Communication – body language

Table of Contents

Body languageBody language is the way we sit or stand, which is called posture, and it can send messages. It says a lot about our interest or engagement. Even when we say things, the message can be lost if our body language says we are thinking something very different. 75057017462500Someone may use body language because it suggests how someone is feeling when they may say differently. For example, slouching on a chair can show that someone has a lack of interest in what is going on and if someone has their arms folded, it can suggest that they are feeling negative or defensive about a person or situation. Even the way we move can give out messages. For instance, if someone is shaking their head while someone else is talking, it might indicate that they disagree with the person or if someone is waving their arms around can indicate that they are excited. In a health care setting, for example a hospital, it is important that the consultant practices good body language to convey concern and this can be done by sitting close to the patient and offering their hand to hold. For example, if the patient is feeling anxious, the consultant should show they understand the patient by holding their hand out as this lets the patient know that they have someone to trust. However, if the consultant does give physical contact, it must be appropriate, so the service user won’t feel embarrassed and therefore, they will empower over themselves.In a social care setting, for example a counsellor, it is important that the practitioner maintains good body language when they are consulting people and one of the ways they can do this is by sitting upright when assessing patient. For example, when speaking to service users, the counsellor should not slouch and maybe should consider bringing themselves to the same level as the patient: if the patient is sitting, the counsellor should sit too, as this makes the service user feel that the practitioner is interested, and their voice is heard. Therefore, this will ensure that the patient feels valued.GesturesA gesture is a form of non-verbal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages. It involves a deliberate movement of the hands to express meaning. Gestures differ from physical non-verbal communication that does not communicate specific messages. 113647813462000Gestures should be used by someone because it is a way of communicating without having to communicate verbally, and it still may show how someone is feeling. There are certain common signs or gestures that most people automatically recognise. For example, a wave of the hand can mean hello or goodbye and if someone put a thumbs up, it can mean that everything is good. In the diagram above, it shows us some of the several types of hand gestures people use as a way to communicate.In an early years setting, for example a nursery, it is vital that the nursery nurse ensures they use hand gestures, and one of the ways they can do this is by placing their fingers on their mouth to indicate that the children should be quiet. For example, when the children are learning, the nursery nurse may put a finger on the lips to and give eye contact to the child to make the children go quiet without having to tell them off. This will ensure that the children don’t feel patronised and therefore, the child will become quiet when learning. This will make the child feel safe as they know they won’t feel intimated.In a social care setting, for example a care home, it is important that the practitioner practices good hand gestures towards the service users. They can do this by putting a thumbs up when communicating with the elderly to show that they are in agreement or pleasure with them. For example, when the practitioners are speaking with the service users, every now and then, they should put their thumbs up to show that the service users are correct or to show that the practitioners agree with what the elderly has to say. This will raise the service user’s confidence as they know that they are respected and what they are saying is appreciated by the social workers.Facial ExpressionsFacial expressions refer to the feeling expressed on a person’s face. It can tell us a lot about character, situations and subtext. It reveals the emotions and moods of a person, and it is important that we understand how to create and describe them. A facial expression can also convey the character’s true feelings.13573123683000It is important that someone uses facial expressions when communicating because people can often tell how someone s feeling by their eyes. For example, our eyes become wider when we are happy or excited, attracted to, or interested in someone. Also, a smile shows that we are happy, but a frown suggests that we are angry. Therefore, someone may be able to predict how someone is feeling just by looking at their face. This is important in any health, social or early years setting as we are able to understand how someone is truly feeling even when they say otherwise.In a health setting, for example, a paediatric, it is vital that a nurse uses facial expressions to convey concern and empathy when they are working with individuals who have been admitted to hospital. They can do this by frequently smiling to the patients to cheer them up or, for example, if a patient is upset about a certain situation, the nurse may need to adjust their facial expressions appropriately and give eye contact to the patient to show they understand how they feel. For instance, if the patients are talking about their experience with the condition and feel upset, the nurse should smile to the patient to show that they care. This will make the service user gain trust with the nurse as they have someone to talk to.In an early years setting, for example a school reception class, it is important that the teachers use facial expressions when teaching the children. They can do this by ensuring that they alter their facial expressions according to the situation. For example, if the children are not listening, the teacher could raise their eyebrows or frown to convey that they are unhappy and want the children to become quiet. This is vital as it ensures that the children don’t feel frightened by the teacher as they are not patronised. Therefore, the children will feel safe and comfortable in their environment as they know they are protected from harm.Written CommunicationWriting a Care PlanA care plan is a written document (either electronic or paper based) that is used and altered throughout the day. It is based on a ‘template’ which defined the areas that the care plan covers. Some care plans are simple, with information covering only the essential care like nutrition, mobility, sleeping, positioning, oral care and personal hygiene. Others may be more detailed with information covering issues like falls prevention, psychological needs, recording of clinical signs, communication and information, and sexuality. An individual care plan is prepared for each patient and wherever possible, the care plan is developed with the patient rather than for the patient. The purpose of a care plan is to provide directions and instructions for individualized care of the client. A care plan flows from each patient’s unique list of diagnoses and should be organized by the individual’s specific needs. Continuity of care. The care plan is a means of communicating and organizing the actions of a constantly changing nursing staff.Specialist CommunicationBrailleBraille is a system where letters and words are represented using raised dots. It is normally based on a matrix of three rows and two columns. There are different braille codes for different languages. Braille uses sets of six dots called cells which are put into different combinations to represent the alphabet, punctuation, numbers and whole words. Many of the individual braille symbols have several different meaning. In total, there are 64 symbols and 180 different letter contractions. There are three types of braille; grade 1 braille (cells represent different letters), type 2 braille (cells represent words and abbreviations) and type 3 braille (shorthand way of reading braille).Braille would be used by someone who is blind or visually so that they are able to read or write. It is critical that these people use braille because it allows literacy, intellectual freedom, equal opportunity and personal security. 13335004953000In a health setting, for example a clinic, it is very important that the doctors prescribe the correct medicine to the patient, which includes braille on it. This is because if the patient has a visual impair, they are able to identify which medicine it is so that at home, they won’t get it mixed up with other medicine. For example, if a blind patient is admitted into a clinic and has been prescribed with antibiotics, the package should contain braille on it, so the patient knows what medication they are taking. Therefore, this will make the patient feel safe as they know they are taking the correct medication.In a social setting, for example a residential care home, it is important that braille is used to aid the elderly clients living there. There is a big chance that the service users are partially blind or deaf, therefore by having braille, it will help them find their way through the care home or to identify signs that they may not be able to read. The practitioners should support this by ensuring there is braille on every sign or furniture. For example, if an elderly person is trying to find their way through the care home, it will be easier for them to do this if there was braille; for instance, if a sign says, ‘exit’, the service user will be able to identify this instruction if braille was written on it. This will ensure that service user feels empowered as they know what they are doing independently. Sign LanguageSign language is used as a way to communicate to those who are deaf. It is a combination of hand gestures, facial expressions and body language; most deaf people find that sign language is the easiest form of communicating. It is estimated that around 70,000 people in Britain use BSL (British Sign Language) as their preferred language. BSL is not just a case of simple English that has been put into hand signs. It has its own grammar and sentence construction. For example, while you say, ‘what is your name?’ it would be signed as ‘your name, what?’People would use sign language because it helps people who are unable to hear; they are able to have a life where a lot of people can understand them as they are still able to communicate, and therefore people can understand the deaf person. Having someone being able to understand you even if you are deaf makes the person feel valued and that they can voice their opinion and feelings.144716510096500In an early years setting, for example a nursery, it is important the nursery practitioner is able to use sign language in case any child isn’t able to communicate properly. They can do this by practicing how to use sign language and by ensuring that they use this way of communication when appropriate. For example, if a practitioner wanted to talk with a young child who is deaf, they should use sign language to pass on the information to the child. This way, they will feel valued as they know they are cared for by the practitioners.In a social care setting, for example a care home, it is important that the practitioners can understand sign language properly so that if