To achieve each outcome a learner must demonstrate the ability to:
1. Explore how communication skills are used in health and social care
1 Apply relevant theories of communication to health and social care contexts
2 Use communication skills in a health and social care context
3 Review methods of dealing with inappropriate interpersonal communication between individuals in health and social care settings
4 Analyse the use of strategies to support users of health and social care services with specific communication needs
2. Understand how various factors influence the communication process in health and social care
1 Explain how the communication process is influenced by values and cultural factors
2 Explain how legislation, charters and codes of practice impact on the communication process in health and social care
3 Analyse the effectiveness of organisational systems and policies in promoting good practice in communication
4 Suggest ways of improving the communication process in a health and social care setting
3. Explore the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health and social care
1 Access and use standard ICT software packages to support work in health and social care
2 Analyse the benefits of using ICT in health and social care for users of services, care workers and care organisations.
3 Analyse how legal considerations in the use of ICT impact on health and social care.
Hospital Appointment: Case study
Anna, a 35-year-old woman woke one morning, knowing something was very wrong. She felt queasy and had a general feeling of doom. Her face would not work properly and her arms and legs felt like lead weight. She made an effort to speak, but her words were slurred, and she had a pounding headache. Her husband Paul got increasingly frustrated as he spent 20 minutes trying to get through to a medical emergency telephone number for help.
He finally gave up and rushed his wife to hospital, where they waited in Accident and Emergency (A&E) for four hours, during which time one side of Anna’s face drooped and she lost control of her bladder. No medical staff came to her assistance – even though Paul had asked the duty receptionist for help. When Anna eventually saw a doctor, he appeared focused on one thing; how much alcohol Anna had consumed.
He accused Anna of being drunk, as she as could not sit upright in a chair, and could see that she had wet herself. Anna was unable to speak, so she could not protest. However, her husband told the doctor repeatedly that his wife had nothing to drink. It was midday. The doctor responded by asking Paul to look at his wife Anna slumped forward in her chair toward him.
The doctor, pulled away sharply with a look of disgust on his face. Paul insisted that the doctor examine his wife. The doctor retorted by saying that too many drunks take up the hospital’s valuable time for dealing with real emergencies. During the consultation no nurse was present.
No medical history was taken, and no medicine was prescribed. The doctor discharged Anna, and pushed a cardboard bowl into her husband’s hand in case his wife was sick.
The consultation lasted about 10 minutes. Dissatisfied with this treatment, the couple went to their general practitioner (GP) who sent them directly to a different hospital, where Anna was diagnosed with a stroke.
For this case study you should be able to explore how communication skills are used in health and social care.