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Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

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Maisie Cooper

on 1 December 2015

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Transcript of Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

By Maisie Cooper
Developing Effective Communication in Health and Social Care
Effective communication as we know is made up if 5 key stages
Knowing your audience
Appropriate language
Clear speech
Understanding the message you're communicating and
Speaking at the correct pace
By doing all of these things whilst we're communicating it enables us to send and receive messages without fault or error.
What is effective communication?
What sort of factors will influence communication and interpersonal interaction in a special needs school?
What are the personal barriers that we may face when communicating with children?
BTEC National Health and Social Care Level 3
BTEC Health and Social Care Book 1 Level 3 BTEC National
What is Interpersonal
Interpersonal interaction enables us to communicate feelings, emotions and meaning through both verbal and non-verbal interactions when with two or more people. These include:
First language
Tone of voice
Eye contact
Facial Expressions
Reflective listening
When communicating with a child with special needs it is important to remember and think about the various factors which may influence the communication either positively or negatively. There are 6 key environmental factors which can effect your communication with another person. These are;
Setting around you
Some of these factors help towards making communication better and more effective where as the some of the others limit the communication being made and make it more of a
Depending on the situation people can either feel comfortable or uncomfortable with the setting they're in. A classroom with lot's f children in can sometimes be too intimidating making people not want to open up. Whereas a smaller room with no other children or teachers in can feel more comforting as they've got their own personal space. However these can be switched around and have the complete opposite feelings towards them.
Schools tend to be quite noisy no matter what. This means we need to make sure that we have an indoor voice and outdoor voice for the children. This will ensure that children with hearing impairments and hearing aids won't get distracted from background noises as they will be amplified. Following this we can also speak clearly so that they can still lip read if they can't hear us
Classrooms will have a basic structure of tables palced in lines or grouped together. When being in a special needs school it will depend on the year that you're teaching as to what setup it should be in. From infant years up to year three the tables will be set up in a horseshoe shape so that the teacher can sit in the middle and access everyone and all the students can see each other. Years four to six will be being prepared for secondary school so will have the tables set up in rows
Lighting has a big effect on our communication as either way with too little or too much light it can prevent effective communication. Too much light can cause a glare making them squint and too little light can make the children strain their eyes because they want to see what non-verbal communication you're using. Lighting will affect everyone but especially children with a visual impairment as they already struggle to see things when they've got perfect lighting.
When we talk about space we mean the environment around us. Although it does sound very similar to setting it has it's differences. With space we need to make sure that the environment around us is clear and not messy. This will get rid of most distractions and it's known that having a clean room can make it easier to communicate. However, sometimes children find that big and open area can feel intimidating which may limit their speech/communication.
Time is one of those factors that can cause many limitations whilst communication is in progress. We must always bare in mind that we are teaching and helping young children who have some form of special needs, meaning that it may take them longer to absorb information. This may mean that you'd need to spread one lesson over multiple instead or you could bring in a mentor to help the children with any work they've missed or didn't understand. However, you will also have some kids who are quick at taking in information so need to be prepared with either another task for them to do or something completely different. You could get the faster student to go and help the slower student which will make them more independent.
Difficult, complex or sensitive issued barriers
= this is when something stops or prevents communication from happening. This can be a physical, emotional or verbal barrier and will limit your effective communication and interpersonal interaction
When you're met with a difficult issue - like a death in the family for example - it will affect communication in a way that it's made almost impossible for it to happen. As a young infant the child may not understand what is going on however the older years and other relatives will understand. The situation becomes complex when we begin to discuss the event that has happened. This is due to the fact that it's still a gentle issue to talk about or that they just don't want to talk about it. When an issue is sensitive it allows us to put ourselves in their shoes without showing lack of interest.
When overcoming difficult/complex/sensitive issue we need to make sure that we're encouraging communication to occur by showing empathy. Also we need to know what we're talking about and understand the event in which has taken place in the outside world. Following this we must check see if the other person even wants to talk about the situation as we don't want to cause discomfort. We (as a teacher) need to show that we're paying attention to the child/parent so that they know we're here for them as support and someone to talk to.
Values and Beliefs
No matter where you go there will always be people with different values and beliefs to you. Ina school setting this will be a definite occurrence. However with such a big variety of students with varying values and beliefs we need to ensure that misunderstandings aren't made and that we don't offend anyone.
In order to over these misunderstandings we need to show our respect to the different beliefs by teaching ourselves about the different religions and ethnicity's that are in your class (for example some religions don't eat certain things). Also we shouldn't impose our values and beliefs onto them as we need to accept that they're an individual so will be different.
Language Needs and Preferences
Everyone has a language that they are born into and brought up with. This means that when we meet someone with another first language to us we can cause misunderstandings to occur due to the jargon and various dialects in which we use. This can cause frustration and confusion due to the many differences in not just languages but interpersonal interactions. However this isn't just languages that we speak but also the oens that we use gestures for like BSl and Makaton.
Due to the fact hat we work in a special needs school we would need to know how to communicate through things like Makaton, BSL and Sign-along, however before we can sue any of these we need to know what their preferred style of communication is. Whilst we're signing we can also summarize or paraphrase what they're saying so that the sender knows whether we're understanding or not. The main thing is that me must be
. Patience is a virtue in this situation as the child may've forgotten how to sign a certain word or may just be slower than others at signing.
Assumptions, prejudice and stereotyping
When we assume something we can effect the way that we treat or see someone meaning that we act differently around them. Due to us making assumptions about people it can easily lead to misunderstandings and can offend the other person a lot.
One way of overcoming stereotyping is by not judging someone before you even know them. This way you get to know the person and then you can make a reasonable judgement. Instead of pre-judging people we should empower them by telling them the things they can do to help themselves, let them be independent and look after themselves and also we should be interdependent and work together as colleagues to help the children.
Cultural Variation
This can be seen as very similar to values and beliefs but it's not. Cultural variation is the way you're brought up and the way you act. For instance in France they greet each other with a kiss on each cheek where as in England we shake hands. This links in nicely with assumptions as this is one of the things that we can judge people on.
We can make sure that we don't offend people by learning about the different cultural variations that you have in your class so that misunderstanding won't occur. We also need to make sure that we treat every child the same and not change the rules for certain people who are different as this is discriminatory behavior.
Use and Abuse of Power
Power will always be found in the hands of a teacher or any adult at a school. This means that we have control over the children BUT we must not take this too far and use it suitably. When we abuse power we can make confidence decrease and others will tend to be intimidated and you'll find that children do not want to come to school.
A way in which we can prevent using power against the children is by allowing everyone to be an individual and accepting this. We should in fact be empowering them to be different and using our power to aid their communication skills instead of limiting it. We can ensure that no power is abused by sticking to the code of conduct that a teacher has to do
Drugs and Alcohol
This wouldn't be found in the children purchase but however it would bed int the parents. There are many reasons as to why they may be under the influence of drugs and alcohol, this could be depression or a way of coping with grief. Alcohol is seen as a comforter and makes people feel more confident however it leads you disorientated and your communication capability decreases. Drugs are normally started off when younger and carried on into the olde generation and these habits can leave bad examples for their children.
We can organize meetings with the parents and give them time to express their emotions, feelings and reasoning's as to why they use these specific things. When in these meetings it can be great idea to show our support and affection towards them but without being patronising.
Personality, self-esteem, anxiety and depression
Many people can have issues to do with their appearance, the way they act and whether people like them or not. This can be found in both children and adults so we need to be able to identify if these things are occurring in either age groups. People will genuinely have a lack of confidence and be quite pessimistic about situations vents that will occur.
In these situations we must make sure that we show comfort and sympathy towards the other person without being patronising. Also we need to try and not intimidate them by saying that our opinion is right and that there's isn't. A major point is that we must keep all information that we've taken in, in this conversation confidential as it will show that we can be trusted and that they can open up more toward.
Sensory Impairment and Disability
When we talk about sensory impairments it means a lack of use or hindered use of a sense (touch, taste, hearing, smell, sight). The two impairments that are most likely in a school setting is hearing and visual. This means that a child will lack the capability to use these senses.

When aiding children in overcoming their impairment we must ensure that we know how the child would prefer to communicate so that we can adapt ourselves to fit their needs. Also try to make their communication style as simple as possible so that it's much easier for them to communicate.
Aggression and submissiveness
Aggression and submission are polar opposites. We're normally aggressive when we're frightened or frustrated and we're normally submissive when we're stressed or threatened. This type of behavior limits our communication and especially affects one-one communication.
We must ensure that we're not coming across as threatening as it can make the person who is already aggressive or submissive as it may heighten their emotions. We must also be wary of their behavior and interpersonal interaction to make sure whether they're feeling comfortable or not.
Technological Aids
Hearing aids
Textphones/relay systems/minicoms
Loop systems
Voice-activated software
Human Aids
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