1.4 Explain how barriers to communication may be overcome: a. physical, b. social, c. environment, d. emotional

Qualification: Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care
Unit: Advanced communication skills
Learning outcome: Understand communication needs and factors affecting them
Assessment criteria: 1.4 Explain how barriers to communication may be overcome: a. physical, b. social, c. environment, d. emotional

  • Physical
    • Remove physical barrier
    • Arrange to communicate face-to-face
    • Ensure technology is robust to facilitate communication without lag or loss of signal
    • Use assistive techology to support individuals with physical disabilities (e.g. vision or hearing impairments etc.)
    • Ensure staff are knowledgable and trained in the communication methods used by service users
  • Social
    • Language barriers – use of interpretation services
    • Cultural barriers – ensure staff understand each service users cultural differences
    • Discrimination – ensure staff are trained in equality and diversity, it is ingrained into organisational culture and challenged if it occurs
    • Social isolation – arrange face-to-face meetings, provide reassurance and encouragement
  • Environment
    • Noise – identify the source of the noise and take steps to remove or minimise it (e.g. turning off electrical equipment, closing windows etc.)
    • Lighting – ensure that all areas where communication occurs has adequate lighting
    • Temperature – increase or decrease the thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature
    • Comfort – ensure seating is comfortable and the environment is clean, tidy and free from distractions
  • Emotional
    • Emotions may include depression, anger, anxiety, mania etc.
    • Remain calm and communicate slowly in short sentences if an individual is in a state of high emotion
    • Offer to accompany the individual to a private area area to discuss how they are feeling
    • Provide reassurance, compassion and empathy and be non-judgmental
    • Listen to what the individual has to say and take it seriously to help them to return to base level
    • Offer to have a discussion with the individual at a later time when they have calmed down

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