Communication in Healthand Social Care: Theoryand practice.Reflective EssayABC[Pick the date]
IntroductionThe purpose of this essay is to outline my communication skill in terms of the underpinned theoretical knowledge and practice with the two service users in the health and social care settings. The two service users that will be talked about in this essay are: one who has early diagnosed dementia and the other service user had far gone dementia. Analysis of techniques and strategies that I have used to support service users who have specific communication needsI had a chance to communicate with ‘Sam’ who was recently diagnosed with Dementia. When Ifirst met him, I observed that he was not able to communicate with me properly. He was havingtrouble in finding the right set of words for communicating. He was using the same words againand again like “But I want to but I was trying to but say”. Also, he was stuck on certain soundslike “amm”. On observing this, I felt really sorry for Sam because I knew about his backgroundand history and he used to be a very good orator. He was a professor at one of the renownedcolleges and he helped many students by delivering valuable lectures. I used this knowledge ofmine to get his attention. So, I started the conversation by talking about his college days when heused to deliver lectures in the college. I was basically trying to use the person-centered approachof counseling by putting Sam at the heart of the conversation and talking about those things thatwere most appropriate to his needs (Ahola, 2014). Instead of talking too much, I remained silentmost of the time after starting the conversation, so that Sam gets time to think and collect histhoughts. Also, I wanted him to reflect back on what he was saying to me. He was finding itdifficult to find the right words. So, my silence allowed him to get a space so that he was able toconsider his next set of words. While speaking, I observed that at many places, he was getting1
stresses because he might be missing those days or he might have remember some incidentwhere he had to leave the lecture in between or he got a wrong audience. When I saw theseexpressions, I felt the pain because when I get in such situation where I have to leave myconversation with the patient and attend something else, I feel very bad about the patient and Ialso feel that I am not doing justice to my profession. I was empathetic to Sam all the time as Iwas able to understand and read that how he might be feeling at that point of time. At one point,Sam even cried and I felt that I made him upset but then, he smiled at me which made me feelthat may be crying helped him in getting his feelings out and maybe he felt relieved. Then, again I had a chance to communicate with ‘Sara’ who had a far gone Dementia. It was much more challenging to talk to her. She kept quiet most of the time which made me feel frustrated at her condition. She was one of my old friends mother. I remember when I used to visit her during my childhood days, Sara used to welcome me wholeheartedly. She was one of the warmest ladies to be around. She used to cook for us and make us play in the garden. But, when I communicated with her, I felt that she does not remember any memory of her children or their friends (Tschanz, 2013). I think I have a specific connecting with her as she reminds me ofmy childhood days and my friends. The biggest challenge that I faced while talking to her was that she was quiet most of the time and seeing her like that was very painful for me. Here also, I tried to use the person-centered approach and I kept her family and children at the heart of discussion. Since she did not speak much, I tried to get her attention by showing her some funny pictures from her past that she clicked with her husband, her honeymoon pictures, her children etc. I was successful in grabbing her attention, though she did not recognize the figures in the pictures, but at least said something. She asked me about the people in the pictures and the reason for their happiness. I answered all her questions in simple terms and that set a positive 2
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