Look at your company’s policies and procedures on completing records and maintaining effective communication, what is your role?
I browsed and read my organisation’s policy regarding the service user’s rights and those legislations which promotes equality, diversity, and discrimination. a. Each service user has a right to information regarding their care service that does not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnic origin, creed, colour, religion, political affiliation, disability or impairments, marital status, parenthood, sexual gender or sexual orientation. b. Each service user has the right of access to their personal care records and to comment on them accordingly. Service users have the right to appoint an advocate to make their wishes and preferences known if they are unable to do so. c. Each service user has the right to be assured that no personal or confidential information concerning their affairs will be disclosed to a third party without their express permission. d. Each service user has the right to communicate using their preferred methods of communication and language.
When completing records and reports look through your staff hand book or induction pack you were given at work and explain any rules and regulations or policies you need to follow when completing records and reports at work some of which might include:
• Records should be completed as soon as possible after the event
• Details should be accurate
• Details should be relevant
• Details should be legible
• Details should clearly indicate if it is a fact, opinion or hearsay. Opinions are acceptable as long as it is clearly stated as such. • Always record as little as possible but detailed and as much as necessary.
2, 3, 10, 11
Describe ways that you provide support to individuals to communicate their needs. How might your communication alter with different individuals ? What aids might be used to support effective communication ?
To support individuals and key people to communicate their needs you will need to: a. Arrange the individual’s environment to facilitate effective communication and promote understanding. This can be done by ensuring privacy going into a quiet room, if the area is noisy because of the volume of a radio or television it needs to be reduced. Poor lighting in the room needs to be changed and some more that you can think of. b. As a care worker you need to check that the individual have the appropriate support to communicate their views.
This could be making sure the individual who uses glasses and an hearing aid is supported by making sure the glasses is at client’s reach or that hearing aids is switched on and working properly. c. Appropriate styles and methods of communication should be used with respect to the individual. Such as: Active listening – showing be gestures that you are listening, sitting or standing half turned away gives the message that you are not listening. Responding appropriately – nodding your head. Good body language and maintaining eye contact – Leaning forwards can be used effectively when you want to emphasize your interest or support.
The methods that can be used to communicate effectively are:
a. Support equality and diversity
• This can be done by using appropriate language that the service user understands also using the appropriate register of language, for instance not using phrases that could be referred to as jargon. Another method is to use the appropriate way of speaking within a speech community. For instance communicating with young people may mean using their style of language e.g. what’s up with you, hello mate. • Provision of communication aids and use of non-verbal communication if service user has hearing or vision impairments or learning and physical disabilities.
b. Are effective when dealing with, and challenging discrimination
• Working with key people demands that you communicate in a language that they understand and also using simple words. For example the use of clinical words that is not commonly understood would not be necessary if you know they are not familiar with them. • Sometimes we come across people who cannot understand us for one reason or the other instead of ignoring them it would be helpful to source a skilled interpreter but we still need to make effort to communicate with the person by learning some of the ways of communication or a few useful words from their language.
The methods to support individuals to communicate are:
Ensure environment is suitable (lighting, noise background)
Provide interpreter if necessaryAllow sufficient time for individuals to understand the content of communication.
Use relevant aids for communication (e.g. cards, symbols, hearing aids, large print)
Provide advocate to speak for a service user
Ensure written material is in suitable formats or language.
Specific aids that may be used to support effective communication :
Aided communication is communication supported or replaced by materials or equipment. There are simple materials or equipment used everyday such as a pen and paper to write messages, alphabet charts, pictures or symbols or photographs. Communication aids can be categorized into 3 broad groups: Symbolic Aids
This is commonly the use of signs and symbols, it requires individuals to undertake a form of training on the correct forming of signs used and types of symbols: • British Sign Language – used as a communication aid for individual with hearing loss. • Makaton – used as an aid to support speech and not intended to replace it. • Picture Exchange communication systems (PEC) – This aid helps individuals to be independent as they able to exchange a picture for what they want from a compiled album of pictures. • Deaf – Blind manual alphabets – Slightly modified version of the BSL. Finger- spelling alphabet is used.
• Talking microwaves – usually for individuals with sight loss • Computers – which read out the text on the screen.
• Light writer – this is a portable device into which the individual types in what they would want to say.
• Interpreter – is a person who supports the communication between two people who do not have the same language. This also includes the sign language. • Translator – is a person who changes the written word into an easier format for the individual to read. This could be into Braille or symbols. • Advocate – This is someone who speaks on behalf of an individual when they are not able to do so. 4, 5, 19
In relation to the promotion of effective communication, give examples of what you do to maintain the following laws and guidelines:
a) Data Protection Act
b) Access to Health Records Act
c) The General Social Care Council Code of Conduct
d) Standard 37 National Minimum Standards for Care Homes
e) Caldicott Report
a) To maintain Data Protection Act it is necessary to complete the records as soon as possible after the event and always record as little as possible but detailed and as much as necessary; to make sure that the details are accurate, relevant and legible and that they clearly indicate if it’s a fact, opinion or hearsay. Another important thing is that opinions are acceptable as long as it is clearly stated as such. The information shared by the individuals must be confidential to ensure data protection. In case that the information suggests that the client is under risk, the consent of the individual needs to be obtained before passing the information to an appropriate member of the staff, and even when the consent is not given it becomes important to report.
b) To maintain the Access to Health Records Act I have to make sure that the records are accurate, legibly written, shareable so that the information can be used to provide individuals with the support and care required. The members of a care team are fully informed of new developments and changes in a client’s care plan and the evidence of the actions taken in specific circumstances are available if the need arises. I can access information and records about an individual by: talking to the service user, accessing previous records after permission has been sought from the appropriate person, talking to colleagues who know the individual, to family members or to other professionals
c) To maintain The General Social Care Council Code of Conduct, as a social care worker, I must establish and ensure the confidence of service users and carers. This includes: communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way; respecting confidential information and clearly explaining agency policies about confidentiality to service users and carers. I must be accountable for the quality of my work, I have to maintain clear and accurate records required by procedures established for my work.
Where can you find out about an individuals communication and language needs, information about communication and language skills to improve your practice ?
I can find out about an individuals communication and language needs by asking my manager or the service user, discussing with other care workers who know the individual, talking to family members, to a speech therapist or other professionals for advice, exploring the internet or consulting a library for more information. In order to improve my practice, I can find out about information, communication and language skills by asking my supervisor or manager, or colleagues who have confronted with similar cases. I can also consult the case notes of the individual, or relevant documents provided by the organization that will help me learn how to communicate effectively – for example the induction manuals, search for information via the internet or specialist organizations for the particular condition, attend relevant training courses to communication, supervision and appraisal sessions.
9 What factors may affect communication skills, abilities and behaviour of an individual ? How may they react as a result of these factors?
Factors that can affect communication skills, abilities and behaviour of an individual are:
– Physical Impairments – visual and hearing
– Language barriers – accents, different language
– Cognitive or sensory impairments – learning difficulties, memory loss, – Illness – dementia, stroke
– Environmental problems – poor lighting, noisy environments
If this happens, the individual in question becomes withdrawn from others around them, isolated from others. This may affect his self-esteem and self-confidence negatively. That individual may also become confused, angry and frustrated.
12 If you were trying to have a conversation with an individual how would you arrange the environment and position yourself to communicate effectively?
First of all, I have to make sure that there isn’t any background noise that could make the communication difficult. Then, another important step to achieve effective communication with individuals is arranging the environment to aid communication. Here are some factors that can hinder or disturb good communication: – Poor lighting, because individuals with poor sight are unable to see you – Background noise from the radio, other individuals, TV and so on – Obstacles between me, the care worker, and the individual, for example furniture and household items – Insufficient distance to keep appropriate space within me and the individual to avoid encroaching or invading on their personal space
13, 14 Describe some conflicts that might occur as a result of communication difficulties. How would you deal with these conflicts?
Some of the conflicts that might occur as a result of communication difficulties are: individuals can become frustrated and isolated when the communication between themselves and their workers is encountering problems. These problems or dilemmas are sometimes the result of: – a difference in the language spoken by the service user and the worker – the service user has visual impairments or hearing difficulties – the individual might have a physical illness or disability – either physical disability or learning disability. There are many ways to solve the conflicts that might occur. It depends on the nature of the problem. For example, for: • Language differences: If there are conflicts due to language differences, then an interpreter will be appropriate for any serious discussions or communications. Efforts should be made to learn a few important words to communicate with the individual or teach the individual some words in the workers language if they are willing to facilitate communication. Non verbal communication will be an effective method in solving this kind of conflict. • Hearing difficulties: Individual with hearing difficulties need to be assisted to ensure their hearing aids are working and fitted properly.
It would be necessary that a worker will assist the individual to clean the equipment, change the batteries when appropriate. Workers will also need to give the client the appropriate space and communication pace that would make communication effective. If the need arises words can be written down for clarity. The use of signs and telecommunication services such as type talk service are very useful. • Visual difficulties: Individual with visual difficulties need to be provided with glasses or contact lenses so they can observe non verbal communication. This will prevent misunderstandings during communication with people. • Physical disabilities: Communications with individuals in this category will be according to the type of physical disability or illness.
If the illness has affected the individual’s ability to speak and understand, for instance a stroke then the use of short, simple sentences, gestures, writing and drawing or using flash cards, the use of closed questions which only need “yes” or “no” should be useful. • Some illness do not affect the client’s understanding, so there is no need to speak slowly but will need to be patient to receive a response as the client might have difficulty with their speech e.g. stroke. • Learning disabilities: The method of communication will depend on the level of the disability. I will need to communicate at the pace and space suitable for the client. Physical contacts are of an advantage to be used along with verbal communication. • Cultural differences: People have different cultural backgrounds, therefore it is necessary to find out from the individuals their communication preferences or alternatively check their care plan records or ask people such as their family, friends, colleagues or key people who have worked with them.
15, 16 When communicating difficult, sensitive or complex messages, how might your style of communication alter? What type of environment would be most appropriate for this sort of communication ?
Communicating with individuals who are distressed or upset due to bereavement this could be sensitive, complex or difficult. In this situation, I will ask if the person would want to discuss any concerns with me or maybe another person of their choice. I can use non verbal communication while been a good listener such as making good eye contact with the individual as she talks, which will depict that I’m willing to listen. If the client is displaying a behaviour that dictates that they are able to put others or themselves at risk, then I might need to involve the attention of appropriate members of the care team. For this sort of communication, the environment must be comfortable and appropriate. I would come across times when I need to discuss matters with individuals that are referred to as sensitive issues.
If an individual needs to discuss his personal needs with me, I have to ensure that he feels comfortable and encouraged to communicate these issues. On the other hand, I might want to discuss with the service user about their changing needs such as diet, incontinence, mobility and so on. Communicating bad news, like a bereavement of a spouse or close person to the individual will also require certain communication skills. The things that should take into account are: • Remember individuals have a right to their privacy, therefore the immediate environment should be arranged to ensure privacy. For example a client’s bedroom or apartament should be free from visitors at the time. • Individual’s preferred method of communication should be made available. • Communication should be made at the pace of the individual, giving enough time for both of us to understand the content of the communication. • Observe and respond appropriately to reactions from individuals.
17 Who do you need to gain permission from to access records and why ?
I need to gain permission of my manager or client to access records. Accessing information will help me to improve my practice and also my responsibility. Within the organization there should be relevant documents to access information or if I work with individuals in their own home the care plan should contain useful information.
18 Define the following words:
Why is it important that you aware of the difference of these words when reporting and recording information about individuals ?
a) A fact is a true statement that cannot be disputed, knowledge or information based on real occurrences; something demonstrated to exist or known to have existed. b) An opinion is a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty- it is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts, a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic. An opinion may be supported by an argument, although people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. c) A judgement is a cognitive process of reaching a decision or drawing conclusions.
Judgments are also personal and developed from experience; they differ from person to person. For example, if a client is dying and all the symptoms and signs show the evidence, reports and records should show these facts. On the other hand if the client only refused to talk, people might have different opinions and judgments to explain the reason. Records and reports will need to be verified to deduce the correct and most suitable reason. It is important to aware of the difference of these words when reporting and recording information about individuals because I have the responsabiliy to provide seamless services for individuals, and this thing can be done only if the information is correct, precise.