Within my role I am required to communicate with a wide variety of individuals. These include
Service users and their families
Other employees and professionals (social workers, doctors and other careers)
Care and service managers
All of the above individuals require varying levels and types of communication. Within my job role I support effective communication by utilising methods and strategies such as:
A communication book – To ensure needs of the service users is communicated effectively. Staff read this during each shift to ensure they are up to date with issues/changes since their last shift.
A handover – A handover is given to ensure each member of staff keep up to date of the activities over the last couple of days, any medication changes, appointment to comply with etc. More specifically, the handover will conduct a full account of the previous shift.
Supervisions - Provide communication between the support worker and their supervisor. Any issues they may have are addressed and provide an open and honest discussion to voice concerns with regards to staff/residents or the home in general.
Staff meetings – these help communicate the needs of the service between all staff; Meetings are held every 2 months for all staff to attend. A message is placed in the “communication book” to ensure all staff are informed.
Client files - An important aspect of communication between staff and various services. Daily notes, health check, care plans and risk assessments give all involved the individuals care and the ability to effectively communicate and discuss their needs; also any changes.
Email – I email my managers on a daily basis to communicate the activity of the home in their absence.
There are various barriers and challenges to effective communication within my job role. Some of these include:
Different forms of communication with service users may be required to meet different service user’s needs. I support staff to combat this by using different forms of communication such as PECS, BSL, physical prompt, objects of reference and written. I also ensure staff attend training that provides an insight into various communication types and an individual’s communications needs.
Sensitive subjects may produce a difficulty with communication; staff may be reluctant to discuss due to feeling somewhat uncomfortable. Staff are obviously given support and guidance on how to deal with these situations. Being professionals, all staff are trained in handing over and dealing with sensitive information.
Partner agencies being involved in the care process may bring difficulties with communication. By increasing the types of communication and number of people that need to be communicated with we increase the chance of lack of communication. To combat this, systems such as MDT meetings, email and review meetings are held.
Environment and time can also be very relevant factors in effective communication within the workplace. In a busy work place, I ensure staff have adequate time and a quiet environment to complete handover and communications between shift.
To monitor the effectiveness of communication in the workplace I:
Evaluate supervisions, handovers and team meetings. This is done by utilising quality assurance; this assesses effectiveness of communication. Supervision questionnaires are also used to evaluate how useful the communications are.
It is a legal requirement that staff complete a daily notes section. I not only ensure staff complete this, I also ensure that staff complete a colour coding system with notes to demonstrate at a glance any positive or negative behaviours. This is extremely useful when gathering information for a review or looking for incidents throughout the daily notes.
It is also important that staff keep confidentiality. I ensure that staff maintain this at all times and address any issues surrounding inappropriate communications of confidential information.
In meeting I