Types of Communication in Health and Social Care Settings

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Communication in health and social care settings is important as it’s needed a lot. It could be within teams of nurses, different organisations or between a doctor and the patient. The methods vary and will occur for different reasons. Some examples of communication are offering reassurance, informing someone, guiding individuals and interacting. Communication can convey information in many different ways. If it’s verbal it involves their tone, pitch and volume with how it comes across.

To ensure communication is completed effective listening is needed. Non-verbal communication can be done through body language like facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, body position and how someone may be dressed. Written communication involves things like care plans and patient notes which are handwritten for the use of other staff members. Electronic communication includes things like emails or date being submitted. These could be electronic blood pressures or monitoring machines. Pictures may also be used as a way of communicating. This could be used between nurses and patients for example, showing a picture of a drink to show your need for one. Another would be that a step by step procedure may be shown through pictures. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 63).

The Range of People Who Need to Communicate

Most people in the health and social care settings will need to communicate. For example, the individuals and family members will need to communicate with carers. The carer needs to ensure they listen to the individual about their wishes and concerns without feeling unsympathetic or uncaring. If there is a lack of communication it may make people feel isolated, so it’s important to communicate efficiently. It is also important that there is communication between carers and family members as the carer has a key role to reassure and listen to family members concerns. Practitioners and colleagues will also need to communicate. This is because partnership is important in health and social care settings. To have effective working communication is key, especially at handovers as the next team need to know everything about the patient. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 65).

Reasons for Communicating in Health and Social Care Settings

Communication is one of the top reasons as to why complaints are made, this is because communication has a massive impact on all aspects. Communication with the individual is important as they will need reassurance, they also have the right for their views and beliefs to be respected. You may need to communicate if they ask questions about their treatment or a certain procedure and good communication is needed to answer these questions properly. It is also important to ensure communication is kept up between family members and the carer or practitioner, this is to ensure they know everything they’re entitled to know about their family member who is in care. If there isn’t communication between practitioners and colleagues no one will know what the patient has had done, what medication they’ve had etc. it is especially important to communicate at hand over otherwise no one will know anything about the patients they’re dealing with when realistically they need to know the whole care plan for each patient. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 65).

A reason for communication is to offer reassurance. It is important that reassurance is given as it can help someone feel less anxious and they’re able to talk about their concerns about situations. An example of this would be explaining to a patient about the procedure they’re going to have, this would reassure them as they know what to expect and know what exactly is going to happen. Another reason for communicating is to guide someone. This may be guiding someone how to do something properly or how to get somewhere. This could be used when teaching a student nurse as they will need guidance on how to fill out documents. Asking questions is another way of communicating and a way to gain information. This may be a patient asking carers questions about their treatment or procedures which are going to take place.

Communication is also needed for support. This would be when you give assistance to help someone. An example of this may be giving someone help withstanding up or getting dressed if they require the help and have had the choice if they want the support or not. Communicating will also be needed to inform someone. This means giving instructions or directions to someone. An example would be when someone has had a fall and hit their head, you would need to inform about what to do like needing rest. Another reason for communication is to express feelings and concerns. It explains peoples states of mind like feeling anxious or pleased. Or they may have a concern about their worries or issues which are bothering them. For example, a new resident at a care home may express that they feel anxious and scared as it is a new environment with a lot of new people in it. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 62).

A Range of Preferences that People May Have

Speech and language therapists

Speech and language therapists are professionals that work with individuals who have difficulties with communicating, eating, drinking and swallowing. They help people in various settings like hospitals, schools, homes and prisons. Reasons people might need assistance are that they have a stammer, learning disabilities, throat cancer or have had a stroke. They offer support and advice for the individuals which find it difficult to make themselves understood, have problems understanding and have issues using language. They may give advice to care staff and other professionals which need support. If someone needs a speech and language therapist, they will usually be referred by a GP or hospital impatient services. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 68).

Interpreting services

Interpreting services are for people who speak a different language. They will deal with situations over the phone or in person face to face, or another way is the online services. Their job is to facilitate conversations and discussions so the individual speaking another language can feel fully involved and engaged in the discussion. It also ensures they understand everything completely about what is being said to them and can get across their own meanings. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 68).

Translation services

Translation and interpreting services are very similar. Translation services usually focus on translating written material into a different language for individuals. An example of this relating to health and social care would be if someone needs a referral form to be translated into a different language. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 68).

Advocacy services

Advocates are people that aren’t friends or family and will be independent. Their job is to help vulnerable people in society that need assistance accessing information, to become involved in situations, explore their choices, define and promote their rights and responsibilities and to speak out about their issues and problems. (Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care book, 68).


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Cite this paper

Types of Communication in Health and Social Care Settings. (2020, Nov 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/types-of-communication-in-health-and-social-care-settings/

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