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Effective communication - P1, P2, P3, M1

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In all health and social care settings there are going to be barriers that affect your communication and interpersonal skills with a service user. These barriers can be extremely difficult to overcome or very easy, but with the right strategies, you can overcome them. Barriers to effective communication and interpersonal skills can vary. You can have barriers as simple as somebody not hearing what you are saying properly, or someone who does not understand what message you are trying to portray to them. You can also have barriers that are a lot more difficult to deal with such as, a service user having a disability, therefore not knowing what kind of learning styles they have and how they communicate; or you can have someone that has very low confidence and self esteem, therefore not willing to talk to you and open up. As a care worker, if I was talking to a service user that had 20/20 vision, and could hear perfectly in usual cases, yet they couldn't hear what I was saying, it would be classed as a barrier to effective communication. This is a simple circumstance that any professional may come across. If this does happen to any care worker, it is easily fixed. For example, you could move closer to your service user so that they could hear better. However, as you move closer towards the service user, you have to respect their proximity space, and not make them feel uncomfortable, intimidated or on edge. Also, another way to make sure they can hear you properly is to talk a little bit louder, making sure at the same time, that you do not come across as shouting at them. Talking in a louder voice and speaking in a more clear tone and voice will not only help the person to hear better, but also help them to lip read what you are saying. ...read more.


There are many advantages and disadvantages of trying to overcome the barrier of effective communication with an aggressive service user. In some cases, if you as the care worker are trying to talk to someone who is being aggressive, but you are talking to them in a calm and collected way, they might see you as being patronising towards them, and think that you are only treating them with such care so that they won't get more aggressive. This is why it is important to keep the same level of communication and sensitivity every time you see that service user. On the other hand, the service user may see that you are refusing to get angry back and are remaining confident and calm, which in turn, helps the service user to become calmer, allowing communication to be effective. Alternatively to someone having aggressive behaviour, submissive behaviour is also common when dealing with a service user. In some cases a service user will act in a submissive way, meaning that they will just agree with everything the care worker says, rather than giving their own input. This can be due to the fact that they don't want the care worker to know what the reason for them being there is. For example, if a care worker is a counsellor and they are talking to a service user, the service user may not want to open up and talk about what it is they are there to talk about. This can be due to the fact that the service user has issues with confidence or they think that the care worker won't respect the rights of their confidentiality. It could also be due to the fact that they think that the care worker will judge them based on what they say. As a care worker, you should make sure the service user knows that what is said is kept confidential, and that they will not judge the service user based on what is said. ...read more.


The best thing to do with this is to wait till the effects have worn off and then talk to them. This is not always reliable however because some service users may be alcoholics or may have a drug addiction, so when you see them, they may always be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. If this is the case, then you should refer to their GP, doctors or hospitals so that they can get themselves medical care. This is part of confidentiality and if you refer them without asking then it is breaking confidentiality, however, if I believed that they were at risk of harming themselves or other people, I could refer them to other professionals without their permission. My conclusion All heath and social care workers will come across barriers to effective communication. I believe that as a care worker, maintaining a professional attitude is important when dealing with any service user. Knowing when an interpreter is going to be needed, and understanding the situation of the service user before communication happens is always helpful, to help avoid any barriers to communication occurring to begin with. Care workers should always have a caring presence, and the attitude of wanting to be there to make the service user feel more comfortable. Maintaining confidentiality and trust between you and the service user is important for communication to move forward. There are many different barriers to communication, but by showing and keeping a positive attitude and knowing and understanding the service users needs and feelings, will help any barriers from occurring to begin with. In my opinion, some stratagies to overcoming barriers are very good, yet some are not. It is important that you use the right strategy to overcoming barriers depending on the service user and their needs. Some strategies work a lot better than others and are very successful, but sometimes these strategies are not useful for all people. Level 3 Health and Social Care Unit 1 - Task 2 P4, M2, D1 Joanne Rawden ...read more.

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