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Communication is termed as one of the most important part to run a successful business. Without communication, no one can express their feelings or interact with other persons. Communication is termed as a way of carrying information through exchange of ideas, knowledge, facts to one or more persons. Communication should be through verbal, written or through gestures. Health and care sector help the patients with different problems or special needs like disabled people, blind people etc. They provide services to various patients suffering from dementia or any other severe problem like depression.
This report focuses on the various communication theories that are relevant in the health and care sector. It also focuses on different communication skills that are needed in the sector to effectively communicate with the service user. This report also focuses on various barriers of communication that occur while communicating with service user in Health and Social Care (HSC). Further, this report also explore the use of information technology in the health care unit and their impact on the service user (Guffey and Almonte, 2009).
Communication plays an important role in promoting services to service user in health care unit. It aims to improve health of patients by delivering information regarding the same and appropriate treatment that service user may opt to attain their well-being. Communication process is termed as a two way communication that involve series of stages to exchange information with their patients. There are two theories of communication that are classified under HSC which are:
Attribution theory: This theory was propound by Fritiz Heider. It is based on the attribution that is behavior of people in day to day life. This explains basic question of the people that what they do and how other people do. He classified this theory into two types:
Internal attribution: In internal attribution, individual always possess positive vibes and answers the question correctly. This is driven by emotional behavior and attitude of individual.
External attribution: In the external attribution, individual blames the external events for their behavior. Individual abstract their cause of failure to the external factors (Clouston and Westcott, 2005).
This theory help the health care unit to identify behavior of their patients effectively and adopt certain measures to handle patients effectively. It also understand the different behaviors of patients and help them in providing appropriate treatment to recover their health.
Care worker of HSC must have effective communication skills to serve diverse range of patients in the unit to meet their various requirement. Care workers must own different skills to interact with all different types of patients. MS G is an Indian women and she is being suffering from dementia and depression. She is showing sign of feeling unhappy, lack of motivation factor etc. Care worker should use different communication skills to interact with the lady and help her to overcome the disease (Ham, Dixon and Brooke, 2012). Various skills are:
Verbal communication: Verbal communication is the simplest skills that care worker may use to interact with the service user. These will help care worker in judging their expressions that they have understood or not. As with dementia people, this communication skill will help them in retaining daily functions that is taking medicine time to time.
Written communication: It is a professional way of communicating information to the lower person. In health care unit, written communication help the patients in memorizing the activities that they have to do. With written communication workers or practitioners note down the day to day activities for the patients that help in recovering the activities for patients.
There are some other skills that can be used at the health and care unit to provide effective treatment to various service user. Care worker should communicate or transfer information through non-verbal communication i.e. through body language, gestures, postures etc. This will also help patients in retaining information (Atwal and Caldwell, 2005).
Communication refers to transferring of knowledge and information between two or more persons. This process is influenced by both individual and cultural factors both have direct impact upon the service provider of care unit (Adams, Hean and Clark, 2006).
Individual values: Individual values include personal beliefs and behavior of an individual at the care unit. Every individual has their own perception and belief that directly affect care worker in delivering effective treatment. They need to identify behavior of different patients and help in communicating information to them.
Cultural factors: With increasing diversified population, care unit have different patients with different needs and every patients posses different cultural values, this lead to an obstacle in the communication process between worker and patients.
Strategies to eradicate communication barriers: Personal values and cultural values are termed as an obstacle in the communication process. These factors influenced communication in the care unit and lead to consequences in term of mistreatment, delay in operating patients that would affect their health etc (Guffey and Loewy, 2010). Health and care unit should provide appropriate strategies to eradicate communication barriers:
Proper media selection: Care worker should use appropriate medium to communicate with their patients like use of written communication should be used by doctors to convey complex messages to their care worker. Workers should also use appropriate medium for disabled patients. For example, written communication is not needed for blind person. Worker may use oral communication to communicate with those patients.
Avoid using different language: To remove communication barrier with patients of care unit, worker must avoid using different languages. They should prefer the language that should be easily understood by the patients. As in case of MS G, she is fluent in Hindi language but the care unit focus on English language. This may lead to an effective barrier in communication with the patients (Aveyard and Helen, 2010).
Speak clearly: Care worker should focus on communicating clearly with the patients so that they should understand the proper meaning and avoid confusion or misrepresentation of information. Care worker should speak clearly so that patients may understand their words properly and work according to their care worker.
Health care unit ensures effective and service user centered communication in the environment to satisfy their patients by giving them proper treatment to recover their health (Glasby, 2012). Poor communication affect the health care unit and lead to bad treatment for service user that directly affect their health. There are several ways for improving communication process in health and care unit. These are:
Follow proper path: As communication process follows certain steps to convey message to the user, care worker should follow proper path to be effective in delegating information to their patients. If care worker did not follow the proper path, it will lead to distract in the flow of communication process.
Avoid noise: Communication process should use effective measures to avoid noise while communicating information to another person. Noise refers to any disturbance at the workplace while performing any activity. Care worker should avoid noise by selecting appropriate medium of communication (Courtney and Thomas, 2004).
Translator: To eradicate communication barrier with the patients, care worker should use translator in case of language barrier. As MS G is not comfortable in any other language rather than Hindi, so care worker should appoint a translator so that communication process may complete.
Feedback: Feedback is an essential step for identifying that message is being understood by service user or not. Proper feedback help in removing barrier in communication process. By providing this, communication process completes.
Interpersonal communication is a process for exchanging message or information between two or more persons. It should be done through verbal and non verbal communication (Alford and Hill, 2003). Inappropriate interpersonal communication between individuals leads to a barrier in communication. It arises from wrong vocabulary selection, misrepresentation of body language etc. Various methods for dealing with inappropriate interpersonal communication are:
Proper training: Care worker should be given proper training before joining in the care unit. They should speak such words that may not create any confusion in the mind of care workers. Worker should use appropriate vocabulary so that patients may understand their words.
Effective listening: To deal with inappropriate interpersonal communication between individuals in health care unit, patients and worker both should effectively listen to the information that has been exchanged between both of them. Effective listening avoids the misrepresentation of words at the workplace and ensure effective climate (Martin, 2001).
No use of gestures: As health and social unit possess diversified patients with different cultures and values so, care worker should avoid using body language or gestures to express their feelings because gestures have different meaning in the different countries. This will lead to mistreatment of the patients or may delay in operating service user. Gestures will create misunderstanding between care workers and patients so workers may not use any gesture at the workplace.
These are the methods to deal with inappropriate interpersonal behavior between individual at health and social care.
Legislation, charters and code of practices have positive impact on the communication process in HSC. Legislation includes various acts like Equality Act 2010, Data Protection Act 1998, Human Rights Act etc. All these acts are amended to protect the interest of patients in the health care unit (Cowden and Singh, 2007). It helps in effectively communicating with service users like:
Equality Act 2010: This act help care worker to provide equal and fair treatment to all service users. Worker should not discriminate patients according to their religion or culture. This act also focuses on communicating information equally to all workers and practitioners of care unit. This will ensure equality among male and female care workers, it also motivates worker to be in health care unit and provide equal services to patients (Lewis, Goodman and Fandt, 2006).
As legislation that are framed by the governing bodies to ensure proper communication within the organization, there are certain associations and institution of HSC unit like standard of proficiency for social workers, health professions council etc.. This standards of proficiency includes various standards about communication skills, safeguarding interest of vulnerable people etc. The standard of proficiency is set in the care unit so that workers should provide safe and effective practices to their patients.
These code of practices and legislation benefits the health care unit by providing quality services to their patients so that they may get satisfied with treatment given by care worker. This will ensure recovery in health of patients (Ahmed and et.al., 2004).
Organizational systems and policies help in promoting good practices at the HSC. Health care unit should organize their system in such a manner that it lead to healthy workplace for their patients. Care unit should define each care workers' roles and responsibilities to attend their patients effectively. Care worker should know their responsibilities and roles that is:
Policies of health care unit should be according to the government legislation of UK. They have framed various policies regarding the health care unit to protect the interest of patients. Effective Policies of health and social unit includes:
Confidentiality: Confidentiality in health care unit include privacy while maintaining information of patients. The policies should be effective that workers should not disclose any personal information of their patients in front of any other person.
Equal opportunities: Policies should also include equal opportunities to all workers and patients in the service care unit. Every patient should get equal treatment, worker may not become biased with any patients (Kodner, 2006).
Anti-bullying: Policies should also protect the rights of workers and patients who are bullied at the workplace. For promoting good practices at health care unit, policies should contain penalty for the workers or patients who bully any person.
Information and Communication Technology is an advanced form of communicating information from one person to another (Pollard, Miers and Gilchrist, 2004). It is an integration wireless networks that enable the user to transfer information. ICT are essential in health and care unit to improve their system of working by integrating departments of care unit. There are various ICT software like MIS, ERP etc.
MIS (Management Information System): This tool help the manager in integrating all the department of health and care unit to monitor their performance towards their patients. MIS analyzes the problem arising in the unit and then design an appropriate application to resolve the problem.
These ICT software if used properly will benefit the HSC unit as:
These software are effectively used by Jeff in the care unit to communicate with the various departments and knowing about the various patients health. Through advanced ICT software, it is easy for Jeff to maintain all data in the computer regarding their patients. All information about the patients are stored in the computer. Through web conferencing, Jeff should communicate with the international doctors about the treatment for the patients. Email and internet are used by the workers of health care unit to transmit information across the national boundaries. Through email and internet, the health care unit may get various technological advanced equipment for the treatment of patients.
Health and care unit should use advanced ICT to transfer or exchange information across the nation (Brown, Tucker and Domokos, 2003). But care unit should follow legislative frame work that are derived by the UK government to protect the rights of patients. While using ICT, legal consideration should be kept as a factor:
Data Protection Act 1998: This act has been governed by the UK government to protect the personal data of any individual. This act focuses on right to privacy for processing personal data. This act has significant role in HSC, workers are not allowed to disclose any information regarding the patients or their family member in front of any other person (Poland, Lehoux and Andrews, 2005).
Access of Health Records Act 1990: This act focuses on accessing records of deceased persons. Family members or executor are allowed to access the records of dead persons. Fees should be given for accessing the information. These acts are important while using the ICT to transfer information.
Health and safety act: The health care unit also focus on the health and safety of patients regarding improper medical treatment. Worker should provide appropriate medicine after checking their health report. They should be given medicine as per the their diseases.
These acts implemented in the health care has positive impact on the unit that is there will be reliability and accuracy of data that have processed in computer and there will be no issue for protecting the data etc.
ICT is an advanced technology that is being used to access information through internet, email, video conferencing, cellphones or any other medium. This technology in care unit help the worker to communicate with other people across the world. This will help the health care in following ways:
ICT help patients in attending them at faster rate; with telephonic communication, doctors attend their patients and operate them quickly to avoid consequences (Davies, Finlay and Bullman, 2000). Further, ICT also help the care worker (Jeff) to keep a documentation of their patients in the effective ways so that workers may handle the information of their patients effectively. ICT help care worker in maintaining secrecy for their patients' information. ICT also help organization i.e. health care unit in maintaining portal for patients by which patients ordered medicine and get tips for maintaining their health. It also help health care in security and clinical safety of the care unit.
Along with these benefits, ICT also help health care unit in maintaining effective communication channel between two or more person. It is less expensive technique to share information across the nations. By ICT, it can order advanced equipment and tools for the treatment of patients. So, it have significant impact on the health care unit, patients and their care workers (Guffey and Almonte, 2009).
This report has focused on attribution theory of communication that help HSC to evaluate the behavior of their patients. It also suggested different communication skills like verbal, written and non-verbal communication that are needed in health care unit for dementia and depressed people. This report also reviewed the individual as well as cultural factors that influence communication process in the care unit and it also define the strategies to overcome the barriers of communication. Further, this also explain the impact of the code of practices and legislation policies on communication in the HSC. It also focuses on the benefits of using ICT to the patients, care workers and organization. Lastly, it has explored the use of Information and Communication Technology in HSC.
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