COMMUNICATION IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

Introduction
Communication is very crucial in all area of healthcare. Communication between service provider and the patient affects all the facets of care including health promotion, diseases prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Improved communication is therefore paramount in improve patient outcome. This essay examines and explains communication in health care.
1.1Applications of relevant theories of Communication in health and social care setting
There are several theory of communication that are of greater importance in health and social care setting. Understanding this theory can be helpful in improve the communication process in health and social care setting which can have positive impacts on patient outcome.
Social learning theory is one of the common theories of communication. According to this theory, people get message by observing thing as they are done. This theory argues that individual learn by observing the best characters and change their behaviour by trying to copy the best practice or character (Gibson and Hanna, 1992). This theory can be used to improve the communication of healthcare staffs such as nurse and doctor in Jessie case. Using case scenario of best practice can help them learn how to effectively use communication skills to deliver quality services
The process of communication is well explained by the informational theory of communication. This theory argues that effective of communication depend on key element of communication which include source, massage, transmitter, signal, noise receiver and destination.
• Source refer to the person who created the message
• Message refers to information from source and received by destination
• Transmitter refers instrument used to pass the message
• Signal involve body gesture
• Noise refers to obscure that act as barrier to transmit ion of signal
• Receiver refers to receive instruments or organs. In case of face to face conversation receiver may included ear and ear
• Destination is the person receiving the message (Foulger 2014)
Informational theory of communication argues that the above element must be working for communication to be effective. This theory can be applied in health and social care setting. Communication can be improved by ensuring message is well put before communication, mode of transmission is established, and minimizing noise and put in place better receiver.

1.2Use of communication skills in health and social setting
A communication skill refers to the ability to use written word, verbal word and body language to clearly pass and understand messages. Communication skills can be classified as verbal skill, written communication skills, body languages (McEwen and Harris 2010).
Health and social care professional need to have good communication skills in order to create positive relationship with patients and their families. There are enough of evidences that show good communication between health and social care professional and patient determine the extents to which the patient will be satisfied with the services, the extent to which patient will adheres to their treatment prescription and advices, the level of trust patient have on healthcare professional and experience adverse medical event (Silverman, Kurtz and Draper 2005). In the case scenario, lack of proper communication skills by the doctor led to Jessie being dissatisfied with services, delayed diagnosis and treatment and humiliation.
As a healthcare professional, communication skills have been helping me deliver better care servicer to servicer user in my place of employment (a care home). It enables me assess the welfare needs of the residents and plan for their satisfaction.
1.3 Review method of dealing with inappropriate interpersonal communication in health and social care setting
Interpersonal communication is a process of passing message forms one person to another to achieve the intended purpose. When interpersonal communication skill is used to inappropriately it can have severe impacts on the process of delivery care services to patients. For instances, the uses of inappropriate interpersonal skills by doctor led to delayed diagnosis of Jessica condition which led to the death of her unborn baby. Inappropriate interpersonal skills such as that demonstrated by Jessie doctor needs to be dealt with. There is various ways in which this can be done. These include;
Training- inappropriate communication can be dealt with by Training the doctors and other health care staffs on core competency needed to communicate effectively with patients.
According to Nicholas Heiby and Hatzell (1991), the behaviours of worker are influenced by the organization system policies and procedure. Organization policies, procedure and system can therefore be used to encourage appropriate interpersonal communication in healthcare setting. Those systems, policies and procedure should embrace diversity.
Inappropriate interpersonal communication can also be encouraging by establishing mechanism that allows patient to report such behaviour to the management. Upon receiving such complains, the management should investigate such behaviour and take corrective action where necessary. Corrective action may include warning, punishment, and dismissal among other (Roter, D et al n.d)
1.4 analyse uses of strategies to support health and social care user with special communication needs
Special communication needs arises where there is culture differences, patient have some form of impairment such as hearing impairment among other. Patient with special communication needs always face some challenges accessing health and social care. For instance, Jessie who comes from a different culture with care staff in the hospital had hard time accessing care services. Fortunately, there are several strategies that can be used to support people with special needs such as Jessie. These include the use of MAKATON, SOLER, translation and interpreter among other.
SOLER is a strategies used to create a friendly, comfortable environment that given individual with special communication needs chance to pass their message to other. SOLER is an acronym of behaviours that healthcare professional needs exhibit in order for them to enhances communication with patient with special communication needs. These behaviours include
• Sitting squarely- healthcare professional need to sit squarely facing the patients. This communicates readiness to listen and help.
• Open posture-they also need to maintain an open posture. This shows concern and readiness to help.
• Lean- leans forward to the patient. This not only increases you chance of hearing everything said by the patient but also shows the patient you are keenly listen to their issues.
• Eye contact- maintaining and eye contacts with the patients shows them that one is concentrating on whatever they are saying.
• Relax – healthcare show relax while attending to patient this in turn help patient to feel relaxed and comfortable giving room effective communication (Faulkner 2001).
MAKATON refers to a language program which uses sign, symbols and picture to help people communicates. This language is used to support spoken words. MAKATON is very useful when individual lack competencies in fluently speaking a certain language (HE 2013).
Translation is another strategies used to improve communication between care providers and patient with special needs. Translation involves changing verbal or written messages into a form that is understood by individual with sensory impairment or from different culture background (HE 2013)
SOLER approaches combined with translation are the most suitable strategies that could have help improve Jessie experience with healthcare services. If the doctor and the nurse could have used SOLER approach, they could have created a Comfortable and relaxed environment for Jessie which is essential to effective communication. Interpreter could have help break the language barrier that prevented Jessie from accessing services.
2.1understand how various factor affect communication process in health and social care
There a several factors that affects the effectiveness of communication. These factor include culture difference, sensory impairment, emotional difficulties and distress, foreign language among other
Culture differences have major influence on the effectiveness of communication. In health and social care setting, when the care provider and the patient come from to different culture, communication may be difficult. This is due to the fact that something may mean different thing in different culture. For instance maintaining eye contacts is perceived positive in western culture as it communicates interest in the conversation while the Australia the same is taken as arrogance (First health 2015).
Closely related to culture differences is language difference. When an individual’s live in a foreign country, the common language might be different from his/her native language. Inability to speak the foreign language fluently can negative affect the effectiveness of communication between patients and care provider (HE 2013). This was the case in Jessie case scenario. Her inability to speak foreign language (English), made it possible for her to access care services.
Sensory deprivation also does influence effectiveness of communication. Impairment to one of the sense such as visual and hearing impairment affects individual ability to pass and receive message (First health 2015). This may limits the effectiveness of communication with health and social care provide if proper support in unavailable.
2.2 The impact of legislation, code of practice and charter on communication in health and social care setting
The process of communication in health and social care setting is affected by a number of legislations. These laws include the data protection Act 1998, Health and Social Care Act 2012, human right act 1998. These laws have impacts on the process of communication in healthcare. For instances the data protection Act prescribe how patients data should be collect, stored, transmitted and used. The laws requires data to be collect in privacy, secured against unauthorised used and used only for the intended purpose unless a consent is given by patient to allow for other uses. Two sections of human right acts are also important. These are the right to privacy and the right to information.
There are various codes of practice that regulate the practice of different healthcare professional. Almost of all of these codes prescribe how healthcare professionals are supposed to handle communication with patient. For instance, the NHS code of practice require healthcare professional to maintain doctor-patient confidentiality; observe privacy when attending to patient, being sensitive to culture differences among other. If Jessie’s doctor followed such requirement, he would have been sensitive to Jessie culture difference and could have not required Jessica to undress before student as that was violation of privacy.
Charter refers commitment by an organization to delivery of high quality services. According to the charter for NHS, several commitment are made by NHS organizations including putting patient first, being caring and responsive to patient needs, equality and diversity especially when communicating. This Charter dictates how communication should be handled in NHS organization in order to meet need of individuals from diverse background.
2.3The effectiveness of organizational systems and policies in promoting good practices in communication
Organization system, policies and procedure directly influence the activities in the organization. It does affect the worker behaviours, attitude and values as wells the culture of the organization (Nicholas Heiby and Hatzell 1991). This mean that organization systems, policies and procedure can therefore play an effective role in shaping communication in a health and social care. According to Roter, D et al (n.d), the communication policies and system used in health care influences how healthcare communicate with patients. It also dictates the trust the patients will have on the communication process.
2.4 How to improve communication in healthcare setting
Effective communication is crucial in improve health and social care services. It is therefore crucial that the process of communication between patients and healthcare professional is improved. Improving communication can be done by;
Training staffs- according to Roter, et al (n.d), poor communication in health and social care is normally caused by inadequate skills on part of the healthcare professional. Training health professional can therefore help improve the process of communication in an organization.
Embracing diversity- diversity especially relating to culture and ethnicity is the biggest barrier to effective communication in health and social care (anonymous 2014). Embracing diversity can help break this barrier. Diversity can be embraced by create encouraging healthcare professional to create own awareness of other culture. Additionally, diversity can be addressed by understanding patients’ language need and preferences. This would help in putting in appropriate measure such as employing human aids such as interpreter and translators. They should also avoid using jargon, and dialect words to make it easier for people without medical experience to understand the messages
Communication in a health and social care setting can also be improve by putting in place the right system, policies and procedure. The systems, procedure and policies should aim at breaking communication barrier experienced in healthcare including diversity, aggressive behaviours of staffs, linguistic barrier among other. If proper systems, policies and procedure were in place in the healthcare facilities where Jessie when to seeking medical help, issues such as the aggressive behaviour of the doctor would be unheard of.
3.1. Standard ICT packages to support work in health and social care
ICT is a word used to describe communication devices and applications which includes computer, computer networks, and hardware and software mobile telephone among (Kultz 2014). In health and social care setting, ICT is used in several are of care including recording keeping, offering social care remotely through telecare, among other uses (Gurlett 2013). As a care, a lot of patient information is required to perform my duties effectively. Recently, the health and social care organization I am attached to introduced digitalization program for all resident records. Using this paperless record management system has made my work easier. The digital record management systems make it easier for me to retrieve and use information. Before the system was introduced, I spend a lot of time in administrative works and trawling through paperwork. Using the digital record system not only save me time but also make it easier to access data. Planning for care has become a lot easier for me. Below is a screenshot of user interface of the digital record management system, displaying sample of patient information.

3.2Benefits of ICT in health and social care for users of services, care workers, and care organizations
The use of ICT in healthcare has a lot of benefit for the organization healthcare as well as the users.
Care organizations benefits in several ways from ICT. First of all, ICT result to efficiency in operation. Secondly, ICT is slowly transforming healthcare organization from institutions that focus treating chronic diseases to one that use data sharing and digital practices enabling them to predict and prevents diseases (Gurlett 2013). Thirdly, ICT especially digitalization of record is improving the quality of care by making information readily available for quality decision making, reducing waiting list.
ICT has also had positive impacts on care workers. For instance, the introduction of telecare in NHS has changed the roles of care workers. Care worker do not need to spend a lot of time commuting and attending to various patients in their home. ICT (telecare) has made it possible for them to offers care remotely to patients (Kultz 2014). Additionally, digitalization of records save care workers time spend on administrative works enough time to plan and implement care services (Gurlett 2013).
ICT also does improve patients experience with care services. ICT is reducing waiting list in healthcare organization, it enabling healthcare professional make quality decision due to easier access of information which led to improved patient outcome. ICT such as telecare is enabling patient to live independently live in their home as care can be easily offered by staffs remotely. Other ICT such as telehealth are making it easier for patients to access healthcare services at anytime from anywhere. For instances, a patient in emergency case can seek instant medical attention from healthcare professional through telehealth, get diagnosis and prescription done without the need for him to walk into hospital (KultZ 2014)
3.3 analyse how Legal consideration in the use of ICT in impact on health and social care
The health and social care services is regulated by several laws. These laws must be taken into account when using ICT in health and social care. For instances, health and social care organization are under legal obligation of protecting patient privacy and safety (Hodge, Gostin and Jacobson 1999).
Data protection Act 1998
The data protection acts lay down the rule that must be followed in storing and using patient information. This affects how information is gathered from patient stored and used. According to this Act, information need to be protected against unauthorised access, used for the purpose it was collected for only, not to be retained for unnecessary period, personal data need to be accurate , up to date and must processed and used with patient consent(Hodge et al 1999). This entire requirement by these laws affects how health and social care collect data store them and uses them. The use Of ICT in health and social care must therefore take into consideration this requirement. The uses of computer and computer systems in healthcare for storing data must provide security of patient data by limiting access to such information.
Health and safety act 1974
This Act also need to be considered when using ICT. According to health and safety Act 1974, health and social care setting must protect patients and employees from healthy risks. Use of some ICT such as computer can have negative effect on people health especially where used for long hours every day. It is therefore important that the use of ICT is done in manners that cause no harm to employees or patients (The redhill academy (n.d, Hodge et al 1999).
Conclusion
Communication in health and social care is crucial element of delivering high quality system. Care services depend on how well healthcare professional understand patient and is understood by the patient. Effective communications lead to proper diagnosis, treatment, prevention of diseases and health promotion. It also determine the extent to which patient understand and adhere to prescription or advices. In appropriate communication can lead to opposite of this. Due to this, all the health and social care staffs should have competency in communication skills

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