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6.3b Describe ways to reduce barriers to effective communication

Communication barriers can affect the quality of the care you provide negatively, so you should do your best to reduce them as much as possible. One of the most effective ways to do this is to learn as much as possible about the individual in question. The more you know an individual, the more aware you will be of potential communication barriers and what you can do to reduce them.

To do this, you could create a ‘communication passport’ which pulls together vital information about their needs, wishes and preferences into an easy to read format. Putting something like this together with an individual can be a great way to get to know them better.

It is also important that you get regular feedback about your communication style and methods from the individuals you care for so that you can continue to improve how you communicate. You could also take up learning opportunities for different communication methods such as sign language. Experience can help you develop a variety of new methods for communication and select the best one to use in a situation. You should use your communication skills like a toolbox, and choose the right one for the job.