communication in adult social care settings
Everybody communicates; the ways in which people communicate make us uniquely human. Without communication you would feel lonely, isolated and unable to function as an individual or as a member of a team.
This unit discusses communication which may be verbal (words) and non-verbal (body language, gestures, touch, eye contact and pictures). Verbal and non-verbal communication methods work together, to help people make sense of what they are hearing, seeing and feeling.
This unit also discusses difficulties with communication, confidentiality and data protection. These may present particular challenges or considerations in the adult health and social care setting.
On completion of this unit you should:
understand why communication is important in adult social care settings understand how to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of an individual understand how to reduce barriers to communication understand confidentiality in adult social care settings.
 ASC Level 2.indd 1
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Preparing to work in adult social care | Level 2
1.1 The importance of communication in adult social care settings
Health and social care is fundamentally about people, so effective interpersonal communication is vital in providing care services. Communication takes place: with people who use services in order to assess their needs and plan their care within teams and organisations so that information about individuals also the skills of each of your colleagues can be shared and used effectively with other care providers to avoid gaps and duplication in care, and to learn from their observations.
Some of the individuals may have difficulties with communication and need special assistance.
What is communication?
Communication starts with an intended message being sent
(‘transmitted’ or ‘projected’) from the source. Once it reaches the destination it will have been changed because of ‘noise’ and the interpretation or perception of the receiver. Feedback is an essential part of the communication process and can also be affected by ‘noise’ (see the diagram opposite). k ut abo Take a few moments to consider how each of the five senses helps in receiving information from another person.
Senses are your body’s physiological abilities that allow you to perceive the world around you. People have five senses: sight hearing touch smell taste. 2
 ASC Level 2.indd 2
8/24/12 12:46 PM
Unit 1 | Principles of communication in adult social care settings
You mainly use the senses of sight, hearing and touch to communicate, and occasionally the other two – smell and taste.
Remember that communication is listening (receiving) as well as talking (sending). Effective communication is the sharing of meaningful information between two or more people, with the goal of the receiver understanding the sender’s intended message. The person who receives the message sends feedback so that the sender knows whether the message has been received and understood. The original sender of the information is responsible for recognising and understanding that feedback, and acting on it. For example, if the message wasn’t understood at first, they might have to send it again, perhaps in a different way.
Effective communication Sharing meaningful information between two or more people; the goal is that the receiver understands the sender’s intended message.
Why do people communicate?
Try to imagine what it would be to spend a day without communication – no conversation; no TV or radio; no reading; no computer; no phone calls or texts; no hugs. People naturally interact with each other: they benefit from and enjoy communicating. This is true whether you are an introvert (quiet and private) or extrovert (life and soul of the party).
Now try to imagine how you would do your job without communicating with individuals and