When communicating with others in health and social care, there are many factors which should be taken into consideration which support and inhibit communication. These factors include positioning within a health and social care setting, emotional factors which affect an individual’s different emotions, environmental conditions and special needs. If these factors are do not support communication then they can inhibit service users from having effective communication.
Firstly, positioning within a health and social care setting is an important factor to consider where communication is concerned. This is because positioning can either support or inhibit communication so it is crucial as to where things such as seating arrangements are concerned. For example, if a member of staff was talking to a patient then they would communicate more effectively with the patient if they were positioned at the same level as the patient in a comfortable position.
This is because it would make the patient feel less intimidated which would allow them to be more comfortable when communicating. By positioning people at the same levels, this would be a supporting factor of communication. On the other hand, if people were positioned at different levels and the patient is not entirely comfortable with their positioning then this could inhibit communication as they may feel intimidated, out of place or just simply uncomfortable which may make less likely to want to communicate.
Depending on the formality of different situations, patients can be made to feel comfortable if consideration of positioning is taken into account whether or not the situation is formal or informal. Secondly, emotional factors are another important factor to consider where communication is concerned. This is because where emotions are concerned; communication plays an important part in building trust and positive relationships if it is executed effectively. Examples of types of emotions which are important factors are fear, happiness, self-esteem, trust, empathy, responsiveness, attentiveness and respect.
Using fear as a means to support communication emotionally can be beneficial as it can stimulate responses and keep then patient alert during communication. It can also inhibit communication as it could scare the patient and make them fearful which could make them reluctant to respond. Using happiness as a means to support communication emotionally is beneficial in supporting communication as it can help patients see a situation form a more positive perspective, although at the same time is could inhibit communication as only promoting happiness is taking a biased view on a situation.
Self-esteem can be used to support communication as it can boost an individual’s confidence to try new things and can increase their self-esteem. Self-esteem can also inhibit communication as if the individual has low self-esteem then they will look at things from a negative perspective and will not be to open to looking at things from other perspectives. Trust can also be used to support communication as it shows that there is a strong bond between individuals which allows individuals to be cared for without worrying that they are not in safe hands.
Trust can also inhibit communication as although trust is more likely to support communication it can also inhibit it if an individual places trust in someone wrongly which can mislead them. Empathy can be used by care workers to support communication as it allows care-workers to put themselves in the same position as the patient to see things from their perspective to get a better understanding of the patient’s feelings. Empathy could also possibly inhibit communication if the care worker becomes too involved with the individual and may not want to let others assist in helping the individual as well.
Responsiveness supports communication as it is a way of care workers showing an interest in their patient by responding to their questions which will show that the individual is in the care workers best interest which values the patient. On the other hand, there is a slight danger that responsiveness may inhibit communication if the care worker becomes inclined to solve the individual’s problems instead of just helping them if they show too much interest in assisting the individual.
Attentiveness from a care worker can support communication as well as it shows that the care worker is taking a genuine interest in wanting to help and assist an individual. A very unlikely assumption which could be associated with inhibiting communication could be that a care worker could be seen as nosey if they are too attentive. Also respect supports communication as it values an individual if they are treated with respect. Examples of how individuals can be treated with respect are through not being patronized by care workers and by valuing their opinions.
This will make an individual more likely to want to communicate if they are being treated with respect. Respect can also inhibit communication by not valuing a patient’s needs or preferences. Furthermore, environmental factors such as space, lighting, ventilation and noise are all important factors which both support and inhibit communication. Space can support communication in a few ways. For example, if individuals are given an adequate amount of personal space then they will feel more relaxed when communicating.
Space can also inhibit communication if individuals are not given the correct amount of space they need to feel comfortable in such as if they are too close or far away from each other. This inhibits communication as an individual may not be able to hear what is being communicated to them if they are too far away and if they are too close then they may feel that their personal space is being invaded. An appropriate amount of space should be given in order for eye-contact to be made and for all individuals involved to be able to hear when communicating.
Lighting can also support communication. During a situation lighting should be appropriate to the occasion as it is important to create the right atmosphere when dealing with patients/individuals. Examples of the types of lighting needed in certain situations are in a meeting where a care worker may need to take notes and write important information down. In this type of situation; the lighting should be fairly bright and the room should be fairly light as the care worker will need to be able to see what they are doing when taking notes and writing things down.
Another example of lighting could be shown through a therapy session. The lighting in this particular setting would most likely be dimmed in order for the patient to relax in a calm atmosphere and to encourage the patient to relax during their therapy session. Ventilation can also support or inhibit communication. In order for ventilation to support communication it must be well ventilation to promote concentration and also to prevent the individual from losing interest.
Ventilation can also inhibit communication, for example; if a room is too hot or too cold then this can make the process of communication uncomfortable, frustrating and unsettling as the individual will not be able to relax if they are overheating or if they are freezing cold. Noise can also support and inhibt communication. An example of how noise can support communication is when the amoutn of noise is correctly adapted to the needs of the individual or to the atmosphere or environment.
Examples of how noise can inhibit communication are if a romm is too noisy then the individual may not be able to hear what the care worker is telling them so there is a high risk of misenterpreting what they are being told, or they may not be able to concentrate with a lot of background noise. Also, if a room is too quiet then the individual may not feel that the need for talking is appropriate and may becoem too relaxed which could lead to no communcation whatsoever.
Sometimes, quiet music could be played in the background in order to keep a relaxed atmosphere while enocurgaing communication. Moreover, special needs are another factor which can support and inhibit communication. Special needs include the use of Braille, British Sign Language, makaton and interpreters. Special needs can support communication by making sure that individuals who are using certain services are given access to all the facilities that they need in order to promote and enhance communication.
In order to properly support and promote communication, it is important for the care worker to face the individual so that the individual can see the care worker’s facial expression which shows attentiveness and shows that the focus is entirrely on the indidividual which makes the individual feel listened to and valued. Also, it is important for the care worker to speak slowly and clearly as speaking too quickly and unclearly can inhibit communication if the individual does not understand what is being communicated to them.
It is also important to use language which is appropriate to the individual which also depends on whether the situation is formal or informal. At times it may also be necessary to use the assistence of aid such as hearing aids or glasses in order to communciate effectively if the individual has vision or hearing impairments. Special needs can also inhibit communication as if special needs aids and special needs service are not provided then communication may not be effective and information may not be communciated accurately.
Finally, when considering the supporting and inhibiting factors of communication; the content of the communication being communicated is very important. This comes under the section of the ‘Importance of the content being communicated’ which states that it is important to think about what we wish to say to others. In some cases it is important to plan what we intend to say to others as it ensures that all essential content of the conversation is covered so that none of the content is forgotten.
A plan can be mental or written depending on how complex the content of a plan is. When thinking about interacting with others, it is important to think about many things. It is important to think about who information is being communicated to in order to make sure that information is being communicated to the correct person. It is also important to think about the message which needs to be conveyed when communicating as clarifying the main points of the message is essential to having effective communication.
Soemthign else that needs to be considered when information is being communciated is the aims and objectives of what is being communicated. This is essential to communicated as it is important to understand the main points and aims of the conversation itself as well as how to achieve them. It is vital to know where the interaction is taking place when considering communication as it is important to know whether any special arrangements need to be made for communication to take place, for example; is the individual with whom they are communicating with disabled?
Also, if during the communication confidential information is discussed then it is advisable to arrange to communicate in a private place where others cannot overhear the conversation. It is also important to be sure that the individual using the service understands what is being communicated to them. To make sure that the individual understands what is being communciated to them, the care worker should check with them by asking them questions to see if they fully understand what was being said to them.
Any culteral issues should also be taken into account when planning communication with others. By taking into account cultural issues, respect is shown to the individuals wishes which makes for better communication if everyone is happy. For example, the care worker may need to consider whether anything special is needed to be remembered within the communication. The last thing which should be taken into account when trying to cover the main content during communication is whether the person whom the care worker is communicating with has any special needs or not.
The care worker should ask themselves if there is anything they can prepare if the indidividual does have special needs in order to make the individual more comfortable. They may require special aids such as hearing aids if they have a hearing impairment so these needs should be taken into account when planning communication. The content of the communication is extremely important as the way in which we communciate determines whether the aim of the communication has been achieved or not.
It also determines how effective the communication was during the interaction with the individual. In most cases, the the main points which are raised in the content of communication section are points we automatic to many people. Even though these points may occur naturally to many people, it is still important that we are aware of them so that they can be a natural part of any situation in which people may communicate with one another.