Health and Social Communication Skills

Last Updated: 30 Jun 2021
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Table of contents

Group Interaction

Basic Details/Work Context

It is important to be able to communicate effectively in a health and social context, in order to transmit the appropriate care values appropriate to people’s specific needs. Just like my one to one interaction, I had to demonstrate my communication skills. I undertook an interaction with a group of young children that were at a primary school. But before undertaking this interaction I had to do some research on group interactions in order for me to do this interaction correctly.

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Walsh et all explains a group as “Groups are collections of people who come together because they have a common purpose or goal and who gradually develop a shared sense of belonging, or group identity” There are four groups in total which people can be classified when communicating together; two of these were identified by Burnard. The first one he identifies is Primary groups, these involved face to face contact and members will get to know each other.

While as Secondary groups are more widely distributed these may include membership of a club such as Trade Unions. The other two groups are Task Orientated Group and Socially Orientated Groups. The Task Orientated Groups are groups that achieve a common goal/objective, a group like this may be a doctor meeting to discuss a patient’s care, and these groups tend to happen cause of a purpose or a point. The last group is the Socially Orientated Groups, these are the friendship groups, and they will share personal reasons and views with each other.

As I did my group interaction within a Primary School, I was able to sit one side of the classroom with my group, which was an advantage as the children and I was still in a classroom, an environment where teaching and learning is done. I undertook the role of a teacher’s assistant and had a teacher’s assistant observing me which filled out my ‘Group Observation Sheet’. They were able to comment and feed back to me what I was doing correctly and what I could improve on. I was able to evaluate and take in their comments as they work with groups of children every day.

My group interaction consisted of myself, a teacher’s assistant and five children aged from 4-5. I decided to read a story to them relating to a subject they were currently studying and during and after the story I asked questions. Asking questions allowed the children to make them feel more involved, I asked questions such as ‘What do you think is going to happen next? ’ and ‘Do you think that’s a good or bad thing they had done and why? This abled those to express what they thought were going to happen next in the story and compare their ideas with other children.

Communication Skills

Groups can develop over a period of time, and different kinds of groups come together in different ways. A friendship group goes through mutual attraction while as working groups form by a leader. These groups formations can take time, some may be longer or shorter compared to others, but each group will gradually go through four stages of development which is suggested by Tuckman. Tuckman suggests that groups go through four basic shapes in order to become effective.

The first stage is Forming, this is when a group comes together and will find out about each other and a leader may emerge. Following onto the second stage is Storming, this is when conflict occurs as group members will argue over purpose, the group members will disagree with the leader. The purpose will become clearer as the arguments are won and lost. The third stage is Norming this is when the group identify develops with a strong set of shared values and norms, their group identity begin to develop.

The group becomes Cohesive, this is when all group members begin to work together for the good of the whole. Groups can be affected by the communication strategies that individuals use while being in a group which split into positive and negative. Bales  identifies these types of communication behaviour used by group members. Bales identifies the following types as positive:

  • Proposing, are communications that offer new ideas and are constructive.
  • Building is the communications that develop the ideas of others. Supporting, communications that support or agree with the comments of others in the group, this is it good for cohesion.
  • Summarising involves summing up the contributions and discussions of the group.
  • Information seeking is when you seek new ideas or information from other group members.

And the last positive communication behaviour is Information giving, these are communications that contribute the ideas and information. Bales also identifies there are also negative types that occur when communication with a group. These are:

  • Disagreeing, this is ommunicating a difference which could be done in a positive or negative way.
  • Defensive, this is where group members with defend their idea when under attack.
  • Attacking, communications that challenge other group members.
  • Blocking, this is when obstacles are placed in the way of others.

And the last negative communication behaviour is Exclusive, this is the opposite to Inclusive, their aim is to block out specific group members. As I was able to do my group interaction within a Primary School they had a colour scheme which represents their level and how they are progressing.

Within these ‘colour groups’ there are a group of 4-6 children where they are all working at a similar level. I took one of these groups for my interaction. The children all knew each other well and were able to communicate together in a sensible manner. When doing my interaction I was able to see that ‘Tuckmans’ four stages of group formation had already taken place. I think this particular group was at Tuckmans suggested stage of Storming. There seemed to be conflict between the children as they argued over where they were all sitting and some did challenge others ideas.

There also seemed to be a leader of the group that decided on everything and wanted to be the centre of attention. Although once the children had calmed down I think the children had formed into the Norming stage. The group of children was able to identify similar ideas towards the story most of the time. Most of the children agreed on what were right and wrong in the story and all had similar ideas on what the ending of the story will be. The suggested leader of the group was quieter when settled when starting the task we had to complete together.

Within the Norming stage Tuckman also suggested that the group becomes cohesive, when a group becomes cohesive, all group members begin to work together for the good of the whole. This was clearly shown within in the group interaction, when little tasks were asked to be completed throughout the story. Little tasks included things such as role-playing the previous chapter of the book and drawing on A3 paper to show to the rest of class when they join back together. There can be a number of factors that can influence the effectiveness of communication; some can enhance it while others can weaken it.

The type of communication and the skills that are used within the communication can vary. Communication will differ between within a hospital and a pharmacy; the health care user will also affect the different types of communication you will use. There are four types of communication that can be used within the health care’s sector although I am looking at Non-Verbal Communication and Verbal Communication. Promoting effective communication should contain a balance of power in care workers and client relationships. Listening to others is essential when promoting effective communication.

During my group interaction with young children I used the following skills:

Non-Verbal Communication.

Non-Verbal Communication is as important as Verbal Communication, According to Gahagan, he believes that “Non-verbal communication is communication though any means other than language” This includes, body posture, gaze, proximity and touch, personal appearance and use of space and props and also gesture and facial expressions. Other research on Non-Verbal communication is that Argyle suggests that non-verbal communication functions in 3 ways.

The first function is that non-verbal communication communicates inter-personal attitudes and emotions are a key part of interaction, this includes facial expression. Another function is that it supports verbal communication, e. g. listening is a key part of interaction and non-verbal communication establishes evidence that it is happening. The last function is that non-verbal communication replaces speech, e. g. sign language. Eye Contact. Eye contact can send a particular message to a health care user. We often get eye contact messages mixed up, an example of this would be.

Long broken eye contact, this can show two very different messages, one of them being attraction or unfriendly staring. Eye contact can also show that you’re listening to what the other person is saying and that you are generally interested in what they have to say.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Skill

I was able to demonstrate this skill of eye contact correctly by viewing everyone equally and not just focusing on one particular child. I didn’t use long direct eye contact as this would have made the children feel uncomfortable.

Eye contact is a great way to show Bales inclusiveness, I was able to correctly show this, by looking at everyone in the group; I was able to involve everyone in the group by bringing them together and asked for their opinions and views on what’s going to happen next in the story. I extremely focused on children that were more isolated and quiet and often shy, although I ensured that I used eye contact at a comfortable gaze comfortable eye as to much direct eye contact can make an individual feel uncomfortable, anxious and even nervous with the children. I also ensured that all my attention was spread out to everyone; I just encouraged the shy children to bring out their opinion.

Contexts of the Skill

Comparing the skill of eye contact and the use of it when communicating with younger children is much easier when using the skill for Therapy groups with the clients being Alcohol Anonymous. With children my group was at a smallish number and they all seemed generally interested except for some of the disruptions.

When talking and running a therapy group for Alcohol Anonymous the leader of the group will need to focus on all the group members which tends to be a much larger group. I would need to use eye contact in an appropriate way; it can help to show reassurance and interest which is essential when talking to people in an Alcohol Anonymous. The eye contact will need to be comfortable and not to overpowering when talking to the group, as people within the group will be finding this situation very sensitive and you don’t want to offend them by overpowering eye contact.

Body Language.

Body language can refer to many various things, such as eye contact, facial expressions and posture. An individual’s posture refers to how an individual sits or stands; this is one way how messages and emotions can be transmitted to the receiving person.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Skill

During the interaction I ensured my body posture was open so it could be transmitted onto the group of children. With my body posture being positive and open it allowed the chance of all the children to know that I was relaxed and open to talk and teach.

This would be a positive effect on the children’s self-concept on the whole, with my body posture giving of the impression I want to listen to what the children have to say, would of made their self-esteem positive, the way they value themselves would be higher as well. I think my open posture also transmitted that I was confident in what I was going to do with the children, read them a story and various tasks. My body posture remained open throughout the whole of the interaction, during reading the story and helping them with their tasks. Having an open body posture is also a way of letting of positive energy and made the children feel good as I wanted to take all the time to teach and talk to them, especially as I was new visitor in the class.

Contexts of the Skill

As body posture is an important skill to transmit the right feelings and expressions across to the receiving person, a health care professional needs to be able to transmit the right expressions correctly. In a dentist context, I would need to be able to transmit a happy comfortable body posture to my patient.

A dentist can be a scary uncomfortable place for many individuals, so a positive posture is needed to almost comfort their patient. I would demonstrate this skill by welcoming the patient gently and using hand gestures to guide them to the seat. I wouldn’t be standing upright as this would suggest I’m tense or serious, but my posture would be open which a sign of relaxation and comfort is. The patient would able to recognise and read my body posture, which would be able to keep them calm and the feeling of being able to trust me would also appear. The patient should be able to feel in safe arms with me being the dentist.

Facial Expressions

Facial expressions can also be used to show and express what an individual may be thinking or feeling and can replace verbal communication. During my interaction with the children I ensured I made my facial expressions match what I was actually saying, as this was going to avoid confusion with the children. As most of the interaction was reading a story to the children and stopping at parts of the story to discuss what had happened and what was going to happen next.

I was able to show excitement during the story by using my mouth to smile and my eyes were large as this is seen as a sign of interest and excitement. Although I doubt the children would notice about the eyes as they haven’t been exposed to pick up the signs of eye contact. Along with my facial expressions I also used hand gestures; this also helped explain what was saying to the children.

Strengths and Weakness of the Skill.

Being able to perform the skill of facial expression was one of the easiest skills to perform to the children.I was able to correctly use  facial expression to match what I was saying verbally. Examples of this is when a sad part of the story came up and I was told to discuss what had happened and how the child would feel if they were in that position. I was able to show the sadness by facial expressions by making my mouth frown almost like and showed emotion through my eyes. The use of gestures was also used by suggesting what it could feel like with my hands. I was able to use the ‘OK’ hand gesture to a child sitting at the back of the group, as they asked to go to the toilet.

When I first replied the children did not hear me, but when I repeated the answer again and did the ‘OK’ hand gesture, the child understood what I was saying. Contexts of the Skill Hand gestures and facial expression would be extremely important if you are communicating with a child who has learning difficulties. In a context of a Nursery the child may have difficulties understanding verbal language. The use of facial expressions would be extremely useful to the child as they would be able to pick up key signs such as smiling would mean something positive is being said and would be able to digest that easily.

I would also use hand gestures would also be useful as I would use my hand to suggest where the toilet is, or where a particular item is. Hand gestures can also be used to do sign language to help the child.

Verbal Communication. Asking Questions.

The workers in the health and social care sector need the ability to help people discuss and talk about their feelings, thoughts and concerns. Burnard’s theory refers to this as drawing out. He suggests there are four main components to this process.

These include, Open questions, reflection, understanding the checks and Empathy building statements, which I have previously explained in my one to one interaction. There are two different types of questions that can be used in communication, closed and open questions. I used more of the open questions, as this allowed the children to think and discuss their ideas of the story with their peers and myself. There are also Prompts and Probes which can be used within asking questions. I used both types, but used Probes much more then Prompts.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Skill

I think I was able to perform the skill of opening questions correctly and precisely each time, open questions are great to keep the conversation flowing. The children were able to say their views and listen to what the other children had to say, the children argued on certain points which in general turned out to be a healthy debate about the story we was currently reading together. I used many probes during my interaction; Probes are a very short question that usually follows on from an answer that the other individual has given. I used Probes as they are used to dig deeper into the child’s answer.

Which is great when discussing, it abled me to probe into what a child had and then for them to reply with a more detailed answer and often allowed them to explain their answer in a more detailed context. A weakness of this skill of asking questions is that I didn’t use as many Prompts as I should of, prompts are short questions or words which you can offer to person in order to prompt them to answer. There were a couple of shy children who might of distanced their selves from the group when discussing the story, even though they are shy they might of felt excluded as I didn’t try to involve them as much as I should of.

This would have affected their self-concept negatively; their self-image and self-esteem could have been affected by this. I should have used more Prompts in order for the shy children to join in with the group discussion 100%, using such words as ‘and what does that mean to you? ’ ‘what do you think is going to happen next? ’ could of provoked more responses out of the shy children which would of made them feel more part the group and feel way more involved.

Contexts of the Skill

The way you ask questions can vary on what the context of the situation is, the way you ask questions to a young child will be far easier then asking an adult. The questions will be far more complex when speaking to adults comparing it to young children. With each client a health care professional must be able to adapt asking the appropriate questions to their client user. In the context of a doctor asking their patient what is wrong with them, i will need to ask the essential questions to find the diagnosis. A doctor uses questions daily when interacting with their patient; I would use a persistent use of probes and prompts to get the information out of the patient. This allows me to get the correct symptoms out of the patient and for them to prescribe a prescription if needed.

There are some cases where a patient is embarrassed or shy when visiting them. If this was to happen I would approach the situation delicately, I would slowly ask questions but allowing the patient to think of their answer and wait for them to reply. I may begin the conversation with an open question such as ‘Hello, what can I do for you today’ and the patient will then explain their symptoms or illness. I would then prompt the patient to answer questions relating to the illness I think they have. I wouldn’t s use too many prompt questions, as this will be pressuring the patient into answering and will make them feel highly un-comfortable.

A doctor needs to enrol the role of a professional in which the patient feels they can trust them. Tone ,Pace and Volume of Voice. During my group interaction I had to adjust my tone, pace and volume to fits with the children’s acquirements and needs. I had to speak directly to all the children, so I made sure I projected my voice so that every child could hear what I was saying and wouldn’t be left out. I ensured i kept my sentences short as they were young children. My sentences remained quite simple and not as complex to if I was speaking to an adult. I also used straightforward language and vocab due to the children’s young age. I made sure I used straightforward language and vocab so they could actually understand what I was talking about, wouldn’t want to use over complicated words and for the children to get confused about what is being said. I also maintained comfortable eye contact with all the children when they were speaking; this showed that I was listening and generally interested in what he was going to say. I was able to speed up my pace of voice, which showed excitement when reading the story which was able to transmit onto the children. Speeding up will invariably makes the tone of voice more urgent and compelling.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Skill

I was able to demonstrate my tone, pace and volume effectively during my group interaction with the children. I was able to adjust my voice with the children. I ensured I had a positive tone of voice as they made the children want to communicate back with me. This was because my tone of voice was soft and inviting which convinced the children I wanted to talk to them and listen to what they had to say.

As the children are quite young, I did speak a bit slower than usual so the children could digest and understand what I was saying. I made sure I wasn’t patronising to the children with my slow voice, but ensured they felt comfortable to talk to me. I think I was promoted the children’s self-concept during the interaction, by congratulating them when they said a good answer or point. I really allowed the children to talk and express their opinions thoughtfully. As I was a new visitor to the class, I needed the children to trust me and feel comfortable to talk to me as they were unsure of whom I was.

My tone of voice had to invite the children in and make them want to talk to me about the story they were currently studying. My volume of voice stayed stable during the whole conversation, it was a comfortable relaxed volume of voice. The observer of the interaction said ‘my tone, pace and volume ‘were at a correct level when speaking to a group of children’ My observer who is also a teacher’s assistant followed on to say that ‘ I was well spoken and had a voice that edged the children to speak to me perfectly fine.

After my observer commented on my tone, pace and volume they then followed onto to say that ‘Although she did sometimes use to over complicated words which the children couldn’t understand and enquired about’. As this all comes under the vocab I used, I should have researched more into what words the children would know and what they wouldn’t. I could have overcome this weakness by speaking to the teacher or even the teacher assistant that works with the group of children every school day what kind of reading level they were all at.

This would of abled me to research on the amount of knowledge the children would have. A good thing I could have done was asked the teacher or teacher assistant what words they have recently learnt and ensured I used them in my interaction. Contexts of the Skill Adjusting your tone, pace and volume of your voice varies on what service user you are talking to. If I was a nurse working with an elderly person in a care home, I would have to adjust my voice to ensure the individual could hear me properly and for them to communicate back with me.

It is typical to stereotype that all elderly people are death and need hearing aids, although there hearing does deterates over time, we can’t assume they are deaf. As this would hurt their self-esteem. I would be very sensitive towards the matter, I wouldn’t jump to conclusions that all people struggle with their hearing when speaking to them. I would address them I would with any other people, as they would reduce them feeling patronised. I would adapt their volume of voice to suit the service user.

I would not shout at the individual as this may make them feel intimidated, although I may speak a tad louder so they could hear them. As older peoples hearing does deteriorate over time, they may have difficulties in what I was talking about so they may ask to repeat what I was saying. I would not get angry towards them for not being able to understand me, as this would make the individual to feel little and worthless. I would simply repeat what i said over and over again until they understood properly. For all of this to be possible for the elderly person to communicate back with me.

I would ensure to make myself seen clearly and would face the care user, so this allows my mouth to be visible to the elderly person. I would then continue to speak clearly and slowly. I would also have to reduce the background noise, so this wouldn’t interfere with the conversation. I could also make the communication easier for the elderly person by using non-verbal signals where it’s appropriate.

Care Values and Transmission. Maintaining Confidentiality.

During my group interaction I was able to demonstrate the care value of Confidentiality precisely. I was able to do this by not mentioning any specific names in this coursework; I always refer to the ‘children’ or the ‘child’. This shows that I was protecting the children’s identity and keeping them protected. Also on the observation sheet that I made sure my observer didn’t comment on any specific children that were in the group I was interacting with. I was also able to demonstrate the skill of confidentiality by saying to the children before the interaction had started what I was going to do through the interaction and ensured that no names would be use when writing about it in my coursework.

I also got the children to sign a sheet which explained what was going to happen and that their identity would be kept safe and anonymous. (This sheet is attached to the coursework) The teacher also went through what was going to happen with the children to guarantee they knew what was happening, I also asked if any of the children had any questions before the interaction took place which I would be happily to answer.

Contexts of the Care Value.

Every Health and Social Care Sector needs to be able to stick and demonstrate the Care Value of Confidentiality with every client they are presented with. Confidentiality can be easily shown in an Alcohol Anonymous group. As a group leader I would ensure and stress that all members are safe to talk about their previous experiences and thoughts, and must allow the members to feel comfortable with the group knowing that they are all together as one. I could show confidentiality at the beginning of the session by saying ‘Whatever is said today stays within the walls of this room and doesn’t travel out of it’. This should make all the group members feel safe and ready to share their experiences.

Promoting Anti-Discriminatory Practice. Anti-Discriminatory practice involves challenging unfair discrimination and counteracting any effects that it has already had on an individual. Discrimination can be done in many ways such as: age, sex, disability and even homophobia. It is important to keep within this care value as I was working with a group of children and within this group I had many children who shared different cultures and beliefs. I was able to treat every child equally and didn’t favor or disfavor and particular child.

I ensured that every child felt included, secure and valued. I was able to show this Anti-Discriminatory practice by allowing the children to form a circle, also known as ‘circle time’ to discuss ideas about the cultures within the story. The children are more likely to feel comfortable about exploring issues if they feel that what they say and do is cared about. Circle times allowed children to help listen to each other, talk about other cultures they knew and religion.

Contexts of the Care Value.

My context is going to be within a primary school with children, I will explain how Anti-discriminatory practice takes place within schools, as I wasn’t able to show this as much as I wanted to during my interaction. Children need to hear songs and stories from a range of cultures, Music and dance offer opportunities for expression regardless of language; however, there is a need for sensitivity around dancing in some cultural groups. Music and dancing allows the children to feel as if they were in that particular culture and for them to express themselves, which would be making their self-image and self-esteem positive.

The way the children see theirs selves and value themselves will be much higher than before. Dressing up clothes can also represent the styles of different communities, allowing children to take on roles and develop imaginative play skills. The school can also have a large selection of books that introduce different cultures which can be introduced to the children and for them to become aware of them and well educated. The book corner should also involve traditional stories from around the world.

Strengths and Weakness of the Care Value.

I think I was able to demonstrate the care value correctly, as I kept everyone equal and didn’t favour any of the children. Although there were children who had different culture backgrounds and shared different beliefs compared to other children but I wasn’t able to investigate and promote Anti-Discriminatory Practice within the rest of the children. If I was undertaking a activity with the children talking about religion and cultures I would have been able to promote the differences and make the children more aware that there are many different cultures and religions in the world.

Promoting Effective Communication.

During my group interaction, I showed the way how projected the sound of my voice when speaking to the whole of the group. As my group were young children, I had to adjust the vocabulary I used; this was due to their age. I couldn’t use over complicated vocabulary as the children wouldn’t of understood and would then be confused. I was able to promote an Effective Communication with all the children during the story and smaller group activities. I was encouraged to use ‘Circle Time’ as this would influence the children to talk and discuss their ideas.

To encourage the children to discuss their ideas I used a range of prompts and probes to get information out of the children. This encouraged the children to really express his thoughts and feelings towards the book. I asked every child in turn, what their thoughts were and ensured them that there was no wrong answer. I praised each child when they told the rest of the group their thoughts, praising the child made the children’s self-esteem more positive. The way they value themselves would increase as I praised them for their good work and made them feel good about their self.

When asking these questions I allowed enough time for the children to think of a response, and when they replied I ensured I listened to their reply and commented back. All these things show that I was able to Promote Effective Communication with all the children, due to them having happy facial expressions and smiling throughout the whole interaction. Contexts of the Care Value. In the situation of a support group for giving up smoking with the NHS sector, the leader/host of the group would need to show Effective communication throughout the whole group towards everyone.

I would have to show support and encourage group members to quit together. I would also show praise towards people that have achieved a goal or a target. A simple thing like praising the individual will affect their self-concept on a whole. Their self-image will be positive and their image will also look more appealing to their selves. I could have given up smoking 10 years ago and knows what the struggles are when trying to give up. This means that I would be able to sympathise with all the group members as I have been through the whole situation herself.

When sympathising with a member, I would ensure I speak directly to the individual and ask them to express their feelings as best they can. The best ways to show sympathy is to listen attentively while the other person talks. Asking questions can also make individuals feel more comfortable in the group and will also make them feel welcomed and part as a group, as a leader, a target is to include everyone in the conversation. Finding out information about the individuals can do great good both for the individual and me.

The individual may feel like something has been lifted of their chest, by explaining their situation, thoughts and feelings. I would also ensure that I listen thoughtfully when the individual is replying and would use head gestures and ‘replying with yes’ gives the individual that they are being listened to.

Promotion of Equality And Diversity.

This care value was easy to transmit in the group interaction, when talking about the story I made sure the children was in ‘Circle Time’ so we could discuss the children’s ideas and thoughts.

Following on Circle Time I asked the children to get into smaller groups (pairs) for some activities and then asked them to go alone to complete the given task. I went round and gave attention to every child equally and didn’t leave anyone out. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Care Value. I gave attention to each child when discussing what they thought was going to happen next in the story. I asked every child in my group to ensure no one felt left out. I spent roughly the same amount of time on each child when discussing with them about the story, I was giving out my divided attention equally to everyone.

During the activities we had to complete, the children were put into smaller groups or by their selves for some activities. In their solo activities I went round and gave them my divided attention, I asked what they were doing and encouraged them to do their best. I did this with every child so again they didn’t felt left out but felt involved just like other group members. I also ensured that I kept an eye on what the other group was doing with their teacher; we were both doing the exact same activity and had a routine/plan to stick to.

When the teacher moved onto the next section I also did the same. All the children in class 1 had the same amount of time to complete the tasks; no one had any extra time as this would be making a child seem more important than the others. Contexts of the Care Value. In the situation of working within A&E, it is constantly busy throughout the day and workers need to be able to deal with the rush of patients needing emergency medical attention. A nurse or doctor needs to be able to give every patient the same quality of care and support, they must all treat every individual the same.

Every patient that comes to the A&E is unique and nurses and doctors need to recognise their individual differences. For example, they need to address how serious the injury is and if they need to be prior due to the fatal accident and if addressed quickly and lead to serve consequences for the patient. All different service users will use A&E and the workers need to figure out what care to give them, different service users need different care, such as elderly care will be different compared to young children.

If a young child came in with a serve injury such as cracking their head open due to something landing on their head, and their head is full of blood and is not stopping, and another service user came in A&E with a ‘sore wrist’ which comes out to be just a sprained wrist. The nurses will put the child first as without immediate attention the child will bleed to death while as the client with a ‘sore wrist’ is not a major injury, although the nurses will give the appropriate care to the client but will put the child first as its more serious. Promoting Anti-Discriminatory Practice

In my interaction it was essential and so important not to discriminate against of the children because of their age, sex, race or religion. Within my small group I had a child who suffered from a learning disability they was diagnosed with dyslexia. This made certain school work activities hard for him to complete and took him longer to do so compared to the other children. I didn’t discriminate against their learning disabilities and treated him equally like I did with any of the other children. I influenced the children to voice their opinion and thoughts and share them with the other children.

When discussing thoughts in ‘Circle Time’ I influenced and persuaded the children to talk about what they really thought. There was children in the group who had different religious beliefs and culture compared to me and the other children, which meant they had different opinions to certain subjects. I welcomed any new ideas and thoughts from the children and listened to them with an open mind and didn’t reject their opinions. I praised the children when they voiced their opinion and told them what I thought about their opinion in a positive way which influenced their self-esteem, the way individuals think about their selves positive.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Care Value. I don’t think I was able to transmit their Care Value as much as I wanted to; this was because the teacher told and advised me to do a range of particular ideas so I couldn’t really demonstrate what I would do to promote Anti-Discriminatory Practice. If I was given the chance to transmit this Care Value I would of asked to be in a religious studies (RE) lesson, this would mean that I could explain many different religions and cultures. I may tell the children all the ifferent religions we have in our country, after doing so I would then further on to explain some of the religious beliefs they have and similar ones we share. I would get a group discussion going with the children so they could express their own thoughts and would answer any questions about different religions beliefs if children asked. After telling them loads of information about the religions, I could get the children to do a task in small groups, this would consist the children being given a particular religion and them to draw/write on an A3 bit of paper about the religion.

Then the groups of children would have to explain what they had written/drawn on the A3 sheet to the rest of the class, every group would do this in turn. Work Related Issues/Problems [A03] Encouragement of Independence and Choice. During my interaction I allowed the freedom of choice to all of the children when interacting with them. Even though I was instructed by the teacher to do certain actives I did allowed the children to choose what small group they wanted to work with. I noticed that the children worked with the people who they were sitting next to, and they seemed quite happy to all be working together.

This may suggest that they were working with their friends, and by doing this they produced great group work by working as a team. I supported the children’s opinion when expressing in ‘Circle Time’, I often praised the children when they spoke their thoughts and feelings. This would have made every child’s self-esteem value much higher than usual. The way the children values themselves should be positive due to my positive comments I made throughout the interaction. I also allowed the choice and independence of the children going to the toilet by themselves.

Adjusted Vocabulary I was able to present myself in a happy positive way when being introduced to the group of children. I tried to use a range of sentences to gain the children’s attention due to my self being a new visitor to the class and the children had never met me before so they seemed to be very anxious of me. so Bob wouldn’t get to confused, this was done so that he could digest the conversation we was having. I also allowed enough time for Bob to think what I had previously said; I didn’t hesitate when he asked me to re-peat what I had said.

Even though I tried to use simple vocab, my observer did comment on the ‘use of over complicated words’ which of made Bob struggle. I should have done more research on the language and vocab disability children can understand, to overcome this barrier I could of seeked permission from his mother to look through his school books and completed home work so I could get an idea on what language and vocab Bob uses himself. Interferences/Disturbances. Ensuring the environment is comfortable and not to over powerful is an important factor to effective communication. It is important to make the perfect environment for the interaction to take place.

My interaction was completed in a room where my group of children felt comfortable, relaxed and defiantly not anxious of where they were. This was because my room was the classroom the children are used to. This is where they come five days a week to learn and be in school. This made the children easier to settle down as they were in their normal environment. If I had asked the teacher to be placed in a separate room, separated from the rest of the children, it could of made the children feel un-easy and uncomfortable and this could of cause problems such as the children playing up and not setterling down.

It could of made me interaction very difficult and negative which would then be picked up by the children. Although I did ensure the place where my interaction took place was in view of the rest of the children and teacher, but was at the other end of the class. This made sure there wasn’t too much background noise, as this would have affected my communication with the children. Being to close to the rest of the class could have intruded on the conversation I was having with the group, this again would cause distraction and make the group hard to settle down and be quiet.

This also might have made it hard for the children to pay focus to me, if they could overhear the teachers voice and other children discussing. The lighting was not to bring nor to dark, as this can effect non-verbal communication. This was already done due to being in a school environment. Too much darkness reduces the ability to read non-verbal messages, It can affect people with degrading eye sight or with people who have bad eye sight but use glasses; poor light would of enable the children to see my face clearly. Therefore making it difficult for them to communicate and understand properly what I was saying.

Positively Establishing a Friendly Relationship. I effectively promoted a friendly relationship with the whole class. Although it was a struggle at the beginning, this was because I was a new face to the class. The children had never met me and I had never met them either. It took time for the children to pay attention to me; I had to start the interaction by introducing myself and asking the children’s names. The children were still a bit weary of me at that time, so I started a conversation by saying ‘I use to go to this school’ this opened up a lot of conversation between me and the group of children.

By saying a true statement like that it abled the children to trust me and feel comfortable with my presence. I also relaxed and wasn’t so tense, which the children could of picked up on. I treated all the children in a sensible manner and treated them all equally. I didn’t pick or favourite any child. By allowing a positive friendly relationship to form I ensured my body posture and facial expressions were transmitting positive ideas to establish this relationship to the group of children.

I made sure I smiled when I was listening to the childrens ideas and also nodded which transmitted to the children that I was generally happy to speak to them and listen to all what they had to say. Comparison [AO4] During the one to one interaction with ‘Bob’ I could easily communicate and get them to pay attention to me without struggling to much, but in the group interaction with the small group of school children was much harder to ensure that every child was paying attention to me. I was dealing with a group of children instead of just one person.

Although it was only a small group of children, I had never interacted with them before, so this made the children unaware of me and did take a while to settle and actually listen to me. Even after the children were comfortable with my presence it was hard to give them all my focus and attention, as I had to share it out equally between a group of them. There were some children who craved for more attention from me then the other children, so if I was giving them attention by answering questions. I would be giving my divided attention onto just one child instead of the group.

Even though some children weren’t afraid to ask more questions, there was still one child who was highly shy and hardly asked or answered questions when I directed it at them. So that particular child wasn’t getting the same divided attention as the other children. This could have had an effect on the child’s self-concept. Also my one to one interaction was with a child who had a learning disability, Bob easily got upset when he couldn’t accomplish tasks that were set. Bob found school life more complicated and frustrating then other school children.

Even though Bob had a learning disability, I was able to go through some of his school books and talk to his mother before the interaction so I could gather up an idea what it was like for Bob himself. Also just being a one to one interaction, I was able to communicate with Bob and get him to open up to me about what specific things he found hard and how these things had an effect on the way he felt. I was able to get Bob to confide in me and tell me how he really felt, while playing one of his favourite games. We were in a familiar environment which made myself and Bob feel comfortable and not out of place.

While as the group interaction I felt highly uncomfortable at first as I was in an environment which I wasn’t comfortable with and I think the children could see this. Which made the interaction difficult at first, I had to get the children to know me first before they started answering questions and asking questions about the book we were reading together. Even though Bob had a learning disability and this did make me think more carefully about what I was going to say and what I shouldn’t say, I found this interaction easier to complete, as I was only dealing with one individual.

While as the group interaction I was dealing with a group of children and had more responsibility then the one to one, I had to ensure I didn’t offend any of the children so I had to watch what I said. Although the children were roughly the same age, the one to one interaction with Bob was much easier to complete then the group interaction. Also when dealing with a group of different individuals, they all have different views and thoughts compared to each other, they all have different perspective views into their religion and their beliefs.

I had to take this into account as I didn’t want to offend anyone in what I was saying. This made things more complicated as some of the children had different religious beliefs then the other children and me. So I ensured that I didn’t say anything insulting or anything which may seem insulting to a particular child and single them out. With the one to one interaction I only had to talk to one person, and Bobs religious beliefs were the same as mine, so I knew what to say and not what to say. Conclusion [AO4]

During this assignment comparing the two interactions it made me think how different communication techniques are used when interacting one to one or to a group. You also use different techniques and skills when communicating with different client groups and different ages. It is important to ensure Health and Social care professions are able to transmit care values to their users and clients. It is important for these care values to be in place as these care values such as Maintaining Confidentiality, Promoting Anti-Discriminatory Practice and Promoting Effective Communication protect and help the individuals that use the services.

If these services didn’t provide these care values such as Maintaining Confidentiality, patients at a Doctors surgery’s personal details would be on show and no long anonymous. People would be able to ask for other people’s personal information without people questioning it. Service users use this care value, to keep their details anonymous and to protect themselves. In the one to one interaction I was in Bobs family home, this made things easier for myself and Bob. Bob was comfortable when talking to me as he was in a friendly well known environment which made him feel comfortable when speaking to me.

I think if the interaction took place in a different environment which was not known to Bob, then possibly Bob wouldn’t have been so open with me and wouldn’t of told me how he was really feeling when discussing what he thought about school and his school work. Bob could of possibly not trusted me like he did during our interaction, if you’re in a comfortable environment you’re going to feel comfortable enough to talk to anyone as you feel safe in your own family home.

Knowing that Bob felt comfortable it also made me relax a little bit more, which is why me and Bob got along so well! Even though I think both my interactions went well, there are still improvements to be made to make the interactions more successful if I was to do them again. Both my interactions could have been better, but if I was to re-do the one to one interaction I would of done some internet research and textbook research on Bobs learning disability so it would make the interaction possibly more easier.

Doing that extra research could reveal doing specific tasks in which Bob would be better at, for example. ‘Bob might find visual tasks easier then memory ones’ These interactions have made me realised how important communication is in a Health Care Profession, without good communication the workers and service users relationship would be very poor. Essential communication is needed to sort out problems and ask for advice and even book appointments in a doctor’s surgery or dentist. I will be able to use all my skills that I have learnt during the interaction in future situations.

I can use the communication skills when communicating with my family, my work colleagues and even teachers. These interactions have taught me how we use eye contact, facial expressions, and hand gestures along with verbal communication to transmit excellent communication to other individuals. This can be extremely useful when working in a health/care and even retail environment, as all these services should provide excellent customer service, and using the above skills can help these services please service users, in which means they will be willing to come back.

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Health and Social Communication Skills. (2018, Jan 10). Retrieved from

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