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What is meant by communication and why it is important that care workers have good communication skills?

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Introduction

What is meant by communication and why it is important that care workers have good communication skills? People who work in health and social care rely on their communication skills to interact with people, patients and colleagues. Health and social care workers often communicate within group situations and communication is the key to perfect interactions. Different types of interactions for people who work in health or social care can be: * Service users (patients or clients). * Colleagues within their own organisation. * Health and social care workers from other organisations. * The family and friends of service users. The definition of communication is "the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior." There are three main types of communication and these are verbal communication, non-verbal communication and listening. Verbal communication occurs when people speak. These interactions are governed by rules such as by taking it in turns to talk, the way conversation begins with a formal greeting and the ways how we end a conversation. ...read more.

Middle

This can also be known as body language. The main features of non-verbal communication that are important are the following: Facial Expression The human face is made up of dozens of muscles which make it possible for someone to adopt a wife range of expressions which can signal many things such as: anger, fear, dislike, amusement, disbelief etc. Human beings make use of a very wide range of facial expressions and are very able at reading each other's non-verbal communication in this way. Eye Contact People's eyes, like facial expressions, are a good indicator of a person's feelings and emotions. The type of eye contact that you make with another person communicates a particular form of non-verbal message. It is important for care workers to be aware that people's use of eye contact is influenced by their cultural background. Gesture A gesture is a deliberate movement, usually of the hands, that is used to convey meaning. ...read more.

Conclusion

Listening involves paying attention to: * The linguistic features of what the person says. * The paralinguistic features of speech, including the volume, pitch and accent of the person's voice. * Non-verbal aspects of communication. Effective listeners tend to be skilled at using prompts and probes to find out what is the matter with the service user. The acronym SOLER was developed by Egan (1986) so listeners can encourage communication. S quarely O pen Posture L ean Forward E ye Contact R elaxed The communication cycle is the sending and receiving of messages. Messages are sent from one person to another through verbal or non-verbal communication. People use their senses to receive the message. To conclude, communication skills are important for care workers to promote effective listening, understanding and awareness of a service user's feelings. Fluency, clarity and sensitivity are all needed for effective communication within health and social care. For health and social care workers to be effective communicators it is necessary to encourage the skills and processes or listening and speaking. Katie Shepherd Health and Social Care 24th September 2004 ...read more.

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