Before and hearing impairment can act as a barrier

Before
we were called in to perform our role play assessment, I couldn’t stop worrying
about it. I was extremely anxious of doing this as I have never had an
experience like this so it was foreign to me. In the moment my thoughts were
rushing through my head, accelerating every minute. “I am so nervous. What if I
forget what to say?” That’s what I was repeatedly saying to my friends from my
group as it was getting closer to 2:30 pm which was our scheduled time to
perform our role play assessment. In the presence of my friends that I have
gotten closer with past those few months, I felt more at ease and comfortable
than if I was to do it with someone I don’t really talk to. During the
communication, I was caught off guard by a few answers from the client and for
a moment my mind went completely blank which has caused the communication cycle
to break down. Some of the barriers that are most likely to happen in a health
and social environment are sensory deprivation- the visual and hearing
impairment can act as a barrier in communication. Environment that is too
noisy, uncomfortable and has a poor lighting can reduce people’s ability to
listen and concentrate. Someone that is having a stroke or feels depressed may
find it difficult to communicate with other people. To overcome these we should
look at the pace of our tone so that the client understands what we are saying.
We should adapt a friendly environment with a brighter lightening or sound
proof rooms (Walsh, 2010, pp.8-12). According to Michael Argyle and his
communication cycle theory people use effective communication to get their
message across. The communication cycle is evident when we understand what is
being said to us, reflect and check upon what the person is saying. To ensure
that the communication cycle is flowing we need to understand what we are
saying and respond to it accurately (Hussain, 2016). Through the duration of
the communication session, I ensured that my posture is leaning in towards the
client so that she could feel welcome and so that I could actively listen to
what she has to say. I was nodding my head to demonstrate that I’m listening to
her and held a smile on my face to demonstrate kindness and empathy. As the
experience was new to me, I was conscious of what I was doing which might have
impacted the session as sometimes I felt it was un-natural for me to summarize
on what the client had just said but I managed to carry on the session with my
best efforts.

Looking
back at my tutor and peer evaluation sheet, I can say that the overall outcome
of the role play activity was positive as the final mark has surprised me in a
positive way. The main factor that has affected the role play were my personal
values which have been forwarded at the beginning of this module where we had
the chance to decide whether we wanted to be put into a random group or the
group of our choice. I feel less anxious when I’m around with someone that I interact
with on daily basis so my personal value has affected the outcome as I was
feeling more at ease while doing it with my friends. Egan sees values as tools
that guide decision making. They give rise to client enabling helping behaviour
(Egan, 2013, p.45). We were feeling safe and comfortable and that is what most
of us value in life. It was natural for me to smile throughout the whole
session as I value warmth and friendliness from other people so I wanted to
incorporate that into my session and make sure the client is feeling welcome. Rogers believed that we need to be regarded
positively by others; we need to feel valued, respected, treated with affection
and loved. Positive regard is to do with how other people judge us whilst being
a part of a social interaction (McLeod, 2014). Additionally to this, trust is
built through the warm pace and tone and active listening. The other person
senses it and this creates a smooth conversation which is something the tutor
has commented on. “You initiated the interaction by using your name and
Heslin’s touch as you shook hands with the client…” This is a quote from my
personal tutor evaluation sheet that draws the attention to the importance of
human touch. In the book of non-verbal behaviour and social psychology, Heslin
talks about how in some situations touch leads to positive response and that
some of these include touch from strangers (Heslin and Patterson, 2013).

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Reading
through the evaluation, I stumbled upon a few points that I will need to
improve on when meeting with another situation like this. I will need to
improve on my skill of reflection and summarizing when talking to a client. As
this was a new experience to me, it was difficult to remember about summarizing
what the client is saying and give feedback upon that. Nevertheless, the
experience as a whole was a learning process and with practice I will be able
to become better at those areas that need to be improved on. Teamwork and
listening skills are some of the interpersonal skills required within a health
and social care environment. To improve them, I will need to practice more
frequently so it becomes natural. While reading a journal that focuses on the
steps to improve interpersonal skills, I have learnt that to be an active listener
you need to stop what you are doing, make eye contact with the speaker,
concentrate on the speaker’s message and then respond to the message. To
improve upon teamwork skills, we shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and step
outside our comfort zone but do it in small steps. “Making a radical change can
be stressful. Small changes are easier to accomplish.” This is something I
should be looking at when I will start working in a health and social care
profession (Escobar, 2007, p.64).

Within
the model, stage one skills involves identifying what is currently going on for
the client. The client is listened to with empathy and a non-judgemental
approach to help the client learn about their own ways of being but also to
help them acknowledge and build on their own strengths (Riggall, 2012). During
the role play, I ensured that I ask probing questions to find out what the
client is feeling. From my tutor evaluation sheet it stated that “You have
maintained the interaction effectively by making links and identifying blind
spots during your discussion. Questions were developed with probes…”. This has
proved that I was successful in helping out the client to identify her issues,
concerns and difficulties that she is having. In addition to learning about the
client’s problems and difficulties, I was able to demonstrate a non-judgmental
approach and unconditional positive regard when identifying the issues. This is
one of the comments that I received from my tutor based on the demonstration of
empathy and a non-judgemental approach. “Good acceptance was demonstrated as
the client disclosed her issues and you adopted a non-judgmental approach
throughout.” By demonstrating such behaviour, I promoted respect towards the
client without making any judgement towards what she was saying. Looking at the
Abraham’s Maslow hierarchy of needs at the fourth level is the need for
appreciation and respect. When the needs at the bottom three levels have been
satisfied, the esteem needs begin to play a more prominent role in motivating behaviour
(Cherry, 2017). In other words what this is trying to say is that when we feel
respected and appreciated, we feel more motivated in our lives. In this case,
the client felt appreciated and respected which has motivated her to open up
about the issues and difficulties and freely talk to me about them. Before we
have done our final rule in the role play assignment, we had a few practice
runs which have helped us become familiar with the structure of the assignment
and what we will be assessed on. I have looked back at the assessment criteria
to ensure that I’m covering all the key points that the tutor will be looking
at to asses us which has helped me to achieve the high marks. Our group has
been prepared a few days before the final assessment so that we would have an
idea of what we are supposed to say. This has helped us to make the
conversation going and to achieve all the marking criteria as we have analysed
it thoroughly before we went to do our assessment.

In
a health and social care environment it is important to follow the Codes of
Practice for health and social care workers and get familiar with legislations
and policies that are valued in that working profession. One of the codes of
practice that any health and social care worker should look at is respecting
and treating each person as an individual. This specific code of practice has
guided professional practice in our role play as at the start I have shook
hands with the client and ensured that she’s feeling welcome (General Social Care
Council, 2010, pp.6-11). Another code of practice that has been incorporated to
our role play assignment was making share that we inform the client about the
confidentiality so whatever the client was talking about, it was kept safe and
confidential (Skills For Care, 2013, p.2). The Data Protection Act (1998)
highlights the importance of using data lawfully which includes using data for
only specifically stated purposes which in this case was to gather information
about the client and her issues and to make sure the data is kept safe and
secure and it’s not being transferred outside the European area. This
legislation act has promoted safety to the client and myself as everything that
has been said in the session was securely kept inside a folder and it wasn’t
shared with anyone else. According to Health and Safety Act (1974) under the
subject 5 of building regulations it stated that it should be an open space within
the buildings and the natural lighting and ventilation within the buildings.
This has been guided throughout our role play practice as the lighting was
suitable in the room and there was enough space for the client to feel
comfortable without being too cold or too warm. From this experience I have
learnt that when giving a person your full attention, you are more likely to
have an effective conversation that would lead to a positive solution such as
helping the client’s condition.