Communicating in Health and Social Care Organisations
L1. Be able to explore how communication skills are used in health and social care
- 1.1 Apply relevant theories of communication to health and social care contexts
- 1.2 Use communication skills in a health and social care context
- 1.3 Review methods of dealing with inappropriate interpersonal communication between individuals in health and social care settings
- 1.4 Analyse the use of strategies to support users of health and social care services with specific communication needs
There is a multitude of theories that can be used in the communication of health and social care contexts. Gerald Egan developed a theory of communication using an acronym in order to build the
Components of communication with others. This was outlined in his book called ‘The Skilled Helper’. The acronym he developed is, S O L E R. SOLER is often utilized to guide health and social care workers when dealing with vulnerable individuals and also acts as an described technique for active listening. In the sort of nonverbal communication, Soler theory can be valuable when helping another individual as it can make the other party feel cared for, involved in what is going on and feel respected and read. Heavily used in counselling and other areas of Health and Social Care, the theory can also be read by anyone who cares to become a more serious listener. Tuckman’s theory of group formation is essential for health and social care as in most health and social care settings group work is used. This always seems to work and people communicate very well. According to his 5 group interaction stages, teams can get stronger, more productive and efficient. His stages include Forming – The initial stage of team development during which people have not yet gelled together. Everybody is busy discovering their spot in the team, sizing each other up, and asking themselves why they are here. Storming – People start to view themselves as part of a squad. Many conflicts or confrontations among team members occur in this stage resulting in some loss of focal point. Norming – At this point, team members begin to arrive together, developing procedures, establishing ground rules, deciding who does what, and how things will be managed. This form is known by a sense of “togetherness”. Performing – This is the last point where the increased focus on both the task, and on team relationships, combines to provide working together well. Public presentation is given up through people working effectively together. And characteristics of effective teamwork will help teams sustain performance.
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Communication has an essential role in any action that aims to improve health. It is difficult to imagine how a message could be delivered to promote healthy choices if we could not communicate. The communication process is a multi-dimensional transaction influenced by a variety of factors and as a transitional process and in a health context, it is an important part of health and social care contexts. Communication according to Minardi and Reily (1997) is an essential, instrumental and purposeful process. The communication transaction is one of sharing information using a set of common rules (Northouseand Northouse 1998).
The basic representative model of communication is commonly conceived as a one-way flow process consisting of a sender, message and receiver. In accession to this, other variables such s understanding by that receiver and feedback to the communicator can also be included. These last two variables are important for health communication as they imply two-way communication, thus making a motion away from the traditional concept of one-way communication towards multi-style communication. Communication in health takes place on many stages, including individual, group, organization, community or mass-media. Communication in health can be defined in much the same way as communication has generally been defined: a transactional operation. The primary dispute in communicating health is that the focus is not a universal one, but one specific to health data. Kreps (2003) summarizes the increase of ‘health’ to the definition of communication as a ‘resource’ that allows health messages (for example prevention, risk or awareness) to be applied in the education and avoidance of ill health. This broad definition incorporates the fact that health communication can take place at many levels and embodies a holistic access to health promotion.
In order to deal with inapporiate communications, a successful two-way communication process depends on carefully conveying the message so that the listener understands exactly what we mean as non-verbal behavior may carry more meaning than words.Wen it comes for – Speaking, clarifying the meaning with body language, facial expressions and voice to support the words is essential. Litening makes the communication process easier, attention should be given to the speaker, ad letting them finish before respond.The communication channels used is crucial in avoiding inapporiate communications, Face-to-face communication offers the best chance of full understanding, but the written word provides a more permanent record. A phone conversation restricts the effectiveness of body language, but notice tone of voice and speed of delivery, allows to pick up anger or annoyance.Pictures or symbols can be used to clarify communication, especially if either the listener or speaker has a specific communication difficulty and expressing emotion or explaining complex issues should be avoided.
In order to cater to people with specific communication needs, this can be divided into 2 sections such as assistive technology and human assistance. Within technology softwares and support devices can be used to support people.This can include voice activated softwares, text phones, loop systems and hearing aids.When it comes for human assistance, advocates, translators, interpreters depending on the requirements can be used for communication purposes and to reduce communication barriers I health and social care sectors.
L2.Understand how various factors influence the communication process in health and social care
- 2.1 Explain how the communication process is influenced by values and cultural factors
- 2.2 Explain how legislation, charters and codes of practice impact on the communication process in health and social care
- 2.3 Analyse the effectiveness of organisational systems and policies in promoting good practice in communication
- 2.4 Suggest ways of improving the communication process in a health and social care setting
Communicating across cultures is challenging. Each culture has set rules that its members take for granted. Few of us are mindful of our own cultural biases because cultural imprinting begins at a very early age. And while some of a culture’s knowledge, principles, opinions, values, phobias, and anxieties are taught explicitly, most of the info is absorbed subconsciously. Within Health and Social care context, intercultural communication is a field of study of importance because of increased globalization and also because of growing workforce who are different ethnically and culturally. Cultures provide people with ways of remembering–ways of experiencing, listening, and interpreting the world. Hence the same speech can imply different things to people from different cultures, even when they utter the “same” speech communication. When the languages are different, and the translation has to be practiced to communicate, the potential for mistakes increases. Stella Ting-Toomey describes three ways in which culture interferes with effective cross-cultural understanding. First is what she calls “cognitive constraints.” These are the frames of reference or world views that offer a backdrop that all fresh data is comparable to or introduced into. Second are “behavior constraints.” Each culture has its own regulations about proper behavior which affect verbal and gestural communication. Whether one sees the other individual in the eye-or not; whether one reads what one means overtly or talks around the subject; how close the people stand to each other when they are talking–all of these and many more are rules of politeness which differ from culture to culture. Ting-Toomey’s third factor is “emotional constraints.” Different cultures regulate the showing of emotion differently. Some cultures get very excited when they are deliberating an issue. They cry, they scream, they demonstrate their anger, awe, frustration, and other feelings openly. Other cultures try to hold their emotions hidden, exhibiting or sharing only the “rational” or factual aspects of the situation. All of these conflicts tend to lead to communication problems. If the masses involved are not cognizant of the potential for such problems, they are even more likely to fall victim to them, although it needs more than awareness to defeat these problems and communicate effectively across cultures.
Legislation exists to protect the rights of individuals and promote equality of opportunity for all. As a career, being aware of my rights and those of the people I would care for can help both of us get fair access to things that most people take for granted. This could be public transport, paid employment and health services. In order to prevent discrimination or harassment because of their age, disability or caring role, or for other reasons such as race, sex or sexual orientation the Equality Act was introduced in 2010, strengthens the law in certain situations, including increased protection for disabled people, and new measures protecting the careers of elderly or disabled people.
The Data Protection Act 1998 establishes a framework of rights and obligations which are planned to safeguard personal information. This framework balances the legitimate needs of organizations to accumulate and utilize personal data for business and other purposes against the right of individuals to respect for the secrecy of their personal details. The legislation itself is supported by a circle of eight principles, which induce to be complied with. The exemptions either allow for the disclosure of information where there would otherwise be a breach of the Act or allow information to be withheld that would otherwise need to be exposed.
Apart from these legislations, Charters such as CQC, Voices into Action, Department of Health
Information Charter provide many important knowledge and information in a variety of topics such as public health, social care, national health services in order to communicate to the mass public where information can be passed on a large scale.
Codes of practise such as Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers would ensure that right actions has been taken in order to protect and comply with registration requirements. So, health and adult social care registered providers will have to show that they meet the regulation of different codes to minimise spreading of diseases or infections.
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When it comes for communications, processes and procedures as of utmost importance for the clear flow of communication among internal as well as external parties involved.In a health and social care context, according to the staff role, responsibilities should be divided and each one shoul take accountability for their own actions.And data protection is essential to protect the confidentiality f the client and this are further strengthened by acts such as the data protection act.According to job role, working instructions should be given to the workers.Policies such as equal opportunites would be needed to help health and social care workers to develop and advance in career while other policies such as safeguarding, anti-bullying would safe guard employees against discrimination and protect them from health and safety issues.
In order to improve, there should be reflective practice among all individuals working within the health and social care environment.Special attention should be given towards looking after patients where if client-centred care is developed, this would bring in growth to business.Oranizations should also consider staff development where rewarding and remuneration, career development and staff recognition programmes can increase motivation and lead to more productivity and efficiency of care workers.Collaborative working enviornments should be created where skills and knowledge can be exchanged and information passed out for mass public.And compliance with legislation and
policies would improve quality of the services provided while protecting both sides such as the workers and their clients.
L3.Be able to explore the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health and social care
- 3.1 Access and use standard ICT software packages to support work in health and social care
- 3.2 Analyse the benefits of using ICT in health and social care for users of services, care workers and care organisations.
- 3.3 Analyse how legal considerations in the use of ICT impact on health and social care.
ICTs can be defined as tools that facilitate communication and the processing and transmission of information and the sharing of knowledge by electronic means. This encompasses the full range of electronic digital and analog ICTs, from radio and television to telephones (fixed and mobile), computers, electronic-based media such as digital text and audio-video recording, and the Internet, but excludes the non¬electronic technologies.In recent years, health and social work practice has adapted to include new forms of recording and monitoring – including the use of information and communication technologies (ICT’s) and the usage of different softwares in order to increase productivity and efficiency of the workers.Softwares such as MS office is used in creating Powerpoint presentations that will be used in teaching as well as managerial backgrounds, word processing softwares in drafting legal documents, and excel in maintaining customer and client data bases.
When considering how these ICT packages are used in a health and social care context,they are used in a variety of ways. In, Medical, health, and healthcare informatics, these are used as skills and tools which enable information to be collected, managed, used and shared to support the delivery of healthcare and to promote health (NHS, 2006). On E-health, the utilization of emerging information and communication technology and software packages, especially the Internet, to improve or enable health and healthcare (Eng, 2001). This has bridged both the clinical and non-clinical sectors and includes equally individual and population health-oriented creatures. And finally the health system where these are used in all activities whose primary purpose is to promote, restore or maintain health. This includes, but is not limited to, the preventive, curative and palliative health services provided by the health care system (WHO, 2000).
ICTs have clearly made an impact on health care. They have Improved dissemination of public health information and facilitated public discourse and dialogue around major public health threats while enabling remote consultation, diagnosis and treatment through telemedicine. Facilitated collaboration and cooperation among health workers, including sharing of learning and training approaches are supporting more effective health research and the dissemination and access to research findings which have strengthened the ability to monitor the incidence of public health threats and respond in a more timely and effective manner while also improving the efficiency of administrative systems in health care facilities.
A wide range of stakeholders within the health and social care industry are benefited, in the developing world are potential beneficiaries of ICTs. They are from a top level to a grass root level giving out services to the public .They include International agencies (WHO, UNAIDS), International NGOs, Government ministries, Provincial hospitals and health departments, health workers, doctors, community leaders, patients and citizens.
According to WHO, the use of ICTs in health is not merely about technology (Dzenowagis, 2005), but a means to reach a series of desired outcomes, such as health workers making better treatment decisions and hospitals providing higher quality and safer care. People now can make informed choices about their own health and due to this government also becoming more responsive to health needs where national and local information systems supporting the development of effective, efficient and equitable health systems help policy makers and the public awareness of health risks. And this has made people have the information and knowledge they need for better health.
But when considering how legal legislations are impacting the usage of ICT. I belive they do more good than harm . With so many people using computers today, and with many of the computers connected to the internet, many users worry that others will misuse their computers and, e.g. steal their data to commit fraud. The Data Protection Act aims to protect the rights of the owners of the data. It does not actually protect the data. The Act sets out rules on how the data should be stored and used and provides a means for the owners of the data to complain and sometimes to claim compensation if their data is misused.This gives privacy for people involved in health and social care sector as patient information, client information can be protected from going nto wrong hands.
Almost everyone, not just all employees and employers, have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Acts to work and behave safely; also the Act makes it illegal to act recklessly or intentionally act in such a way as to endanger yourself or others. Employees must take reasonable care for their own and others safety and cooperate with their employers in doing so.Ass unless proper precautions are taken place, injuries can occour which can have huge impacts.
Injuries such as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) are common and are caused by the repetitive clicking of the buttons of a mouse or a keyboard and shows itself as pain in the arms. It is not certain that RSI or CTS are actually caused by repetitive actions when using computers, but these actions do seem to make the conditions worse. Aside from this Headaches are frequently induced by troubles with vision, Neck or back pain may be linked with incorrect postures or Eyestrain or sore eyes may be induced by using computers for long periods. But not only these, using computers can also have physical harm if we are not sensible and under the statute laws of health and social care, cautions are taken place in creating awareness ad reducing these kind of situations among employees, patients and other involved parties an thanks t proper legislations this is a success.
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