Encourage Two-Way Talking in Healthcare

Table of contents

This unit for the Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care investigates why people communicate, how to determine an individual's communication needs, and how to identify and overcome communication barriers.

It also addresses the issue of confidentiality in health and social care settings.

This unit's assessment criteria are very similar to the level 2 unit Communication in Care Settings. As a result, whenever there is overlap, a link to the appropriate answer in the level 2 unit is provided.


Study Aid

[[1]]1 Identify the various reasons why people communicate.

In the Level 2 section, look for Identifying Different Reasons People Communicate.

[[1]]2 Describe how communication affects relationships at work.

In the Level 2 section, explain how effective communication affects all aspects of work.

[[1]]3 Describe how to deal with difficult situations.

When confronted with difficult situations, good communication skills can help to diffuse them.

Always maintain your cool and, if possible, take some time to assess the situation.

To ensure that you are understood, keep your body language neutral and speak slowly and clearly.

Allow the individual plenty of time to consider what you are saying.

Show compassion and empathy while remaining nonjudgmental.

[[2]]1 Show how to determine individuals' communication and language needs, wishes, and preferences in order to maximize interaction quality.

In the Level 2 section, look for 'Determine an individual's communication and language needs, desires, and preferences.'

As a senior member of staff, you may also use trial and error to determine an individual's needs, such as testing new communication techniques and evaluating their efficacy.

[[2]]2 Explain the factors to think about when promoting effective communication.

When promoting effective communication, there are several factors to consider.

First and foremost, does the person have verbal abilities? If not, they may have a difficult time communicating their needs and feelings to you unless you establish some communication rules.

This could include gestures, signs, writing, pictures, noises, or facial expressions. Visual aids such as pictorial cards, as well as technology such as text-to-voice converters, could be used.

A person may be verbal but unable to hear what you are saying due to a hearing impairment. You may need to face them so that they can read your lips, or you may need to learn and use sign language.

Another factor to consider is the environment, as communication can be difficult if a person is not at ease. Temperature, lighting, noise levels, and seating are all important factors to consider.

You should also make certain that the language you use is age- and ability-appropriate.

[[2]]3 Use a variety of communication methods and styles to meet the needs of individuals.

'Demonstrate communication methods that meet an individual's needs, desires, and preferences,' for example.

[[2]]4 Show how to respond to a person's reactions when communicating.

See 'Explain why it's important to pay attention to an individual's reactions when communicating with them.'

[[3]]1 Describe how people from various backgrounds use and/or interpret communication methods differently.

The background of a person can influence how they use and/or interpret communication methods.

Some people may have been raised in an environment that discourages talking about emotions and feelings, making it difficult for them to open up.

Some cultures consider eye contact to be impolite, while others consider it to be polite.

Similarly, in some cultures, older generations are revered and treated with great respect when addressed.

Some people may have grown up in families with their own slang or 'in-jokes.' Alternatively, they may not have spoken English as their first language. This is why it is critical to gather as much information as possible about a person's communication requirements.

[[3]]2 Identify communication barriers.

See 'Identify communication barriers.'

[[3]]3 Show how to overcome communication barriers.

See 'Demonstrate how to reduce communication barriers in various ways.'

[[3]]4 Demonstrate how to use strategies for clarifying misunderstandings.

See 'Explain how to ensure that communication is understood.'

[[3]]5 Describe how you will use your communication skills to manage complex, sensitive, abusive, or challenging situations and behaviors.

Communication skills can help us manage complex, sensitive, abusive, or challenging situations and behaviors. In fact, it is often preferable to discuss difficult issues rather than avoid them and allow them to fester.

If the difficult conversation is planned, you will usually have enough time to gather all relevant information and ensure all facts are correct. You will also have time to assess this information and draw broad conclusions from it, but you should be prepared to receive additional information during the conversation that may change your mind.

You should always demonstrate compassion and empathy while remaining assertive and communicating your needs with clarity and certainty. If you require additional information before making a decision, communicate this to the individual.

Negotiation may be required at times to find some common ground toward a solution.

Listening is very important as difficult situations are often fueled by emotion and if an individual does not feel they are being listened to, the situation could escalate You do not have to agree with them, but you should give them the opportunity to express themselves. In particularly stressful situations, it may be beneficial to refrain from engaging in conversation until everyone has calmed down.

When speaking, you should speak slowly and clearly while remaining calm.

[[3]]6 Describe how to obtain additional assistance or services to help individuals communicate effectively.

Identify sources of information, support, and services to facilitate more effective communication.

[[3]]7 Describe the goals and principles of independent advocacy.

Independent advocacy is a service that ensures an individual's voice is heard when decisions affecting them are made. An advocate will learn about a person's needs and desires by communicating with them and will advocate on their behalf.

A definition of advocacy can be found here, as well as information on the various types of advocacy.

[[3]]8 Explain when an advocate is needed and how to obtain advocacy services.

An individual may require the services of an advocate to:

  • Recognize their concern and assistance.
  • Take an active role in their care and support, and make decisions about their needs.
  • If they do not agree with plans made on their behalf, they should challenge them.

Many people rely on family members or friends to advocate for them, but this is not always possible.

An independent advocate can be appointed by social services or by an individual. Many advocate services are available throughout the UK, and some charities also offer them.

[[4]]1 Explain what the term confidentiality means.

See also 'Define the term 'confidentiality.'

[[4]]2 Show how to maintain and promote confidentiality in everyday communication.

See 'Demonstrate confidentiality in day-to-day communication in accordance with agreed-upon working methods.'

[[4]]3 Explain the possible conflict between maintaining an individual's confidentiality and disclosing concerns.

There may be times when you must disclose information that would otherwise be considered confidential. This could be because a person has disclosed to you that they have been abused, or because failing to pass on information could result in a person being harmed.

This can cause conflict because a person may not want you to share information they have shared with you in confidence. They may be angry and betrayed, and you may feel guilty.

If someone says they will only reveal something to you if you promise not to tell anyone else, you should tell them you cannot make this promise until you know what it is because you may be bound by a legal obligation. It is your professional or moral obligation to report what they tell you.

By being open and honest about this, the individual will have the information they need to decide whether they still want to tell you, and you will be able to fulfill your professional obligations if necessary.

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