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Communicating in Health and Social Care Organizations

Communicating in Health and Social Care Organizations

Task 1  (LO: 1 – LO: 2)

Scenario:  Hospital appointment

Joanna H, a 54 year old lady originally from Vietnam, has hearing and speech difficulties, can barely speak English language.

One day Joanna had a hospital appointment for treatment due to her poor mobility from a garden fall. When she arrived in the hospital, she was handed a form by a nurse to fill. On the nurse’s desk were other patients’ notes, which Joanna could easily see. At the same time, another nurse gestured to the patient that she needed to take her blood pressure and weight.  Joanna simply did not understand what the nurse was trying to indicate and she certainly did not like the nurse staring her directly in the eye.  However, Joanna did not grumble even though she could not fill the form. None of the nurses could help her fill the form as they did not speak Vietnamese. Eventually, the nurse went to look for an interpreter but could not find one. Meanwhile Joanna got up from her seat, and started looking frantically around for a lavatory.  As Joanna got up, the nurse tapped her on the shoulder and asked where she was going. This made Joanna even more nervous and appeared to be upset and felt humiliated. Fortunately, she then noticed someone coming out of a consulting room with a sink, which she assumed was a lavatory.  She made a dive for it with the nurse hotly behind her screaming at her not to enter the room.  A consultant in the room asked what the commotion was about, shouting that it was like a busy railway station.

By chance another Vietnamese patient arrived on the scene and helped Joanna find a lavatory.  Though, this patient was in a hurry to return to work, she briefly assisted Joanna to fill up the hospital form.  Eventually, after waiting three hours, Joanna met the consultant who had a group of medical students with him. Unfortunately, he had already met Joanna when she accidentally barged into his consulting room.  His immediate response was “Good gracious, not you again!!!.” The doctor needed to examine Joanna so a nurse asked her to undress and lie down on the couch to be examined

The doctor appeared impatient when Joanna had difficulty in answering his questions. Instead she pointed to her leg trying to indicate there was a problem.  The doctor responded by throwing his arms in the air saying “What on earth is your problem?”  He then left her exposed on the examination couch, muttered to the nearby nurse and students that it was hopeless trying to talk to the patient as she hardly understood him and vice versa. Joanna was now in tears.  However, five minutes later, the nurse told Joanna to get dressed and return to the doctor, who remained behind his desk chatting to the medical students. In sheer panic and frustration, Joanna cried. The doctor completely ignored Joanna’s outburst.  Instead he quickly completed some forms and then handed them to the nurse by telling her to follow the nurse. Dissatisfied with this treatment, Joanna followed the nurse for a urine and blood test.

In this scenario you should be able to explore how communication skills are used in health and social care. 


  • In order to achieve assessment criterion 1.2; you must demonstrate how you have used your communication skills in your work place. (Health and Social Care setting)
  • You must analyse the communication skills in this scenario and benchmark these skills against your own communication skills within the health and social care.

You are expected to use the ‘Hospital appointment’ case study above along with the youtube video1 Panorama ‘Behind Closed Doors Elderly Care Exposed BBC documentary 2014[1]

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