Methods are varied consisting of verbal, ( face to face meetings and telephone) written ( hand and electronic ) in addition to these obvious methods are the difficult invitations , meetings with the service users and potential service users . These conversation use various elements and methods from visual signs , photographs , clip art to sign IEEE Megaton . Use of good communication skills taking into account body language , eye contact and words used are integral to effective communication and information gathering .
In addition I gave thought to how to formulate the message I wish to communicate for example should I need to reassure a service user , staff or family member find this is best achieved in an informal setting within the home or out of it ! In a person inform Zone a space where they feel reassured and familiar / safe . If the conversation is more formal staff supervision / disciplinary then being invited into my space / office tends to work better and maintain their focus.
Supporting my client group ( adults with Learning disabilities with high risk behaviors )it is essential to be able to communicate confidently in many ways and forms understanding the use of certain words that a service users are familiar with and using body language . My role must also facilitate good effective communication in order that the home operates at its maximum ability in providing a caring , effective and responsive service at all times .
On a day to day basis I work along side my staff team and have 15 minute handovers at am start of the early shift and 12 pm start of the late shift. This is crucial time to communicate the day to day plans for the shift ( whose going where , when and supported by whom ) also inform and keep the staff team up to date on any issue of concerns or celebrations . We are a fast paced service with service users whose needs , behaviors or physical conditions may change rapidly .
Any breakdown in communication is tangentially dangerous and damaging not just to the service user but also to staff ( our service users are high risk and challenging We hold regular team meetings with 1/2 set agenda IEEE discussion on all the service users and 1/2 current topics from new legislation / changes in methods and practice of work . Staff also are encouraged to contribute to the agenda and should time be a factor I agree with them how we prioritize the agenda therefore not just having my say .
I have a policy whereby unless in a meeting or taking a confidential telephone call my office door is always open . My office is attitude in the middle of the building and service users and staff / families visiting come and go through out the day This ensures that any negative issues / problems by service users / families / visitors are addressed immediately and not left to potentially worsen . We have regular communication with families . Contact is promoted in a variety of ways as some families do not live close or visit regular .
The most formal being a family / friends audit that is sent out annually , this along with a service users audit and service users meeting form the basis for my action / business plan or the next 12-18 months. Included in the audit questions is a section on communication , how well we do it ? And any suggestion for improvement . I have implemented some drop in sessions the last Wednesday of every month 5-7 pm in response to working families and office hours, this way they know am there and free to have a chat or address any more formal / serious issues.
Also service users parents and close network have my works mobile number . Realize this is a contentions area however I have yet to have a parent abuse this means of communication and on the whole the telephone conversations re used for little issues or positive feedback verbally whereas to place their comments on an official form is they feel very formal . By telephoning for a quick “catch up ” we both raise any areas of concerns / celebrations within the service users support .
This informal approach I find works very well for all parties . Our most important documents regarding the service users are in user friendly format , including complaints / statement of purpose and safeguarding I use clip art or actual photographs from the home, community and individual staff members or combine the two . For very personal issues it down with my laptop and scroll through various images connected to one word until the service user stops at one that means that individual word to them .
Although this is very labor intensive I feel the whole user friendly / pictorial approach is a waste of time as so many images can be created from one single word its effectiveness is only meaningful by the service users taking ownership of the image for that one word. It is of course always essential to obey the basic rules of good communication at all times no matter who you are communicating to taking into account body language , ye contact and voice tone and pitch however one needs to go further with my service users and find the correct environment for certain conversations even sign / megaton communication .
Should the topic that needs to be addressed be sensitive or a difficult one I have personally found this is better achieved out of the home environment and in another setting . This has to be chosen carefully however this approach tends to convey to my service users they are worthy of staff time out of the home and a treat . A nice pub, bar or a walk in the park l. I’m not entirely sure why this approach works however I do know that my service users maybe become more relaxed , open and honest in there communication.
Possibly knowing we are not going to be disturbed by other staff ! No other service users are listening in ! And they are not in any ” trouble ” or we wouldn’t be going somewhere nice !. Strangely enough it appears to encourage service users to be more relaxed than in their own environment . Service users contribute to their person centered plans reviews and are strongly encouraged to contribute and sign their risk assessments . This ensures as much as possible that the service users agree and cooperate with staff in there own welfare and safety.
All support / care and action plans are reviewed at least 6 monthly some that present a high risk or are likely to change quickly ( for instance when a service user is attempting a more independent task IEEE catching a bus unsupported A huge part of a service users support plans is work undertaken and continually reviewed with regards to communication. For almost one third of my service users , this is non verbal communication relaying almost entirely to direct observations of service users behaviors .
We use TV’0 very effective tools Distant a nationally recognizable disability tool and also we helped devise with the local PACT OLD nurses a comprehensive Behavioral Support Plan . This documents what we know are a personally essentially in emotional , physical well being and to address and manage behaviors known triggers, escalator and our responses needed at these times when a service user if off baseline . These documents form the basis particular with regards to none verbal communication in our support plans.
Particular attention needs to be given to the sharing of information . I have devised templates / systems that where ever possible the service user gives consent for information sharing . Taking into account the Data Protection Act , this document is for the most part picture friendly . The document is a tool and risk assessment in one which goes through the possibilities of information we may need to share with others on the service users medical , financial and general welfare .
Heading include medical appointments , the need to discuss financial issues with banks / benefits systems etc. Each section requires a signature form the service user , where not able to consent or understand the implications then an appointee from the company is called for . This is a last resort however a common one where people with learning disabilities are concerned . In any way we can maintain or empower a service user to make decisions / take control over certain elements in there life’s they are fully supported and encouraged to do so .
This in itself calls for many different methods / formats of communication to be readily available and simple for all staff / people who roved any support to our service users to use IEEE picture banks and clip art images at hand . They are also duplicated in service user hospital grab pack s where they would be needed in the unfortunate but possible situation that service users may require medical support IEEE A & E visit without familiar staff support to assist their communication needs . The grab pack we devised consist Of a traffic light system Of information .
Red essential to know, Amber desirable to know and green if staying in hospital for any length of time these importance notes include the service users choices and preferences. Ill normally have a least two face to face meetings daily with regards to a medical / social welfare issues relating to my service users which necessitate working with professionals from other agencies . This maybe a medication review , a person centered review or a catch up with other practitioners included in the service users care / support package .
One of the increasing issues requiring a disciplined approach at this present time is meetings concerning service users best interests and mental capacity. These meetings normally take place within the home and maybe attended by up to 6 different arties for example the service user , myself their families ( at the service users invite normally , social workers, medical professionals, staff involved in another setting with the service user and sometimes an MICA ( independent mental Capacity Advocate ) .
These meetings are extremely difficult to facilitate especially with regards to communication . The professionals involved may have only met the service user once or nice , therefore makes where to ” pitch ” their level Of communication an extreme challenge in addition the service user maybe none vocal In this instance the responsibility alls to me ensuring that all available methods that may be used are prepared and effective .
In addition to the above currently we are supporting an individual who not only has a learning disability but also dementia , this presents additional problems as her comprehension and understanding changes rapidly sometimes over the course of an hour . This makes accessing her capacity on one decision extremely difficult ( the decision being does she want and have the capacity at that specific time to consent to an intimate sexual relationship when her boyfriend who visits monthly ) .