Unit 1 Communicating in HSC Organisations

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The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ awareness of different forms of communication used in health and social care settings and its importance for effective service delivery.

Unit abstract 

Learners will investigate the communication processes in health and social care settings considering the barriers to communication and ways to overcome these barriers. Learners will explore the process of communication and how effective communication can affect how individuals feel about themselves. In addition, communication systems within organisations will be critically examined and learners will gain an understanding of the legal frameworks surrounding the recording of information about people. Learners will gain an understanding of the use of information and communication technology as a tool in health and social care settings.Learners should note that any direct investigation of communication in health and social care placements or employment should be within the context of a job role. Due regard should be given to the confidentiality of information if used to support assessment evidence for this unit.

Learning outcomes

1 Be able to explore how communication skills are used in health and social care

Relevant theories:

  • humanistic, behaviourist, cognitive, psychoanalytical

Techniques and purposes:

  • techniques eg written, listening, verbal, non-verbal; purposes eg
  • record keeping, giving information, challenging poor practice, educating, decision making,
  • negotiating, advocacy, counselling, mentoring

Inappropriate interpersonal communication:

  • barriers to communication eg inappropriate
  • language, incongruent messages, misinterpretation, breach of confidentiality, breach of trust,
  • invasion of privacy, power, threat, abuse; influences on individuals eg self-concept, selfesteem,
  • self-image, ideal self, prejudice, stereotyping, values and beliefs, stress

Supporting specific communication needs:

  • alternative language; language aids eg Braille,
  • signing, Makaton; advocacy, interpretation, translation; environmental conditions,
  • technological aids; processes for accessing additional support

Maintaining confidentiality:

  • privacy, confidentiality, disclosure, protection of individuals, rights and responsibilities.

2 Understand how various factors influence the communication process in health and social care

Values and culture:  

  • factors eg beliefs, age, sex, sexuality, ethnicity, gender, education, social class

Legislation, charters and codes of practice:

  • national, European, United Nations (UN) asappropriate eg equality, diversity, discrimination, confidentiality and sharing information
  • appropriate eg equality, diversity, discrimination, confidentiality and sharing information

Organisational systems and policies:

  • information, documents, systems, structures,
  • procedures, practices

Good practice:

  • in accordance with practice and service standards, challenging discrimination,
  • ethics, values, ensuring dignity and rights; data protection (recording, reporting, storage,
  • security and sharing of information).

3 Be able to explore the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health and social care

Standard ICT software:

  • word-processing, spreadsheets, database, information retrieval,?
  • internet, intranet (if available), email, image software

Benefits to users:

  • meeting individual needs, administration of treatments, efficiency of
  • administrative processes, accuracy of records, communication, maintaining independence

Benefits to care workers and organisations:

  • meeting needs of staff, business administration,
  • efficiency, quality of service, meeting requirement of other agencies, accountability, audit

Legal considerations:

  • health and safety eg postural, visual, stress; data protection eg
  • accuracy, security, relevance, up to date, confidentiality, consequences of breaking data
  • protection legislation; access to records.


  • Tu, J., Hwang, T. & Lin, J. 2016, "Respiration Rate Measurement Under 1-D Body Motion Using Single Continuous-Wave Doppler Radar Vital Sign Detection System", IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 1937-1946.
  • McAuley, J. 2012, "Volunteering to save lives", The practising midwife, vol. 15, no. 11, pp. 29.

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