AO1 - Communication in Care Settings

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Communication in Care Settings


There are many different types of communication that can be used in care settings. The first that I will be looking at is Oral Communication.

When talking about Oral Communication, many people look into the communication cycle. This diagram below shows how effective communication can be achieved.

When two people are communicating with each other, the first person has an idea, they then code their message, this message is sent on to someone else through talking, the second person receives the message and has to decode it so that finally, the message is understood and they can think of an appropriate response.

Oral Communication can be defined as the process of expressing or sharing ideas and information by word of mouth.

Informal communication can be defined as a type of verbal communication

Some examples of Informal Oral Communication can include: Spoken word, telephone conversations, face to face conversations and business meeting discussions.

These examples of Oral Communication are used in most people's daily lives and are more known to occur everyday.

Formal communication can be defined as a type of verbal communication where the changing of information has already been defined, for example; requests, reports and commands.

A few examples of more formal types of Oral Communication include: Classroom lectures, graduation speeches and presentations.

These examples of Oral Communication are used less often in everyday life and are for more special occasions.

As with everything, there are pros and cons to using Oral Communication. I am going to talk through the advantages and disadvantages that can be found when using Oral Communication.

The advantages of Oral Communication are as follows; it is more personal because it is a conversation between two people that are expressing themselves face to face.

An example of this is between a GP and a patient.

The GP faces the patient and listens in order to show complete understanding and make the patient feel more comfortable in the environment. It is also a lot less formal to talk face to face and it is much quicker than most types of communication such as writing.

Talking face to face can help resolve conflict between people as if a text is sent, it can be taken the wrong way and cause bigger arguments.

When talking, the responses are quicker which helps people with decision making which is also another advantage.

Giving verbal encouragement is a great way to maintain energy in a team of people.

There are also disadvantages to talking face to face. A few of these disadvantages include; written communication can be more effective when giving confidential information, an example of this is receiving a letter from your hospital containing information about an appointment you may have scheduled. This is to ensure that you have all the information necessary for that day as it will usually contain a date, a time, which doctor/nurse you will be meeting with and which building you should be in for the appointment.

Another disadvantage is that important information usually needs to be documented in writing than speech. An example of this is care documents for the elderly that may be in residential homes. All of their dietary needs, allergies, next of kin information, any medical needs/history and other information. This is so that it can be easily accessed and is already documented so there is no need to phone family or hospital to find out medical records. It makes things a lot easier and helps run a lot smoother too.

Having a conversation face to face can often lead to missing things out or forgetting what you wanted to say. This is why a written letter is a better way of communicating in this case because you can plan what you want to say before you write it down, lowering the possibility of forgetting certain things.

Oral Communication is often seen to be used in various settings associated with Health and Social Care and Early Years, such as a hospitals, residential homes or nurseries.

In a hospital, Oral Communication can be witnessed through conversations between a Doctor and a Nurse, Doctor and Patient, Patient and Family Member. More of a connection can be made through Oral Communication as those that are engaging in conversation can view facial expressions and body language. Interest can be shown through maintaining eye contact, and use of tone and pace enables people to pick up on how a person is feeling. Being able to pick up on a person's tone is an essential skill needed in order to recognise exactly what is wrong with a person, for example, when they are examined by a doctor, the doctor must be able to pick up on the situation if the patient does not talk very much.

When a Patient is discussing their symptoms with a Doctor, this will be done through the use of Oral Communication. They will explain everything that is wrong with them, and the Doctor will diagnose appropriately, explaining the diagnosis fully to the Patient and talking through any medication they will need, how often to take it and what dosage to take. However, if the Patient lacks the mental capacity to understand, the Patient will have a named person (advocate) to assist them with any decision making and the Doctor will explain everything to this named person, who will then ensure the Patient's needs are met. This will lead to the patient feeling positive about their care and they will feel very supported throughout this.
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In a residential home, Oral Communication can be seen through the conversations between Management and Care Assistants, Care Assistants and Residents and Residents and Family Members. As with the above examples, a Care Assistant must be able to pick up on changes in the behavior and speech of the Residents, in order to recognise if the Resident is unwell. I work in a Residential Home for Dementia and I know that usually if the Resident is acting more out of the ordinary than usual in the way that they talk or the way they behave, they may be ...

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