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Communications in Health and Social Care Organisations

Communications in Health and Social Care Organisations


Purpose of this assignment 

The purpose of this assignment is to develop learners’ critical thinking and communication skills while analysing and evaluating communication within Health and Social Care Organisations. Learners will investigate communication processes between people as well as within an organisation, then go on to investigate how the organisation as a whole can manage these processes. During this investigation, learners will explore verbal and written communication, how common barriers to communication can impact the message that is being transmitted, and ways of overcoming these barriers. In addition, communication systems within organisations will be critically examined and learners will gain an understanding of the legal frameworks surrounding the recording of information about people. Learners will gain an understanding of the use of information and communication technology as a tool in health and social care settings. Learners should note that any direct investigation of communication in health and social care placements or employment should be within the context of a job role. Due regard should be given to the confidentiality of information if used to support assessment evidence for this unit.

Scenario

Your Role 

On Thursday the 18th of February and Friday the 19th at 9.45pm, there was an incident at Pine Parks Care Home for the Elderly. You are a trainee manager carrying out a work placement from your college at Pine Parks Care Home, and you have been assigned the responsibility of investigating the factors involved in causing an incident. After you have reviewed the situation, you are expected to make a number of recommendations to the care home management and staff with the aim of improving practices and helping prevent an incident like this occurring in the future. 

The Service User

Victor Lavarelo is a 76 year old male who has been a resident at Pine Parks Care Home for three months. Originally from the South of Italy, he was raised by a Catholic family and worked as a tailor in a high end establishment similar to the tailors you would find on Savile Row. At a young age, he met the love of his life through their mutual passion for sailing and married her soon after.  In 1972, he moved with his wife and two children to Milan and began teaching fashion at a community college. In the early 1990s he took semi-retirement in order to spend more time with his family and to travel with his husband. He continued teaching as a guest lecturer. In 2008, a minor heart condition began to interfere more and more with his work commitments and his desire to travel. Then in 2009 his wife died, and he gave up working all together. In 2015, Victor became a resident in Pine Parks three months after suffering a stroke. His condition is no longer critical, and there are hopes that he will make further recovery. The stroke has resulted in severe weakness and numbness down to left hand side of his body, meaning that he cannot walk without support. His speech function has also been impacted; the language centres of his brain have been damaged resulting in difficulty remembering many words, and other words being commonly mixed up; at the same time, the partial paralysis down the left hand side of his face makes articulating speech very difficult. He can write, but words can still become confused. In addition, it is difficult for him to eat and wash without assistance. In addition, Victor also presents symptoms that could be interpreted as early signs of dementia. Although Pine Parks is located in the Brighton community because it is close to the beach, Victor’s children do not live in the immediate vicinity. His son Gregor lives in Essex with his family, and his daughter Susanna lives in Cardiff. There does seem to be some family complications for Victor and Susanna, but this specific nature of these complications is not available to us. 

Incidents 

Event 1

Thursday 21st February 2016 - 11.15pm

Sralatha Gaddamidi was working the night shift. While conducting her rounds and checking medication logs of residents. As part of his routine, Mr Lavarello typically eats a small snack one hour after he has taken his heart medication, and Sralatha had brought his snack to him.  She found that Mr. Lavarello’s log was not clearly labelled, and she could not ascertain whether he had taken his heart medication or not. She began to investigate and asked him direct questions. However, she found it difficult to understand his reply. She did not even know if he was understanding her properly. So she began repeating the word “pills?” To which he merely held out his hand, and she replied “no”, and he simply turned over in his bed and faced the other direction, a common action for Mr. Lavarello. Because of the importance of Mr. Lavarello’s heart condition, Latha continued pursuing the issue. She said “I’m sorry Victor, but you must tell me about your pills.” He did not respond, just turned out his bed lamp. She turned on the main room light. At which point, he responded with a verbal insult both sexist and discriminatory against her Hindi religion. In response, she took the food, turned off the light and shut the door. She then waited for the duty nurse to return from a short trip to pick up toilet roll from the supermarket. 

Event 2

Friday 22nd February 8.45pm. 

The following day, Mr. Lavarello’s son Gregor Lavarello waited to confront Sralatha at the end of her afternoon shift. In full view of other residents, he explained “how would you feel if some stupid little girl stole your food!” He continued shouting as she stood in terrified silence until co-worker David Banner interrupted, asking Sralatha if she was okay. Gregor Lavarello continued shouting despite David’s interference, standing directly behind David and staring directly at Sralatha. At which point, David instructed Gregor to leave the premises. 

Event 3

Upon hearing about the incident, Ms. Muffer, part of the senior management team confronted Sralatha, criticised her judgement and terminated her work placement on the spot. 

Event 4

Sralatha filed a grievance against Ms. Muffer for unfair dismissal citing several reasons. 

Consequences

This and other similar breakdowns in communication were brought up during the ‘Care Quality Commission’ (CQC), resulting in Park Pines being designated as ‘Needs Improvement’. This low quality designation threatens the stability of the company and also unsettles residents and their families. 

As a result, your report and recommendations are seen as essential to Park Pines’ goal of resolving the issue and improving their CQC grading. 

Task 1 – Complete Organisation Paperwork (AC 1.2)

Investigate the situation. Complete an ‘Incident Report’ form on behalf of those involved. Complete a ‘Personal Development’ form for each member of staff, helping them analyse and evaluate the situation and create a strategy to improve their professional practice. 

Task 2 – Report 

Following the recent interaction with the Lavarelo family and the CQC grading, you have been asked to write a report analysing the breakdown of communication, the different ways that inappropriate interpersonal communication could have been dealt with, the reasons the organisation needs to improve its management of communication among staff and service users, and clear recommendations for improvement. 

Your report is expected to be in three parts

Part 1: A review of the communication breakdown

  • Explain the communication process 
  • Explain how and why communication broke down between staff and the Lavarello family
  • Explain how communication between the Lavarello family and care staff can be affected by culture and values (AC 2.1)
  • Apply relevant theories of communication to this context within this section (AC 1.1)

Part 2: An analysis of how communication operates within a Care Home setting 

  • Analyse the use of strategies used by the organisation and the individual to support users of health and social care services with specific communication needs  (AC1.4) with reference to relevant communication theories (AC1.1). 
  • explain how legislation, charters and codes of practice impacts on the communication process within care homes like Park Pines and with service users like the Lavarello family (AC 2.2)
  • Analyse the effectiveness of organizational systems and policies in promoting good practice in communication (AC 2.3)

Part 3: Recommendations on ways to improve communication within the organisation 

  • Review methods of dealing with inappropriate interpersonal communication between individuals (AC1.3) (These should be linked to relevant theories of communication AC1.1)
  • Recommend ways that the organisation as well as individuals can improve communication practices in Park Pines (AC 2.4)
  • Note: your report recommendations need to directly relate to potential communication problems and provide solutions (D1)

To achieve M1 you need to make effective judgements in your report about the effectiveness of organisational systems and policies in promoting good practice in communication. To achieve M3 your report must be structured in a clear, logical and sequenced way following the guidelines laid out for a report, and also flowing with consistent ease from one topic to the next. To achieve M2 you need to apply theoretical content related to the communication cycle, barriers to communication and psychological factors in a way helps clarify the causes and the implications of the incident. 

Task 3 – Training Video/ Roleplay 

Following your report, you have been asked to create a role-play training video to show good practice to the care home staff.  (AC 3.1). In your video, you should work with a partner to show four examples of how to resolve inappropriate interpersonal communication between care home staff and service users, as well as between care home staff and their colleagues. (AC 1.2). To achieve D2 you will have demonstrated how you have managed the group work preparation of your role play activities. This will involve creating a plan, taking detailed notes of your group work progress and then reflecting on the effectiveness of your management. 

Task 4 – Written Reflection 

After your video, you have been asked to write a reflection of your role-play reviewing what you have learned about communication between individuals, communication within organisations, communication theories as well as how external factors can impact communication in the workplace, and reviewing how each of these can help you improve your professional practice. (AC 1.3)

To achieve D1 you need to use a reflective model to carry out a critical review of your performance in the report Task 1 and role play in Task 3 and arrived at sound conclusions. 

Note: This will be completed in the college during a time constrained assessment. You can bring up to 4 A4 pages of typed notes with references. However, you are not permitted to have access to the internet or mobile phones. Standard exam conditions will apply. 

Task 5 – Individual Presentation

Following this, you have also been asked to investigate the potential benefits of ICT systems in the workplace and make a presentation for the Care Manager to present with you at an annual conference. 

Step 1 Research the range of information and communication technology (ICT) available for use in the health and social care setting you have chosen

Step 2 Analyse the benefits of using ICT for service users such as the Lavarello family, care workers and Park Pines (AC3.2)

Step 3 Analyse how legal considerations in the use of ICT impact on the health and social care setting that you chose (AC3.3)

Step 4 Organise your findings using PowerPoint with accompanying explanatory notes and include in your presentation examples of software packages that demonstrate the use of (AC 3.1):

  • word-processing
  • spreadsheets
  • database
  • information retrieval
  • internet
  • email
  • image software

Answer

COMMUNICATING IN HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE

1.3 Different method that can deal the ineffective interpersonal communication skills:

Interpersonal communication refers to the exchange of meaning, and information through different types of communication method such as verbal as well as non-verbal communication. Effective interpersonal communication always increases the clarity in the relationship by clearing the concepts of any discussion and it also helps in better decision making. Ineffective communication can be generated by greater self-esteem, stereotyping, superiority about own, concept of ideal self, and stresses etcetera (Kameg et al. 2010). There are several methods that can deal with this ineffective communication method such as being determined in any concept, taking help from any colleagues by describing the problem, and talking about the emotions. For reduction of the ineffectiveness in the communication with the care workers, it is mandatory to describe the perspective of the care workers. 

Moreover, saying any word repetitively can clear the statement of any care workers that can generate more effective interpersonal communication. However, the word can be perceived in different ways if two different people belonging from two different culture. In this case, repetitive asking of Sralatha has been perceived in a negative way by the care worker Mr Lavarelo. Therefore, in this case, utilisation of right tone of voice is mandatory. For maintaining effectiveness in the communication process with colleague or patient, it is important to ask different questions to find out the perspective of others and talking about the feelings so that they can easily understand the problem (Levinson et al. 2010). Conflict is very common in the workplace and it mainly creates when ineffective interpersonal communication takes place. Therefore, it is very much important to investigate the issues and separate the persons who were involved in the conflict. Cross-cultural issues sometimes create ineffective communication that can be resolved by showing respect to every type of culture and gaining knowledge regarding the culture of the other person with whom a care worker is communicating. For handling the issues regarding the interpersonal communication being assertive is mandatory because it helps any people to express their feeling (Arnold and Boggs, 2015). In order to reduce any miscommunication regarding the facilitation of interpersonal communication, maintaining effective voice tone and showing good body language is important. Psychoanalytic theory is applicable in this scenario that describes human behaviour generates the id, superego and ego. Therefore, for handling miscommunication, ego must be avoided by one participant of the communication process.

1.4 Different strategies that can support the users of health and social care:

There can disable service users in the health and social care that may require special attention or specialised communication process (Watson et al. 2011). For providing non-judgemental, fair as well as effective services to those specialised customers, it is very much important for the organisation to arrange effective services. There can be different types of disabilities among care users that are related to language, different physical disabilities, culture, and literacy rate etcetera. Based on the requirements of a client, care workers adapt different strategies for facilitating communication.

For treating patients with disabilities effective gestures, different signals through the hand, effective symbols and picture must be utilised (Moorhead et al. 2011). In this case, Mr Lavarelo has ineffective speaking capability because of paralysis. The partial paralysis made the brain’s language centres damaged and made him more confused. Therefore, in this case, the Park Pines care home must arrange different types of communication strategy such as showing particular videos to communicate or use some sign language to make communication.

For treating patients with the special communication needs, care workers must show a positive attitude, respect and fair treatment so that it can satisfy the care workers. Mainly two types of care workers are there that can treat the patients with specific needs that are shown below:

In this case, the social cognitive theory is applicable that mainly synthesises different process or concept from the emotional, cognitive as well as behaviouristic model to change the behaviour so that it can be applied in the counselling process for disease prevention (Watson et al. 2011). SCT describes that people not only learns from the behaviour of others, therefore, the management of care home should develop some interactive video so that it can be adapted by the Mr Lavarelo and an effective communication can be established.

2.1 Influence of cultural factors and value on communication process:

As stated by Reeves et al. (2011), culture is the shared values that any group of people generally holds. The culture of any people generally controls perception, value, and belief among a people that highly affect the communication process. Every culture has different rules related to the particular behaviour that can affect the verbal as well as non-verbal communication. In this case, the Lavarelo family is actually from Italy and the care worker Sralatha is belonging from Hindi religion so that it is obvious that there will be some different in the culture. For this reason, repetitive asking of Sralatha regarding consuming medicines was perceived in a different way. Mr Lavarelo perceived this formal asking as an insult. Different types of culture regulate the showing of emotions in a different way, there are different cultures that create more emotions among people and create some issues. Therefore, for a different culture, the behaviour of Sralatha was viewed as the aggressiveness of the care worker that creates the main problem (Aveyard, 2014).

2.2 Impact of legislation, charters and codes of practice in health and social care:

It is the right of every care users to get the equal and fair treatment and respect from the care providers. In order to ensure this equality for providing effective services, it is mandatory to implement different legislations, code of practice and charters in health and social care (Care Quality Commission, 2012). For providing effective services to the Lavarelo family, autonomy to them to select the procedure of treatment is imperative because it helps a patient to get a better idea regarding their treatment process and helps them to get a quick recovery from their diseases. 

In order to protect the data regarding the treatment process, Data protection act 1984 is very much important in this case. Moreover, The Health Act 2009 is also applicable in this consequence that can help the Lavarello family to access good quality services from the Park Pines care home.

Code of conduct is important in any HSC organisation for following a standard in the provision of health and social care service. Code of conducts mainly outlined the attitude as well as behaviour for the care workers who are signed up with the code so that they can provide a good support to the care users (Koh and Sebelius, 2010). 

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