Health And Social Care Environments English Language Essay

Modified: 1st Jan 2015
Wordcount: 2210 words

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There are many ways of communicating and the way we communicate is key factor of what we really are trying to put across. Factors that may influence our communication are; eye contact, body language (i.e. posture), tone of voice, gesture, and facial expression. Here are examples of how each of those would influence the way we communicate.

Eye contact allows us to guess another person’s thought and feelings by just look at their eyes. For example if I was talking to my doctor and he was looking away I’d get the feeling that they are bored and not interested. Also if I was talking to someone and during the conversation I raised my eye it suggest that I am listening and excited or either shocked depending on the topic.

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Body Language.

Posture is part of our body language. For example if I was talking to my teacher I would be facing her, however if my body was not facing towards her this suggest that I am not really interested. Also if when sitting down chatting to a person if they are leaning back this can send the message that they are either relaxed or bored, however if they are leaning forward this implies that they are interested.

Tone of voice

Our tone of voice is really important when conversing. For example if you talk really fast and loud this may suggest that you are angry. However if you talk in a slow calm voice then this shows that you are rather being friendly.


Gesture is the movement of the arm, hand and head used to help us understand what a person is trying to say. For example when trying to communicate but speech is not possible people use hand gestures. The common hand gestures are the peace sign (the fore finger and middle finger raised and apart), okay gesture (closed fist held with the thumb facing up) and the not okay (closed fist held with the thumb facing down).

Face Expressions

Our face usually shows our emotional state. Our facial expression shows whether we are sad, angry, happy, surprised scared etc. For instance, if someone’s facial expression was a big smile and wide eyes this may suggest that they are happy.

P4: Explain strategies used in health and social care environments to overcome barriers to effective communication and interpersonal interactions.

M2: Review strategies used in health and social care environments to overcome barriers to effective communication and interpersonal interactions.

D1: Evaluate strategies used in health and social care environments to overcome barriers to effective communication and interpersonal interactions.

P4: There are many communication barriers. The message the sender is sending may not be understood by the receiver in the correct way and for that reason there is a communication breakdown. There are the communication barriers;








Blindness is the loss of sight/vision. To overcome the barrier of blindness, braille and speech can be used to communicate. Braille is a writing system used by blind people to be able to read, “Braille characters are small rectangular blocks called cells that contain tiny palpable bumps called raised dots”.(Wikipedia). For example in a care home, the lunch menu can be written in braille for a person who can’t see the menu. Also another way to overcome this barrier is by either having a big print menu or spectacles for the client so that it’s clearer. In addition using language to describe things is a very useful way to communicate to a blind person for example when meeting a blind person it is effective to make them aware that you are there and who you are and also what you may look like?

The advantages of using braille is that braille allows the visually impaired to understand quicker and get things done easily and faster as well as allowing them to be more independent . The disadvantages are the not all visually impaired people know how to use braille also not all people’s fingers are sensitive enough to use it.

I believe that braille is effective as it makes the visually impaired very independent and makes life a lot easier. I believe that braille could be more effective if it had been taught in schools to everyone not just the visually impaired. This will not only benefit the visually impaired but someone who is not visually impaired because in life if they do come across a blind person they will be able to still communicate with them.


Deafness is the loss of sound. To overcome the barrier of deafness sign language can be used to communicate. Sign language is using gesture and signs to communicate to a deaf person for example at a hospital a deaf patient can communicate with their doctor using sign language .Another way to overcome the barrier of hearing disability are by using clear speech so that the person can lip-read, this will involve using a lot of eye contact because you would need to make your face visible for the person trying to lip-read. Also using technological aids to communicate is also very effective, these are facilities to help with communication for example hearing aids are small device that goes behind ones ear which strengthen a person’s hearing.

The advantage of using sign language is that allows the deaf person to be more independent, it is a faster process for them to be communicating in. Also it allows the ability to be an effective communicator because it consists of eye-contact, gestures and facial expressions. The disadvantage of using sign language is that light is always need, people cannot communicate with each other in the dark also not all hearing impaired people know sign language. In addition, there are different sign languages for different countries so knowing sign language does not mean every deaf person that knows sign language will be able to understand the BSL (British sign language).

I believe that sign language is effective as it makes the hearing impaired very independent and makes life a lot easier. I believe that sign language could be more effective if it had been taught in schools to everyone not just the mainstream students. This will not only benefit the hearing impaired person but someone who is not facing any hearing impairment because in life if they do come across a deaf person they will be able to still communicate with them.

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Dumb/Muteness is the inability of speech and is often associated or linked with deafness. However, the technological aid of text-to-speech can overcome this barrier .Text-to-speech is computerised equipment that allows a muted person to type what they want to say and then it will translate into speech form. Also makatons can be used to overcome this barrier. Makaton is a language programme for developing language using speech, signs and symbols. For example in a childcare centre Makaton is used a lot with pre-speech babies and toddlers like picture cards and gestures. Also emotions and feelings as well as choices can be expressed.

The advantage of Makaton is that it is quite simple and taught from a young age to those who don’t even have any medical needs or disabilities in school from a really young age. The disadvantage to Makaton is that some people may not be able to understand some of the signs and symbols.

I believe that makatons can help overcome the barrier but is not really effective because a person may not have all the Makaton cards with them to communicate also I believe that there are other ways to overcome this barrier that is much more stronger such as speech-to-text.

Environment: (Space. Noise. Location. )

Space- The space between people is very important when communicating because little space between two can make a person uncomfortable .For example if a teacher wanted to talk to a student and the space between them was 5cm away from each other and its someone you aren’t close to then the person may feel very uncomfortable and may not be listening probably or is not giving the right responses back or even too much of a distance can lead to misunderstanding. Noise- If there is a lot of background noise it will be harder for people to hear each other when communicating and mixed messages may be received.

Location- The place where a conversation takes place is key as it depends on the conversation topic. For example a doctor that needs tell his patient that he has only a few days to live will need to be in his office with the patient only not in the middle of the hospital corridors.

The advantage of making sure that the correct you choose the correct location to communicate with someone is that there will not be any misunderstandings or mixed messages sent and the communicators will not feel uncomfortable.

The only disadvantage that may occur when picking out a location to converse is that the other person may not be okay with it.For example if a doctor wanted to discuss the health issues with her patient and the patien wants the doctor to come over to her house even though her house is quite and personal the doctor will not accept that.

I believe that carefully picking out the location for a conversation is effective because it allows the conversation to flow better and eliminates problems such as an overcrowded area, feeling uncomfortable, loud no privacy.


Language can become a barrier as the person you may be trying to communicate with may not be able to speak the same language so therefore the communication is received but not understood. However, to overcome this barrier, interpreters/translators are people who will translate and forward your message to the person who you are trying to communicate with by talking to them in their language. For example if the doctor only spoke English but his patient would only be able to speak Turkish a Turkish interpreter would translate to her what the doctor is saying to her or if the doctor does know how to speak Turkish he should use his patients preferred language.

The advantage of using an interpreter to translate between two is that there will be less of chance of a costly misunderstanding. Also it allows the communicators to feel comfortable to be able to speak in their own language.

The disadvantage of using an interpreter to translate between two is that it is quite difficult to get an interpreter at that time of the communication, for example the doctors book interpreters before arriving for the appointment because it is difficult to locate and schedule professional interpreters.

I believe that using an interpreter to overcome the barrier of foreign language is very effective because learning a different language takes long and is difficult so therefore having a professional qualified person to translate is simple and quick and allows the communicators to feel comfortable.


Slang is an informal way of speaking which consists of words and phrases that may not be found in the standard dictionary. Slang is mostly used by the younger generation within specific social groups and communities. It consists of words shortened as well as words such as “piff” which would mean good looking or “sick” which means cool/awesome. Jargon is quite similar but it is not informal, it is technical terminology words and phrases used by particular professions. For example a doctor uses the scientific terminology for DNA which is “deoxyribonucleic acid “rather than DNA. To overcome this barrier it is best to avoid using slang and use the formal standardized English.

The disadvantage of slang is that it is only understood by a certain group of people, mainly the youths. Also there is no actual definition for certain words and phrases so the messages sent may not be received the way it was aimed to be understood. In addition, there are different types of slang depending on the area/city for example the slang used in Manchester is different to the one used in London.

The advantages of slang is that it is quick to write and talk as there are less syllables and allows you to get straight to the point.

I believe that slang is not effective as there are very few people who may understand it in a health and social care setting also because slang is so informal. Doctors, teachers, carers etc, will not be communicating in slang with their service users. I think the solution to overcome this barrier which is avoiding slang is an effective way to overcome the barrier because it is not that difficult to avoid speaking slang.


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