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Arts and Humanities
CHAPTER 5 Interpersonal Communication NOTES
Terms in this set (35)
2. Experience and confidence
3. Physical & mental health
4. Mood & emotions
6. Beliefs & cultural influences
9. Electronic communication and social media. Electronic communication
Factors influence communication
How views events and understand message
Based on culture, education, personal background
Important to try to communicate in an assertive and professional manner at all times
Experience & confidence
Affect not only your client's ability to communicate with you but also your ability to communicate with your client
Physical & mental health
Many clients can perceive when their caregiver is angry or upset and will then be hesitant to ask for assistance
Report and record your observations
Mood and emotions
As a professional, you must respect your client's methods of communication without making any reference to the difference in values
need to research these cultures to be able to communicate appropriately
Beliefs and cultural influences
Males tend to use less verbal communication and are more likely to initiate conversations and address issues directly. Females tend to disclose more personal information, use more active listening
expressions and terms that are not easily understood or may be misinterpreted by others who are not part of that group
Social and texting
Electronic communication and social media. Electronic communication
• Choose your words carefully
• Be aware that emotions can affect your communication
• Use simple, everyday language
• Speak clearly, slowly, and distinctly
• Use visual clues
• Control the volume and tone of your voice
• Be brief and concise
• Present information in a logical manner
• Ask one question at a time
• Determine understanding
• Do not pretend to understand
Effective word communications
underused, technique in communicating with clients and co-workers
reduce tension, increase trust, and promote bonding
Gauge whether the use of humour would be both comfortable
• Appearance (dress, hygiene, and adornments such as jewellery, perfume, visible tattoos, the presence of many piercings and obvious use of cosmetics)
• Facial expressions
• Body movements
• Eye contact
Body language includes
convey warmth, comfort, concern, affection, trust, and reassurance
1. Face the client
2. Make eye contact
3. Lean toward client
4. Respond to client
5. Avoid communication barriers
Guidelines for active listening
1. It shows that you are listening.
2. It lets both you and the sender know that you understood the message.
3. It promotes further communication.
People usually respond well to a paraphrased statement
Paraphrasing serves 3 purposes
attentive to the speaker's feelings
help reduce feelings of loneliness and sadness and can create bonds of trust between
• "I know how you feel." (Nobody can ever know how another person feels.)
• "I feel sorry for you." (This implies pity.)
• "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes." (This suggests superiority and implies pity.)
Avoid quick, thoughtless responses such as the following:
You: Would you like strawberry jam or marmalade?
Mrs. Cummings: Marmalade, please.
Closed questions focus on specific information, so use them when you need to learn something precise. Some closed questions require a yes or no answer. Others require a brief response
ask the person to 76repeat the message, say that you do not understand, or restate the message as a question
• Jump to conclusions about what the speaker is trying to say
• Become impatient with the speaker or the way the story is being told
• Become bored and wish to change the subject to something more interesting
• Wish to change the subject because the topic is upsetting
• Feel hurried or stressed
• Are focused on a task, not on the person
People usually interrupt others when they:
Answering questions or completing thoughts for people discourages openness
You could create confusion, anxiety, and resentment
Avoid giving advice to clients and their family members.
These comments block communication and imply that the client is complaining or exaggerating the problem
Do not minimize a client's problems
words you use can make a person feel unimportant and inferior
• Do not address clients as "sweetie," "dude," "gramps," "love," "dear," "honey," or any other term of endearment (or "sweet talk").
• Do not use a client's first name without his permission.
• Do not use terms such as "good girl" or "good boy" or "you guys" with adults.
• Do not use the term "we" when you really mean "you."
• Do not use "baby talk" or expressions such as "There, there."
• Do not talk to co-workers or family members as if the client were not present.
• Do not correct a client's speech or language.
To avoid using patronizing language:
Some examples of defence mechanisms are the following
Effective communication is important to prevent and deal with anger
that the client is feeling frustrated or frightened. Put yourself in the client's situation. How would you feel? How would you want to be treated?
• Treat the client with respect and dignity.
• Answer the client's questions clearly and thoroughly.
Tell the client that your supervisor will answer the questions that you cannot answer.
• Keep the client informed.
Tell the client what you are going to do and when.
• Do not keep the client waiting for long periods.
If you tell the client that you will do something for him, do it promptly.
• Stay calm and professional.
Speak in a normal tone. Do not respond to a client's anger with your own anger. Try not to take the client's anger personally. The anger has more to do with the client's own feelings than with you or the care you give.
• Do not argue with the client.
• Listen and use silence.
The client may feel better after expressing angry feelings.
• Protect yourself from violent behaviours.
Leave the client, and call your supervisor if you think you are in danger (see Chapter 22).
• Report the client's behaviour to your supervisor.
Discuss how you should deal with the client.
• There are courses available to teach you how to deal with angry clients.
In most provinces, the course is called "Non-Violent Crisis Intervention." Other courses may also be available, depending on your area.
Guidelines when communicating angry clients
An assertive person stands up for her rights while respecting the rights of others.
When being assertive, a speaker conveys his opinion with the goal of ensuring that his needs are met.
Being assertive is different from being aggressive and from being passive.
It is a good practice to explain every task that you are doing, prior to and while doing it, regardless of how "routine" it might feel to you.
1. Describe to the client the steps in the task.
2. Show the client how to do each step.
3. Have the client try each step.
4. Review the client's success with each step.
Follow the guidelines in BOX 5-3.
The following four-step Explaining Procedures and Tasks for most clients:
• Put the client at ease
• Start with small steps.
• Start with easy steps.
• Observe and listen
• Use positive statements.
• Let the client set the pace
• Provide support and offer encouragement
• Give time for practice
Guidelines for Assisting Clients With Their Tasks
Before You Speak:
• When possible, if you are rushing or feeling stressed, try to take a moment to calm yourself.
• Consider what you are going to talk about. It may be useful to have an idea for a particular topic ready or to ask yourself what you want to achieve from the conversation.
• Make sure you have the person's full attention.
• Make sure that the person can see you clearly.
• Try to make eye contact. This will help the person focus on you.
• Minimize competing noises, such as the radio, TV, or other people's conversations.
How to Speak:
• Speak clearly and calmly.
• Speak at a slightly slower pace, allowing time between sentences for the person to process the information and to respond. This might seem like an uncomfortable pause to you, but it is important for supporting the person to communicate.
• Avoid speaking sharply or raising your voice, as this may distress the person.
• Use short, simple sentences.
• Don't talk about people with dementia as if they are not there or talk to them as you would to a young child—show respect and patience.
• Humour can help to bring you closer together and may relieve the pressure. Try to laugh together about misunderstandings and mistakes—it can help.
• Try to include the person in conversations with others. You may find this easier if you adapt the way you say things slightly. Being included in social groups can help people with dementia to preserve their sense of identity. It can also help to reduce feelings of exclusion and isolation.
What to Say:
• Try to be positive.
• Avoid asking too many direct questions. People with dementia can become frustrated if they can't find the answer. If you have to, ask questions one at a time, and phrase them in a way that allows for a "yes" or "no" answer.
• Try not to ask the person to make complicated decisions. Giving someone a choice is important when they can cope with it, but too many options can be confusing and frustrating.
• If the person doesn't understand what you are saying, try to get the message across in a different way rather than simply repeating the same thing. You could try breaking down complex explanations into smaller parts and perhaps also use written words or objects.
• As dementia progresses, the person may become confused about what is true and not true. If the person says something you know to be incorrect, try to find ways of steering the conversation around the subject rather than contradicting them directly. Try to see behind the content to the meaning or feelings they are sharing.
• Listen carefully to what the person is saying, and give them plenty of encouragement.
• When you haven't understood fully, tell the person what you have understood and check with them to see if you are right.
• If the person has difficulty finding the right word or finishing a sentence, ask them to explain it in a different way. Listen for clues. Also pay attention to their body language. The expression on their face and the way they hold themselves and move about can give you clear signals about how they are feeling.
• If the person is feeling sad, let them express their feelings without trying to "jolly them along." Sometimes the best thing to do is to just listen and show that you care.
• Due to memory loss, some people won't remember things such as their medical history, family and friends. You will need to use your judgement and act appropriately around what they've said. For example, they might say that they have just eaten when you know they haven't.
Body Language and Physical
• A person with dementia will read your body language. Sudden movements or a tense facial expression may cause upset or distress and can make communication more difficult.
• Make sure that your body language and facial expression match what you are saying.
• Never stand too close or stand over someone to communicate: It can feel intimidating. Instead, respect the person's personal space and drop below their eye level. This will help the person to feel more in control of the situation.
• Use physical contact to communicate your care and affection and to provide reassurance—don't underestimate the reassurance you can give by holding or patting the person's hand or putting your arm around them if it feels right.
Tips for Communicating With Someone With Dementia
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