How can you talk to a service user to make them feel comfortable? What can you talk about? Watch the video where Tanya talks about topics of discussion she uses with her service users.
▶Task 1 - topics of conversations
▶Task 2 - missing words
▶Task 3 - questions
Interviewer: What do you say to make a service user feel comfortable with you?
Tanya: Yeah, as I was saying, I’m very observant. When I walk into a service user house the first time I take notice of everything that’s in that house – whether they read Mills and Boon, whether they’re into em what’s that other author name I can’t remember his name – he does he writes a lot of horror film, horror, he does a lot of horror books, most of them love that, John McCarthy or someone like that. Whether they’re into that. Whether they have the Sun every day on the table, whether they have the Mirror, the Financial Advisor. They have - what’s those other paper? There’s lot more paper for reading finances, that they’re checking the stock market. So I observe them. It will take a time for you to observe, but as I said it depends on the individual. As I’m a caring person and it’s not about the money, it’s about that individual, I want to know more about the person. So it depends on what I see lying around, that person may be coming always watching the telly, always watching the weather. I will ask them how is the weather today? How is it going to be tomorrow?
If there’s the news I will ask them, me myself like the news, and I will say ‘have you heard about this, about what happened this morning? That little boy got killed. What a shame’. And you know we start a conversation about that.
Same thing goes for the service user, if there’s the paper I have noticed every morning I come in that paper, that particular paper, he’s with, he’s looking at, it could be the sports paper, it could be the puzzle, he could be doing the puzzle at the back . Oh, I say ‘you’re very clever. I’m never good at that. I’m not good at that. Try me and let me see if I can do one’. Stuff like that.
Interviewer: You said sometimes you end up talking about Eastenders.
Tanya: Yeah sometimes normally we talk about Eastenders. it depends. If I do a service user and put them to bed at night they rushing me, ‘hurry up, you know, I don't want to miss my Eastenders’. And you know, we’ll discuss the following morning - what happened, who got killed, how they got killed? So we start a conversation. Same thing go, it can be a male service user into football and every time I come he has the sports page on the table and I will quickly glimpse on it and I will say oh, what team you support then? And he might mumble West Ham. And I said, oh West Ham got beaten yesterday. And he were like ‘oh you know that, are you into football? I said yes, I support Arsenal. ‘Look who’s talking’ and we’ll start having a conversation about football.
So if you’re an observant person and a good carer and care about the individual then you’ll take time to notice what they like and what their surrounding is like.
Interviewer: Some of the jobs you do are really personal, aren’t they, what do you talk about to distract people?
Tanya: Yeah, we still have conversation. Yeah, I might talk about my son. He said something funny to me today. I would just start talking about like I washing them and I’m saying ‘Oh, I have a son, Doris, he’s 4 going on 40. The things that he come up with are hilarious.
You know talking about kids and your family makes them feel like they’re part of it. So that is like a good conversation that you can to talk to them about. That’s a good topic to start with.