The role of communication and interpersonal interaction in Health and Social Care

Bruce Tuckman discovered that there are 4 key stages when it comes to communicating as group. These 4 key stages are called Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing. It starts off with forming, this is where there is a little agreement, an unclear purpose, and given guidance and direction. This involves bringing the group of individuals together to form a team. The members usually have positive expectations about how it all might go, although they may have some anxiety about other members. At this point it is all about building relationships within the group and initially individuals behave independently.

It then goes on to the second stage which is storming, in this stage there is conflict, power struggles but a clearer purpose is revealed. During this there will be evidence of internal conflict and it can cause a simultaneous dip in team morale. They will have to become more supportive, and better at decision-making. They also need to prevent any conflict from getting out of control and poisoning relationships between team members.

The third stage is then the Norming stage. In this stage there will be agreement, clearer roles and responsibilities and facilitation.

This is where the members are learning more about each other and how they can work together, and are also developing skills. They begin to have feelings of cohesion, mutual respect, harmony, and trust. The team will start developing a sense of team pride, and will see increased productivity as skills develop. Then in the usual last stage there is performing.

In this stage there is now a clear purpose and a good focus on the goal achievement. The team members are now competent and able to handle the decision-making process as a group. Morale is high and the general atmosphere will be positive.

Team members are confident about the outcome, enjoy open communication, show high energy, and whereas disagreement is expected and is dealt with appropriately. Sometimes there is an additional stage called Adjourning, this is where the task is now completed, and there were recognition and good feelings associated with their achievements. In Argyles theory there are 6 stages, the first is the aim. This is how they want to communicate, what they share and what they want the receiver to do with that information. The second is encoding, this is considerations such as social influence and language used.

Also read about interpersonal communication strengths and weaknesses

The next stage is transmission, and this is a vital stage for successful communication as the sender needs to consider such things as distractions and format. Then there’s the receiving stage, this is where information actually reaches the receiver. The fifth stage is the decoding stage. This where if the sender has transmitted the information correctly then the message and aim should have been received clearly. And lastly, in the final stage there is responding. This is where the receiver has got the and now has a chance to ask question about what has been said and gives the sender time to realise if they have missed anything out.

Communication adapted to a health and social care setting. The first form of communication that I logged was in the form of talking and verbal speech was used. I had a conversation with my 5 year old nephew, Cole, and we spoke about a game called Minecraft. This took place on the 23rd September ‘15 when I had gone over to visit my sister and her family. Our conversation included him demonstrating what keys do what actions as a character, and also how to open your chest with all of your objects in. There were no other means of communication apart him demonstrating with actions.

Although him being a younger child I made sure he could understand what I was saying and also made sure I acknowledged what he said without sounding patronising. Cole: “So this is how you do it. ” Me: “Do what? ” Cole: “Jump out of the water, you double click x, look like this. ” Me: “Oh Yeah, I see. That’s cool! ” Cole: “And then this is the chest, you click this button (demonstrating button y) and it comes up, here now you try. ” If this was in a health and social care setting then for example Cole could’ve been being visited by a social worker and he was upstairs playing minecraft.

A social worker would’ve asked him what he was doing on the game and he would’ve proceeded to tell him or her about what he was doing in the same manner that he explained it to me. The social worker also would’ve spoken in a softer tone and used fairly simple language as he is still a child. It also would’ve been a formal setting rather than an informal one, yet the interaction between the two would’ve been slightly less formal as the topic wasn’t something that was necessarily important. The next form of communication was text messaging via a mobile phone.

In this example my friend needed to talk to someone about which sport she has to take part in as part of her course as she wasn’t happy with the one she was doing. She needed someone to talk to as she was feeling particularly nervous about the interaction and wanted someone to express how she felt too. She spoke to me about it and explained how she felt and I in turn reassured her that it was going to be okay. We both have iphones and were connected to wifi, this is how speaking via imessage was possible for us.

In our conversation you can see a few acronyms and abbreviations such as ‘lmao’ and ‘asap’. This chat isn’t the best example for showing text talk and slang as I am not usually one to talk like that, neither is my friend. However some did take place. Texting can also be used in this way in a health and social care setting for several reasons. One of these may be if a counsellor has a client who has anxiety issues and does not which to speak face to face or may have hearing impairments that hinder communication by speech, then conferring via texting could be a better option.

Texting can also be used to alert people of appointments such as a counselling appointment, doctors or even when a social worker or health visitor may be coming to your home. Another form of communication that took place happened via sign language and makaton. I work for the firs disability team and this involves with young people and children who have disabilities such as autism and aspergers, as well as physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, so they are wheelchair bound or use crutches. Last week I worked with a young girl who has very complex needs and does not speak at all.

So in order to communicate with her and have her be able to communicate back to me, we had to use makaton. She would often sign ‘daddy’ and ‘home’ to me to let me know that she was wondering how much longer she would have at playscheme. I would sign back ‘later’ so that she knew that it wasn’t home time yet and that her dad would be here later on. We both used a variety of different signs throughout the day so that we could understand each and what was going to happen throughout the day. She would also sometimes point to places or wave to people to tell me that’s where she wants to go or say hello to.

This would be relevant in a health and social care setting as many children with complex additional needs will have a social worker that works with them and their family. In order to communicate with some of these young people, basic makaton and/ or sign language will have to known. It is also key for those who will work with these people such as myself, if I didn’t know or understand the signs that these children were doing then I wouldn’t know what it is that they want or need and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly. A form of communication that I used to talk to another person was through social media.

I used facebook to contact my sister whilst me and my little sister were looking after our niece Lexii. It was only a brief chat as we don’t often use facebook as a method of contacting each other. A screenshot of our message can be seen to the right. A similar case to my text messaging happened here where I don’t tend to use a lot of slang. However we can see that Sam did by using ‘u’ instead of the full word ‘you’. Using facebook meant it was convenient and we both could talk to each other almost instantly giving me an answer fairly quickly.

In a health and social care setting social media wouldn’t necessarily be a direct form of communication between a service user and a professional however it can be used in the form of if someone isn’t feeling very happy and need help or advice and there’s no-one around then there may be online helplines or websites or even facebook groups that can help them gain access to these. It can also be used if a service user doesn’t have very many friends then a health care professional can introduce them to groups online that they may be able to confer with and gain information from to help them in whatever situation they may be in.

Another form of communication is facial expressions and eye contact. This happened when me and a friend were in the gym the other day and decided we both wanted to be on different machines so she went on the bike while I went on the cross-trainer, fortunately we were both facing the mirror so this lead to us pulling faces at each other. At one point she locked eye contact with me and then kept looking up towards the TV, this told me to look at the song that was on and then when I looked back to her she was grinning and overexaggeratedly miming the words in a jokey manner.

This made me chuckle and it was her way of telling me that she actually really likes this song. That was all done through her getting me to look and then by her facial expressions. Not at any point did she actually tell me she liked that song, but she didn’t have to. This can be used in a health and social care setting by also using body language because say if you were a counsellor and you had your arms crossed, a blank expression and you didn’t make eye contact with your client then they aren’t going to feel very comfortable and they are going to get the impression that you don’t really care for what they have to say.

The same can be for the other way around, if a client was acting in that way then it might be a big indicator of how they feel and whether or not they are comfortable or feeling well that day. It can also be used anyone for any reason, everyone subconsciously uses body language, and facial expressions to add to how they are feeling. A form of communication that I have used is letters. I have a pen pal who lives in Montpellier in France. Her name is Eloise and she is the same age as me.

We started talking about two years ago through a school pen pal system but we have carried on sending each other messages ever since. Sometimes we won’t hear from each other for a few months but sooner or later we get an update. Due to the fact she is French I will write to her in French and then she will respond to me in English. This can sometimes be quite hard but it is fun and a way to expand our knowledge of each other’s languages. Letters aren’t often used in health and social care settings anymore where the individuals will actually write to each other however they are used to send information to people.

This can include things like doctor and hospital appointments, social worker newsletters, information about counselling and where to receive help. Another form of communication that I logged was in the form of email. It was sent to me by my boss at the firs disability team. We had finished the summer playscheme and she was writing to thank all of those who did one to one play working and to those who volunteered. She also included an evaluation sheet which all workers that did the play scheme were required to fill out so that it could be sent off to the north somerset council.

I responded to her email with the evaluation attached. An example of how this can be used in a health and social care setting is that emails can be used between professionals to share important information and pass on documentation. It can be used by all types of professionals including doctors, counsellors, health visitors, foster carers, etc. Emails can also be used between professionals and their service users to share information. For example if a service user prefers to contact their GP by email rather than phoning then this might be one way they could contact them.

A form of communication that took place was through using facetime/ skype. This was when I was talking to a cousin of mine called Danielle. We were talking through facetime as we both have iphones and this was an easy option for us. We also don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like so it’s a nice option to have as we get to see each other’s faces. We spoke about an upcoming christening that is taking place on the 10th October. It is my 2nd cousin, and Danielle’s nephew, his name is Cedrick.

We spoke about really basic topics like how we were, how the family was and what we think would be appropriate attire for a christening. This could be used in a health and social care setting if a social worker was talking to a young person and one of them was a significant distance away. It means that it makes it interesting for the young person or child because they are able to see their social worker on a screen and not just hear their voice. It could also be used if someone wasn’t able to make it to a meeting, they have conferences via facetime or more likely skype so that they can talk to each other.

Describe how to access guidance information and advice about handling information

Another reason but is less likely to be used is if in counselling the service user was unable to make it to a meeting or in another case was there but had trouble expressing their emotions face to face with the professional and they had the equipment necessary to skype each other. A type of communication that I logged was phone calls. I spoke verbally over the phone to my mother as she left the house without taking her shopping list. Therefore I had to stand there and read aloud what was on her shopping list so that she could rush around the shop and get them.

Such things included milk, eggs, new shoes for my little sister, and the cheeky added in chocolate for tab. As I was speaking to my mother it meant that we spoke in an informal manner and didn’t have to sound any particular way for example if I had been on the phone to a doctor then I’d speak with a pleasant tone but because I was in fact talking to my mother, she didn’t care if I sounded grumpy or half asleep. However in a health and social you would have to put on a voice.

A phone call may be used by a service user to make a new appointment to see a professional such as a doctor, counsellor, dentist, teacher etc. Phone calls can be made if people have trouble reading or writing as then they can just say what they mean, it is also helpful for those who may not have the complete function of their arms or fingers which could make texting and typing difficult for them. It again can also be used if a client has trouble leaving the house to see a counsellor so they may have their conversation via phone calls. The last form of communication that I logged was by using audio clips.

This was when I and several friends of mine all spoke to each other using voice messages. We were talking about a youtuber who goes by a fake name and uses an altered voice when speaking. This chat include my friends trying to imitate the voice she puts on while the rest of us laughed about it and basically made a load of weird sounds. However, some aspects of an actual conversation were made. Audio clips could be used in a health and social care setting where by a social worker may be supporting someone who is blind and cannot easily text, or may not want to.

Therefore they may prefer to converse using voice messages. It can also be used in ways where instead of sending someone an email or a letter, they will send the contents in an audio clip instead so that it may be accessible for those who are blind or visually impaired. How communication in a health and social care setting links to communication theories. In the first form of communication that I wrote about was the one that was in the form of talking and verbal speech was used.

I had a conversation with my 5 year old nephew, Cole, and we spoke about a game called Minecraft. This can link to Argyles theory because in this case Cole was the sender and his aim was speak to me and show me how to use certain functions in a game. He decided that showing me would also be useful, and so he demonstrated the buttons to press and what they did, this was how he encoded his message. Next is transmission, I assume he clicked as I have a hearing impairment and that was what lead him to demonstrating it to me as well as talking.

This meant that he thought about the distractions and formatting and adapted it to his receivers needs. In receiving and decoding he noticed I nodded my head, this indicated to him that I understood what he had said. I also said that I could see what he had done so he also knew that I had gotten what he was showing me. Finally in Responding he gave me the chance to have a go myself, this is where I did exactly what he had shown me and he knew that he had been successful in getting his message to me.

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