Sexuality is the capacity for sexual feelings. Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being with regards sexuality. Sexual orientation is the gender to which an individual is attracted to. Sexual expression is the expression and experience of sexuality.
There are a myriad of factors that should be considered when promoting effective communication.
The most obvious is the method used to communicate. This could be verbal, sign language, makaton, pictorial aids or others but should be in line with an individual’s personal preferences.
The environment is another factor to consider as an improper environment could make an individual feel uncomfortable. Are they too hot or too cold? Is the lighting too dim or too bright? Are there any distractions (e.g. T.V, radio, other people)? Does the individual feel safe? Adjusting these environmental factors could have a positive or negative affect on an individual’s ability to communicate effectively. By understanding and learning about an individual’s personal environmental preferences, it is possible to create the optimum conditions to communicate with them.
Demonstrating active listening is another factor that helps to promote effective communication. Active listening involves focusing attention on the person doing the speaking, listening to what they say and then repeating back to them in your own words what you think they have just said. This ensures that the listener fully comprehends what the speaker is saying and can prevent misunderstandings. It is also a great tool to encourage an individual to open up more as they will be aware that you are listening to what they have to say.
Method. How effective is this method?
Speak to/Observe the Individual. In most cases, I believe this to be one of the most effective ways to communicate with an individual. By striking up a conversation with an individual, I can usually assess whether they are able to use the English language to communicate and how accomplished they are with it. That is not to say that this always works – it does have limitations. An individual may choose not to converse with me, in which case I may not be able to ascertain if they cannot use verbal language or they are choosing not to use it. If an individual does choose to talk to me, I am able to assess how comfortable they are with this method of communication and adjust my own language accordingly. If an individual is non-verbal, I may still be able to find some way of communicating with them, perhaps by using signs, body language or pictorial aids.
Read their Care Plan. All Care Plans should have a section on communication, which describes an individual’s preferred communication methods. This is a very effective method of finding out the communication and language requirements of an individual as the Care Plan will have been written following consultation multiple people that are involved in the individual’s life; this includes the individual themselves, their support staff, their family/relations/friends and the multi-disciplinary team.
Speak to the Individual’s Friends/Family/Relations. Family and friends are often the closest people to an individual and have known them for the longest period of time. Consequently, they will understand their communication needs more than anybody else and be able to provide useful pointers on how to communicate or communicate more effectively with them.
Effective communication is very important in an adult social care setting and can have a positive affect on relationships.
For example, communicating empathy when an individual is upset can make them feel cared for and understood, resulting in a deeper connection. Ultimately this builds trust between individuals, creating a more open, transparent and honest relationship.
Accurate and legible record-keeping is another very important form of communication in this setting as it ensures that everyone involved in the care of an individual is well-informed and up-to-date with the individual’s current and changing needs. When everybody is working in the same way, it creates a harmonious and stable atmosphere where an individual, their carers and other professionals can feel happy, confident and satisfied with their day-to-day tasks.
Create a guide for the new social worker for about how to reflect on their practice. The guide must include the headings listed with an explanation of each.
- What is reflective practice?
- Why is reflective practice important?
- How reflective practice contributes to improving the quality of service provision.
- How standards can be used to help a social care worker reflect on their practice.
This guide is intended for new starters at Care Company Ltd to explain the concept and importance of reflective practice in your role as a social care worker.
What is reflective practice?
Reflective practice is a technique that uses your experiences as a social care worker to help you to improve the way that you work..
You can use reflective practice in all aspects of your work but it is most useful following particularly difficult experiences. All you need to do is think about an aspect of your work (what you did, how you felt when you were doing it) and then critically analyse your actions and ask yourself how you could have done it better. Next time a similar situation arises, you can use the knowledge you have garnered from your reflective practice to aid you. The image below depicts a typical reflective cycle:
Why is reflective practice important?
Reflective practice is a vital skill to have in the health and social care sector because we want to continually strive to improve ourselves and the services that we provide. By analysing the way we work, we gain valuable insights into what we are doing and how we might do it better.
For example, John is a Support Worker for Client X. One evening after dinner, Client X refuses to do his washing up, despite John persistently prompting him to do so for 5 minutes, so John does his client’s washing up for him. Before going to sleep, John runs through these events in his mind and asks himself how he was feeling at the time. He acknowledges that he felt tired as he and Client X had been on a long bike ride in the daytime. And because he was tired, he didn’t want to get into a long debate about why his client should do the washing up and thought it would be easier if he just did it himself. It then occurs to him that his client was probably also very tired from their bike ride and that may be the reason he didn’t want to move off the sofa. He also remembered that his client is generally very neat and tidy and probably wouldn’t have been comfortable going to bed with dirty plates at the sink. On reflection, he deduced that it is very likely that Client X would have done his washing up before bed (if John hadn’t of done it for him). John concludes that he shouldn’t have done the washing up and should have left it for Client X to do in his own time instead. John makes a mental note to leave the washing up next time Client X refuses to do it.
How reflective practice contributes to improving the practice of service provision
Reflective practice can be used to continuously improve not only your own practice but the practice of your service as a whole. By sharing the insights that you and others have gained from your own reflective practices you can work together to change the way you work for the better. And, as everybody improves their work, by using reflective practice, the entire service provision improves.
How standards can be used to help a social care worker reflect on their practice
Standards can help you use reflective practice because they can provide you with the core values and guidelines within which you should work. For example, the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England provides guidance about how care workers should work and act in a compassionate and safe way. During your reflective practice, you should ask yourself if you are working within these guidelines and if not, then you can ensure that you adjust your practice to be in line with it next time.
People communicate for many different reasons. Socially, people communicate for pleasure, to ask questions or to offer choices. Communication can also be used to express a need or a feeling to others as well as share ideas and debate issues. In addition, communication can be used to show compassion and empathy towards others.