P3: factors that influence communication
There are many factors which influence communication; Such as when talking to a service user, it is important to make sure the individual can understand the care worker. There are also a number of factors, for example, sensory factors. Most of the time, sensory factors can affect communication, it might be hard for a service user to hear an individual if there is a lot of background noise especially if they have a hearing impairment or they use hearing aids as the noise will be amplified the sounds become louder to their ears which causes irritation and lead to stress if this is something they are constantly going through, this means communication would be delayed and ineffective.
When a service user is conversing, their sight can be off putting as it can be something that is causing them distraction for example if a carer is talking to an individual and they are standing behind them, it might be hard for the individual to understand non-verbal communication which can be very difficult, as it can be very hard to sense other people’s facial expressions, if they are unable to see, poor lighting can become a barrier as it can restrict someone’s view such as when the lights are very bright it can cause the eyes to strain or if the lights are deemed or too dark service users who have vision impair emend would not be able to communicate effectively because they can not lip read and might not be able to see someone who is doing BSL for them accurately.
Also rooms with awkward sitting positions may feel uncomfortable, service users are unable to see each other if they have their backs facing others, seating positions that do not allow service users to see the board at the front during activity times can cause them to miss important information as their view is restricted.
Furthermore, it can be hard for individuals to converse especially if the service users is in an area where there might be poor ventilation, it can cause discomfort whether if it is too hot or too cold, poor ventilation in a room can lead to stress, anxiety and make an individuals asthma worse similarly a room that is very hot causes tiredness, dizziness and make someone feel sleepy.
Knowing in south Norwood, there are many patients from diverse cultural backgrounds who have different disabilities, health problems etc., it is important that when communicating, the service users should be in a suitable place where their sensory abilities are not affected by environmental factors.
When an individual cannot communicate effectively, it can lead to misunderstanding and ineffective listening skills and that’s where barriers come in. there are different types of barriers when it comes to communication.
According to health and social care (health and social care 2010 B Stretch/ M Whitehouse, unit 1 N Moonie, pg. 22 edition 3) there are different kinds of barriers to communication which are
? Communication is not received: when sensory and language needs are not met communication will not be understood
? Communication is received but however not understood
? Understanding is inaccurate
Barriers to communication
Difficult, complex and sensitive information and empathy:
In health and social care , there are many times when communication can become difficult, complex and sensitive. Sharing convoluted information with service users, it can be hard for the information to be processed and understood. That’s is when staff is talking to an individual, they need to ask if the individual understood what is being said. For example a staff explaining to a service user that a loved one has departed or telling a service user they have a sickness such as HIV/AIDS etc and That is why care workers need to understand and build an understanding of other people’s emotions so they they can support them fully.
When an individual is under grief or stress from the information being provided, further information or advice might start to become unclear due to shock or overwhelmed emotions. When a care worker promotes a caring presence for the service user, it helps them to understand and feel what the service user is feeling and also be able to develop empathy. When a care worker emphasise with other person, it allows them to explore the different emotions of the individual. Furthermore, when a service user is going through a difficult time, sometimes non verbal communication is more effective rather words such as a hold on the shoulder or even a hug.
Jannet has been noticing some health symptoms such as blood in her urine, difficulty in swallowing, change in bladder habits etc. She’s recently had a blood test and it was found that she has cancer. At 12:00 Miss janet would have now known about the result. It is important that the care provider is there for her as this information can be very difficult to hear for the first time.
Language needs / preferences
While working in a health setting, knowing britain is known to be very multicultural, practitioners may come across many people who are different backgrounds and cultures which means they have their own way of life, they from different languages communities , dissimilar preferences etc. Language is one major barrier when it comes to communication and may even lead to predicament for the two individuals trying to communicate.
Janet, from the following example may speaks a certain dialect and she may need an interpreter to help her to communicate with the whom ever she spoke to about her health result. It is important that this is done unless it could cause even more confusion for Janet especially knowing the information is sensitive and complex.
Sensory impairment and disability:
An individual’s sensory impairment can be one of the first barrier to communication. For example, a hearing-impaired individual may find it hard to communicate with others especially when they cannot hear themselves and others. When a service user is seen to have a communication disability, this different from being impaired. The hearing-impaired individual may know BSL which means they can communicate with someone who understands.
Jack is visually impaired and finds it hard to communicate as he cannot see the person he is trying to talk to. This can be hard for him as he would not able to communicate effectively with those around him
Barriers associated with personality, self-esteem, anxiety and depression
When working in health, sometimes care workers create barriers for themselves due to their emotional needs relating to the people they work with. In a care, care workers will come across individuals who have different yet emotional and painful stories. For instance, when an information is too much; a care worker, they tend to stop listening in order to control their emotions which means that they would find it hard to create and promote a caring presence towards the service user.
Different service user with different characters will come and go that’s is why it might be hard for a service provider to create understanding with the patients especially when their self-esteem, confidence and personality might be the reason of the created barrier.
A patient who only thinks negative because of what they have experienced in their life, this can be hard to create a caring presence as care worker. So, when trying to help the service user to see things from an optimistic view, it might be very challenging and tough.
When conversing with service users especially when it related to complex and difficult information being distributed, questions would be asked. When communication with individuals, there are different kinds of ways to ask a question according to (health and social care 2010 B Stretch/ M Whitehouse, unit 1 N Moonie, pg. 25 edition 3) which are:
? Open questions: open questions do not really need a response such as yes or no, they are of questions which need a long answer. They usually start like, what would u do if, how do you feel about, what do you think about etc. these types of questions usually help the service user to think and reflect, to give opinions and feelings and to be in control of the conversation.
? Probes: they are very short questions which explore and drags the conversation to get further detail such as can you describe, or can you tell me more, etc
? Prompts: these are questions which promotes an individual to talk for example would you do it again?
A service provider trying to find out why a service user tried to commit suicide. Asking questions can them help the care worker to give her the right care she needs but it might be hard for her to answer as she may be scared but however these questions will help the service user to interact with her even though it may not be as effective.
Barriers associated with aggression and submissiveness
When an individual is going through a hard time. They might be unsure on how to control their emotions but instead let out aggression which creates barriers for them to converse.
A care worker telling a service user that she may not be able to have children as she has polycystic ovarian syndrome. The service user may not be happy with news and she might start to shout, cry and may even lead to physical because her emotions might not be in in control.
Barriers associated with assumptions:
When a care worker tries to build an understanding when it comes to other people’s emotions, it will take a lot of effort. However, even though trying to understand an individual may time, making assumptions may cause care workers to misunderstand what a person is trying to say. Making assumptions can cause barriers when communicating. It is important that care workers take the time, effort to listen, and understand what is being said.
A care worker assuming they know what the service user is going to say but really, they want something else or another problem may have occurred. If the care worker assumptions are wrong and the right care is not giving, it can cause risk to health for the service user.
Barriers associated with values and belief systems plus cultural variations
In south Norwood, this health centre is found be very diverse as it is even based in crystal place and Croydon where different individuals who have different cultures, beliefs and values, religious groups etc. In this health centre it is important that care workers learn about other people’s beliefs and have some knowledge on the different cultures to avoid barriers when it comes to communication and make sense of what is being said.
When it comes to culture, non-verbal communication, it has different meanings and can be misinterpreted when used in the wrong context etc in Britain a thumbs up means “good job” or “satisfaction” whereas in Australia it means “up yours”. that is why when communication with another individual, the care worker would need to make sense of what is being said and understand the chosen context that it was used in to communicate effectively with the individual whom they may be speaking to.
Miss Moe is Chinese, a care worker could be talking to her and making eye contact with her , she may start to feel uncomfortable as eye contact is seen as rude and disrespectful in china culture. If Miss Moe is feeling uncomfortable, it can lead her to not listen to what the care worker is saying which means that communication would not be effective.
Use of abuse and power
When working in health, the equality act 2010 is there to promote equality and respect for individuality and differences of service users. Care workers should be able to support the service user. when abuse of power is used such as inappropriate use of touch, care worker ignoring a service user, wrong and unexplained nonverbal and verbal communication, a care worker manipulating a service user, this can be very wrong as the care worker does not own any higher statues as the individuals using the service.
Barriers associated with drugs and alcohol:
Knowing the effects of drugs, it can also contribute to barriers of communication. When an individual is under the influence of either one or both, it can to unclear and communication would not be passed through effectively and correctly. For example, alcohol can confuse an individual’s memory which means they would forget what is being said
Even thought there are barriers to communication and interpersonal interaction, there are different strategies which help to overcome them and here are a few ways to understand and overcome barriers in a health and social care environment.
knowing in health, care workers would work with different individuals. It is important that they have up to date training to remind them on how to try and overcome barriers. when communicating with service users who are depressed and aggressive, it can be hard to obtain information from them but however, in staff training, new ideas could be spoken about to allow and make communication effective.
Assessment of needs and using preferred methods of communication:
When care workers understand the people they work with, this is important for them because it helps them to work and communicate effectively with them. Some individuals have different languages, preferred ways to be addressed and spoken to. For example, a hearing-impaired individual might want to communicate with BSL. It is now up to the care worker to communicate effectively with the service user using their chosen way to be spoken to. This is important because communicate can then be distributed effectively without any barriers in between both individuals conversing.
Service users, they have their rights which protect them in general. These human rights protect them from danger and harm. It also allows them to be treated as an individual, to be respected as an individual, to be giving privacy, to be treated equally and not discriminated against etc. everyone should know their rights and that is why when a service user is going through abuse, neglect or a care worker is abusing their power on them, their rights are there to protect them and to keep them safe .
One of the most important aspects of health and social care. Confidentiality is very important and people who use a service, their identification, personal details etc should be kept safe and out of side away from outside third parties. Confidentiality protects individuals, and this is important because it allows them to feel free to share information as a care worker should NEVER pass it on, the data protection act (2018) also protects the service users if their information Is passed on to anyone and precautions would take place.
This is an important skill when it comes to working in health and social care. everyone all has different uncontrolled emotions sometimes such as fear which may lead to aggression, when an individual control their emotions, it allows the individual to be able to be In control of their emotions. Assertion is a very good skill because it allows the individual to stay calm during tough times and situations. Assertiveness helps others display respect, show reflective listening and help to find an answer so that no one can lose.
Defusing aggression and staying confident:
In a health and social care facility, people hear good news, bad news, complex and difficult information which they rather not hear etc. with all this put together, it can cause an individual stress often because they feel like they have lost all power and control of themselves. When an individual is upset, emotions tend to build up and it gets to a point where they cannot be controlled. Tension would then build up which could lead to aggression. When a service user is being aggressive sometimes, they can end up injured because of the service user’s outburst. When an individual is going through a tough time, it helps to stay calm with them, communicate with respect, create trust with them and try and help them solve the problem at hand. It is important that care workers learn this skill as sometimes they might forget and break professional codes of conducts. Understanding other people emotional can be useful as it can help to avoid aggression and make the individual to feel safe, comfortable and valued.
Building relationships and appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication.
When care workers build trust and relationships with people who use the services, it allows them to work effectively together. In order to create these relationships, it is important to talk to them in a friendly manner and provide nonverbal behaviour which shows them that they care for them.