When working in a care environment good communication is vital to develop good working relationships. People need to communicate for many different reasons. To express their needs and wants, share ideas and information, to build relationships, socialise, ask questions and share experiences.
Effective communication is important as it ensures that information is clear, concise, accurate, non-judgemental and informative. This reduces the possibility of mistakes being made and ensures appropriate care service delivery.
Communication is a 2 way process. It is about knowing that the person you are communicating with understands what you are saying and that you understand their reply. Observing body language and facial expressions helps the speaker know if the other person understands/agrees. This is because body language is instinctive and may be more effective than verbal communication.
Some of the people we support may have difficulty communicating verbally and some may be unable to speak at all. By studying peoples support plans and speaking with work colleagues it helps us to understand how the people we support communicate. Some may prefer to communicate using signs or gestures if their speech is difficult to understand.
There are many different methods of communication appropriate to who you are communicating with. For example talking face to face with a person we support or with work colleagues. Verbal communication also includes using the telephone. Written and visual communication could include written reports and instructions, text messages, emails, postal mail etc. It may also include the use of visual aids such as flash cards, picture books, television, ict equipment etc. Non verbal communication may include – the use of gestures, eye contact and body language which may indicate if you are attentive or bored.
There may be many barriers to communication. These barriers may include – sensory deprivation i.e. a visual or hearing...