Communication in care settings

Communication in care settings

Communication in care settings answers for the Level 2 Diploma in Care.

Background to this unit:
UAN: Y/615/7868
Credit value: 3
GLH: 20
Unit title: 203 Communication in care settings

Aim of this unit: This unit is aimed at those working in a wide range of care settings – home care, domiciliary care, health care assistant etc. It provides the learner with the knowledge and skills required to communicate with others in work settings. This also includes how to maintain confidentiality when communicating with and about others. It is also covered off in Care Certificate Standard 6.

Table of Contents

1 Understand why communication is important in the work setting

1.1 Identify different reasons why people communicate.

People communicate for a number of reasons in order to:

  • Share how they are feeling
  • Express feelings
  • Express emotions
  • give encouragement and show they are valued
  • make choices
  • ask questions
  • Socialise
  • Build and maintain relationships with others
  • To express a need
  • to share information
  • make and agree on plans
  • share religious and cultural beliefs

1.2 Explain how effective communication affects all aspects of your own work

As part of your role it is important that you communicate with people all the time. This will include the people you support, their families / friends and others who are invovled in their care and support as part of their support network. Additionally you will need to communicate with colleagues and with other professionals for example, doctors, pharmacist, social workers, district nurses, paramedics, occupational therapist etc. Depending on whom you are communicating with,  it will be neccesary to ensure the style and method is appropriate to the person. Each different individual may require a different approach, to convey the same communication. Effective communication is especially important for example, with regards;


health and safety– required for good team working in moving and handling
with service users – to ensure their choices are being met
with your manager – to report any problems
In an emergency – to summons assistance


Communication takes different forms, there is spoken communication, written communication – all of which must be clear, accurate, precise and easy to read. Records form the basis of information that can be shared within the team and may also be used as evidence in a court of law if necessary.

1.3 Explain why it is important to observe an individual’s reactions when communicating with them

In your role as a Health and Social Care worker you will establish, developed and maintained a relationship with individuals. Over time you are more likely to be able to anticipate and understand the potential reactions they may display when communicating with them.

You must observe how an individual reacts when you communicate with them. This is because they may not always say what they mean – you can often tell this by using body language. By using active and effective listening it will be possible to now their responses. e. you ask a client “How are you feeling today” and they reply “I feel fine” but when observing them both their body language, facial expressions and tone of voice you can tell they are not fine. If this is the case should respond to this by asking open questions to try to establish what the problem is. Your role as a carer is important to react and respond appropriately to someone’s needs in the correct way. 

Other reasons it is important to observe an individual’s reaction is:
• To ensure you understand them
• To ensure they understand you
• See changes that may affect their care needs
• Pick up non-verbal communication (expressions, body language, frustration, agitation, anger etc)

2.0 Be able to meet the communication and language needs, wishes and preferences of individuals

2.1 Find out an individual’s communication and language needs, wishes and preferences

Finding our an individual communication and language needs, wishes and preferences are important as they can be varied from person to person. The way you communicate with someone can differ depending on things such as:
• Sensory needs
• Sensory Impairment
• Disabilities they may have
• Health and wlebeing
• Age
• Gender
• Cultrual needs
• Values and beliefs
• Their level of communication skills
• The nature of the communication
• Who you are communicating with
• If there are distractions
• Personal space
• The type of communication etc

To establish the best method of communication and language needs of an individual is:

  1. Asking them
  2. Observing them

This allows you to establish their usual language, if they are visually or hearing impaired or if they have any learning disabilities.

The next step is to read the clients care plan  for any special requirements or aids which the individual needs. You could also consult with colleagues. If the individual is new to your place of work you would try communicating with the individual on a one to one to establish their needs, wishes and preferences. If this was not successful you could also ask the individual’s family, friends, doctor or other professionals who have worked with the individual, for advice. Any information regards the individuals would be noted in their communication notes so that others were aware of the appropriate methods to use.

2.2 Demonstrate communication methods that meet an individual’s communication needs, wishes and preferences

To demonstrate communication methods, your Assessor will complete an observation of you in your work setting. 

Therefore you should:

  1. Check the Service users care and support plan for the individuals communication needs.
  2. Remember that  7% of communication is just from listening the rest are non-verbal queues. 

Other non verbal queues to communication include:

i) body language
ii) having good eye contact with the person you are speaking to
iii) a positive facial expression
iv) gesturing with your hands
v) pointing at objects
vi) nodding of the head
vii) body language should show you are interested in what is being said
viii)  a positive facial expression showing interest in what is being said.

You should also ensure that you allow an individual time to answer questions, checking understanding, speaking at the individuals level of understanding, ensuring the correct environment such as good lighting and seated comfortably, using open questions to encourage communication.

Different methods of helping and supporting communication can also be through the use of

pictures, signs, Makaton, Braille, Light Writers, 

We hope this study guide will help you complete your module on Communication in care settings. 

External useful resources:

Skills for Care


Share with: