6.3c Describe how to check whether they (the HCSW/ASCW) have been understood

Checking that communication has been properly understood is very important for promoting effective communication. If what has been communicated is misunderstood, it could cause confusion and distress and lead to mistakes being made.

One of the ways you can check whether you have been understood is by summarising. This means bringing together the main points of an exchange of information in a short, simplified and easy to understand manner. Making a summary will allow the individual to correct you if necessary and check if you have correctly understood.

You could also ask questions that are phrased in a way that the individual has to provide a detailed response. For example, instead of asking “Are you alright?”, you could ask “How are you feeling today?”. Leaving the response open-ended means you can find out more information that is helpful for making sure the individual’s needs and wishes are understood. However, closed questions can be useful in some situations and you should never force an individual to give a detailed response if they don’t want to.

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