Health issues – Having a health issue or issues can have an effect on the way we communicate e.g. when caring for someone who is suffering from schizophrenia, having difficulty thinking, suffering from delusions or hallucinations and feeling controlled this will affect the way in which you can communicate to them or the way in which they can communicate to you. This isn’t easy to overcome but can become easier by having the correct understanding and being sympathetic to their needs.
Cultural differences – There are many different ways in which some cultures can affect communication like when one thing has a meaning to one culture but a different meaning in another e.g. In Turkey, it's considered a huge insult to give a ‘thumbs up’ while here in the UK we see it as everything is good or having fun. When dealing with cultural patients in a care home or hospital setting it can cause upset, confusion and misunderstanding. Having the correct knowledge of different cultures could overcome this sometimes but in many case it’s almost inevitable to completely overcome it.
Language – This can become a barrier when someone communicates in a certain language or even sign language and there is no one with the same knowledge of that language who can understand. Accents – Certain accent can be very difficult to understand for e.g. People from Pakistan pronounce v’s as w’s and w’s as v’s e.g. they would say ‘vindow’ instead of ‘window’ and ‘vhat’ instead of ‘what’. In a place like a hospital or doctors surgery you may be faced with these problems making it hard to fully understand a patient which will result in not being able to fully meet their needs. This can be overcome by having someone there to interpret or someone to sign when not having the same language or when having difficulty understanding accents. Or if someone uses jargon – technical language e.g. ICU stands for intensive care unit in the healthcare profession. Using Slang – informal language like LOL laughing out loud, others may not understand. Even Dialects - can be barriers like the Scottish, some say mulk in instead of milk or dinny ken for don’t know. Acronyms - such as BOGOF (buy one get one free) may not be understood by all. They can all be overcome by having someone to explain or gaining knowledge of them but it is important that when explaining to patients we do not use these terms. E.g. Doctors use medical jargon when talking with colleges but patients may not understand so it is important that the doctor explains.
Disabilities – People suffering from disabilities such as Down syndrome or dyslexia can be limited to how much they can understand and if someone is deaf they cannot hear a message or if someone is blind they will not see a message like signs and advertisements. There are ways these can be overcome maybe not completely as it will always be an issue in these cases but e.g. for the blind they have Braille and for the deaf they use sign language. It is important when caring for someone with disabilities that you have knowledge of their condition and are able to deal with them in the way they need when trying to communicate.
Emotional difficulties – Our feelings or how we are coping can become a barrier to effective communication e.g. Some times when someone is angry while in an argument they block out other people and what they are trying to communicate or while driving mad they may ignore the red lights and signs. When people receive bad news they may become irrational thus becoming hard to communicate to. Another example would be when a sonographer during a scan for a pregnant woman, cannot find the babies heart beat it would be better not to say anything until it is confirmed by a doctor because saying something prior to confirmation might cause the pregnant women emotional stress causing her to become irrational and ignore that there actually maybe nothing wrong at all with her baby. Emotional difficulties is a common challenge that most healthcare professionals deal with in places like hospitals or in care homes. Distress – When someone is distressed they don’t usually listen properly and then misinterpret what is said or they may find it difficult to communicate especially when they become tearful which is another common problem healthcare professionals are faced with. They both can be overcome by giving the person time to calm down or being sympathetic towards them.
Here's what a teacher thought of this essay
Overall a very good attempt at this task. Various barriers to good communication are identified and appropriate examples are given in relation to H&SC settings. Just be mindful to use appropriate terminology throughout and check again for odd grammar errors.