This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 6.1a Describe the different ways that people communicate (Care Certificate, Standard 6: Communication)
- 1.2 Explain how effective communication affects all aspects
of your own work (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Communication in care settings)
- 1.2 Explain how communication affects relationships in the work setting (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Promote communication in care settings)
Communication is very important in a health and social care setting and effective communication can have a positive affect on all aspects of your own work.
By communicating effectively with colleagues, managers and other professionals, you will be ensuring that the messages, instructions, questions and ideas that you are sending are received and understood correctly by the other party. Similarly, you will also ensure that you correctly understand what is being communicated to you by others.
Perhaps more than in any other industry, health and social care requires teams and professional partners to work as a single cohesive unit to provide the clients with a uniform care structure. Effective communication assures that everyone is on the same page and minimises mistakes.
In addition, health and social care requires a lot of record-keeping which must be accurate and legible (by law) so good reading and writing skills are a must. If things go wrong, sometimes the only way to back up your actions is by the documentation that you have written.
Effective communication is also critical the clients that you support.
If you are unable to understand one another then you will not be able to provide them with adequate support as you will be unable to understand their needs, preferences or wishes. There may also be other reasons why someone needs to communicate with you.
Some clients may not be verbal and so you will need to learn to communicate them using other means such as facial expressions, makaton or gestures. You may even need to become familiar with their language if they do not speak english.
It is also important to know when NOT to share information in order to maintain confidentiality.
Communication can have a considerable impact on the working relationships that you have with clients, their family and friends, co-workers, managers and other professionals. If you can be clear, concise and, where necessary, assertive and ensure that the messages that you want to convey are understood correctly then over time you will build strong bonds with those that you work with. Mutual trust and respect and the ability to work towards common goals together is a direct result of effective communication. Conversely, poor communication skills can lead to poor relationships.
One of the great things about being a care worker is that it opens up opportunities to improve all aspects of your communication and become a better speaker, listener, reader and writer. And these skills can be transferred to your personal life as well.