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Effective Communication in Health and Social Care

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Health And Social Care
Wordcount: 2144 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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In this assignment I will be discussing the role of communication in building and maintaining professional relationships, and I’ll also be explaining the difference between professional and personal relationships. This task will also cover what working relationships a HSC practitioner will have within a nursing home. This assignment will have a case study approach.

 The scenario I have chosen is a nursing home, as a volunteer I have a duty to make sure that patients are healthy and safe. During my weeks of volunteering at the nursing home I have been given a patient to help with their daily needs and requirements. The patient that I have been allocated with is an elderly women in her 60’s named Vickie, who suffers from Diabetes type 2, Dyslexia and visual impairment.

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Vickie works with a care worker, diabetic nurse and the guide dog association who help her with her day to day activities. All of these professions have an influence on how Vickie acts and responds to things. Vickie may react differently on different situations, such as being told she has to some exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle, Vickie may not want to do that and therefore respond by arguing back, which is why we would have to find a way to making it seem fun for here.

A care worker would help Vickie with her day to day routine such as washing, dressing, and helping her maintain her hygiene. A care worker would also help Vickie with paying her bills and also providing Vickie with emotional support and company. (Duties and responsibilities- national careers service)

A diabetic nurse’s job would be to promote self-care based on Vickie, attend health meeting regarding Vickie’s mental health and physical health. A diabetic nurse’s duty would also be to monitor Vickie’s sugar levels, and also to persuade Vickie to maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising and dieting. (Duties and responsibilities (2017) royal college of nursing)

The guide dog association would help Vickie with providing customized eye books with large prints, and they would also support Vickie with providing her a guide dog and support her with training the guide dog. (Duties and responsibilities (2018) guide dogs)

As a team all of these professions would communicate together as a multi- agency group to talk about Vickie and how they feel she is improving each week, they would have many ways of communicating such as face to face, emails or text message.

As a volunteer, I would have to maintain a professional relationship with Vickie. There are many differences between a professional and personal relationship. A personal relationship means having love, connection and belonging to one another, in a personal relationship trust is built through weeks/months of getting to know each other. As a volunteer, mine and Vickie’s relationship would be limited as and when she got better. Whereas a professional relationship could last a lifetime, a professional relationship means that I have a duty of care to look after Vickie’s needs and making everything about Vickie, in a professional relationship it is important that I keep Vickie’s information private and locked away from anyone who doesn’t have permission to access Vickie’s information. It is important to gain Vickie’s trust so she is able to talk to me about things, however being in a personal relationship it means that we know each other’s information which is how trust is formed. It is also extremely important for me to remain doubtful for my own safety as well as Vickie’s. (Professional and personal relationships, 2018)

It is important to keep Vickie’s personal information confidential, it is vital to make sure that I don’t talk about Vickie’s personal information to anyone as this would ruin the trust that Vickie would have. It would only be right for me talk about Vickie if I have a worried concern for her and If I felt that she would benefit from it. It also would be right to share information with my colleagues about Vickie.

Confidentiality means keeping all information about individual’s private and hidden away safely, this means not telling anyone, except those who should or need to know. Individuals who are being cared for need to be able to trust their care workers in order to talk about their feelings, therefore if their private information is shared then the trust would be broken. However, it is only right to share information about Vickie if I was concerned about her and if I felt that she would benefit from the extra support from someone else. An example of when it would be right to share information would be if Vickie told me that her carer was hard on her and strict, or if Vickie told me something and told me not to tell anyone else because she might me get in trouble, after knowing this I would have to tell an employee above me like my manager to help with the situation to make sure that Vickie stayed safe.

Whilst being Vickie’s carer, there are many different skills that would require me to be an effective communicator, some of these skills would include:

   Active listening- listen twice as much as you speak and also be alert and interested in the other person to make them feel important.

   Non-verbal communication- non-verbal communication also includes active listening. Non-verbal information includes eye contact, body language, facial expressions and hand gestures.

   Asking questions- asking question allows the other person to realise that you are interested in what they’re saying

   Clarifying and summarising- summarise what you have heard from the other person, this shows that you are listening and also checks that that you have heard the message right  (Communication skills, 2018).

There are different types of legislations that Vickie would be protected by, such as Data protection Act and Human rights Act.

Data protection act

The data protection act was developed to give protection and bring in rules about how personal data about individuals can be used. (Data protection act, 2018)

The data protection act covers any business and services, it’s vital to keep private information locked away in a safe or in a locked room where only workers that need access to the information have a key.

The data protection act has been updated in 2018 which controls how personal data is used by the government, businesses or organisations. There is stronger protection for more sensitive information such as ethnic background, race, religion etc. (gov.uk 2018)

Human rights act

The human rights act is a law made in 1998 which allows you to defend your rights in every situation. The human rights act protects every individual in the UK regardless of who they are and where they come from. (Human rights act (2018) liberty human rights)

What rights does it cover/protect?

   Protects your life

   Prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment

   Protection against slavery and forced labour

   Right to liberty and freedom

   Respect for privacy and family life and right to marry

   Freedom of thought, religion and belief

   Free speech and peaceful protest

   No discrimination

   Right to an education

A health and social care practitioner would have many different confidential documents stored in different places, documents may be stored on the computer or written on paper. When the documents are written online there are many ways that they can be protected one is by having it password protected and only accessible to those who need it. Another way is by using encryption. There are plenty of online protection devices that can be used to keep confidential information safe and hidden away. Some of these protection devices may include using a firewall, it’s also important to disable files and media sharing if they are not needed, it’s also important to update the privacy settings on all online devices that contain confidential information. (Storing confidential information, information age)

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A health and social care practitioner may also use paper-based records to write down patient’s (Vickie’s) medical records, in order for paper based records to be kept confidential they must be locked away where unauthorised people can’t get them. Documents would have to be hidden away in a locked file or safe which would be kept in a locked room where only authorised personnel’s have a key to access the information.

Keeping Vickie’s personal information confidential is important when I want her to continue trusting me, however her information should only be shared if I ever felt that Vickie was in danger. For example, if Vickie told me that her carers are abusive towards her then I would have to pass that message on to a safeguarding officer as it would benefit her and they would make sure that she was living somewhere safe.

In this assignment, I have identified the difference between a professional and personal relationship, and how to maintain a professional relationship within a health and social care setting. I have also described the term confidentiality and outlined the skills needed to be able to be an effective communicator. In this assignment I have also described the different types of working relationships, and I have also described at least two pieces of legislations. In this assignment I have also described how to maintain confidentiality and in what situation it would be right to pass on someone’s personal information.

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