-to-day workings by following the companies policies and procedures, which should be in line with the relevant legislation such as General Data Protection Regulation. One way you can do this is by ensuring the individual’s care plans are locked away in the office where only staff and other professionals who are working with the individual can access them. You can also maintain confidentiality by not sharing information about people that others didn’t know as long as it doesn’t conflict with safeguarding the individual.
4.3 – Information may need to be shared with others if there is a risk or concern about the individual’s safety such as a disclosure or suspicion of abuse or misconduct. You should inform the individual that you will be passing on the information and why you are doing so as you have a duty of care to them.
4.4 – The company’s policies and procedures should cover confidentiality and what to do when there has been a breach of confidentiality or you need further information/advice. I can speak to my manager or our appointed Data Protection officer to gain further advice. You should also have access to training about the relevant legislation that applies to your role.