Unit 1 – Task 1
Effective communication and interpersonal interaction in health and social care and factors that influence communication and interpersonal interaction in health and social care environments.
Write an article which:
Explains the contexts that can be used to communicate effectively.
Explains the types of communication that can be used in a health and social care context.
Explain interpersonal interaction.
Explain communication and language needs and preferences.
Contexts to Communicate Effectively
There are a number of contexts that can be used to communicate effectively such as one-to-one, groups, formal and informal.
One-to-one communication is the interaction between two people. Formal conversations often follow a three-stage model, an emotional warm up stage at the beginning, a business or exchange of information stage in the middle, and a winding down stage at the end. One-to-one communication is a very important aspect when working in a health and social care environment as it is important that you develop a good relationship with the people who you are working with. An example of one-to-one communication in health care could be a patient talking to his/her doctor, a doctor talking to a patient’s family and a doctor breaking sensitive news to a patient.
Group communication is getting a small group of people together who share the same problem to talk about it. Taking part in a group discussion involves the same issues as one-to-one communication as well as some additional issues. Group communication is a very important aspect when working in a health and social care context. These work better when the group is small as the leader can interact better than working with a large group. In healthcare group communication can range from AA meetings to drug abuse to various phobias which people want to overcome.
Informal communication is the opposite of formal communication. It is usually used when in face-to-face conversations with a friend or relative or a person who you know well. When working in a health and social care environment it is acceptable in certain situations to use informal communication such as communication between colleagues as long as it demonstrates respect for each other. Communication between professionals and people using services is usually informal but professionals must adapt their language in order to be understood.
Formal communication is the interaction between two or more people which does adhere to the rules of formal communication. Formal communication requires appropriate verbal and non-verbal skills. Other examples of formal communication are a formal letter or e-mail. Formal communication is present everywhere in health and social care practice for example formal conversation is often used when
a professional person, such as a health or social care worker, speaks to someone using a service. It is clear, correct and avoids misunderstanding. Communication with a manager is usually formal. A manager is usually more distant from those they manage so that if they need to, for example, issue a formal warning to someone, it is
less awkward for both parties than if they are friends.
Types of Communication
Communication between people enables us to share ideas and information but it involves much more than simply passing on information to others. It helps people to feel safe, to build relationships and develop self-esteem.
There are a variety of different types of communication which can be used in a health and social care context such as: text messaging, written, symbols, oral, visual, touch, music and drama, objects of reference, arts and crafts and communication using technology.
Written Communication is central to the work of any person providing a service in a health and social care environment when keeping records and in writing reports. It is essential for communicating formal information that needs to be reviewed at a future date. When people remember conversations they have had, they will probably miss out or change some details. Written statements are much more permanent and, if they are accurate when they are written, they may be useful later on. Different types of communication need different styles of writing but all require literacy skills. A more formal style of writing is needed when recording information about a patient.
Care organisations sometimes use signs and symbols to communicate with the people who use their premises. Signs and symbols are graphical ways of communicating essential information. Using images enables people who cannot speak or understand a spoken language, such as English, to communicate. 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.