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Care Notes & Reports – Training Course Outline
Most people communicate in writing every day of their working lives. When your work involves supporting or caring for people, the quality of this written communication (its clarity, accuracy and completeness) can affect the care and support they receive.
Care notes training will help you write notes and reports that say what you mean. This course not only covers the basics of how to improve your writing skills but also how to make sure your written communication helps you in your day-to-day work.
What you will learn on this care notes course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Structure your notes and reports effectively
- Write in a clear, concise style
- Avoid common grammatical mistakes
- Get your message across clearly and unambiguously
What our customers say
“Bath Mind has expanded and taken on new services and a new database system. We have teams visiting people 1:1 in the community; a crisis team; wellbeing teams, telephone befriending and a lot of case work. We brought in Plain Words to support and equip our staff to write clear, concise high quality notes.
From the off- Peter was easy to communicate with, listened to our needs and adapted the course to suit what we required. The trainer was excellent and knew her stuff. As one staff member said- it is always refreshing to have someone who really understands your sector. Our team spoke very highly of the quality of our training; the knowledge of the trainer, the content, which was relevant & appropriate, and the opportunity for discussion of important topics. We would highly recommend this training and we will be coming back again and again.
Thank you for enabling us to be confident in our approaches going forward.”
AE, Bath Mind
“Alison was an excellent tutor, confident and able to impart her knowledge to me in an approachable manner. Thank you.”
ER, The Salvation Army
“Have learnt quality over quantity, straight forward, simple and specific style of writing.”
AS, The Salvation Army
“It was really fantastic. The presenter was excellent!”
IO, St Mungo’s
How we deliver the course
It is available as a one-day tutor-led Virtual Classroom.
1. General principles
- Our premise – good writing isn’t magic, it can be learned!
- Quick and clear messages – six questions to clarify your thinking
- What different types of document do you write?
You may write reports as part of your contribution to a case conference – and sometimes you can't be present, so your report is the only way your voice is heard. You may create and update care plans or write progress notes about a client – it is essential that these are clear and accurate, as others will be relying on them.
- Who is going to read your document? Why are they reading it? The answers help you pitch your message.
When your role involves caring for or supporting other people, the records you create have to serve a number of purposes. You have to share information, but also respect an individual’s right to confidentiality and you need to be aware that the records you write may be read by a number of other people.
2. Making useful notes
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
- What to include – and what to leave out
Sometimes a lot of things are discussed at a meeting – whether this is a meeting about a client, such as a case conference, or whether it is a general team meeting. You can’t write down everything that is said, but you need to make sure you don’t miss anything important.
- How to take an active part in the meeting and make effective notes
If you need to contribute to the meeting as well as take notes, you need to do some preparation – we will guide you through the steps you should take.
Sometimes you are so busy writing down what’s just been said that you miss the next thing. We will show you some useful note-taking techniques for reducing the number of words you write while making sure you record enough information.
3. Content and structure
- Gathering information and sorting it
You may gather your information from a lot of different sources, both written and verbal (by talking with other people). This information is very unlikely to be organised in any way, and you need to sort it out before you can use it.
- What to include – and what to leave out
You may need to summarise progress made, either by the client or by your organisation in implementing some planned element of care or support. Creating a useful summary gets easier with practice, and you will have the chance to practice creating a summary during the course.
- Choosing the right structure for your content
There are a number of options available when you come to structure your information. The one you choose depends on the type of information and how you want to present it.
You may have to fit your information into categories that have been set down for you. For example, you may be working with the Care Programme Approach (CPA) framework, be recording goals or aims and the outcomes of interventions in a client’s care plan or be describing the help that a client needs with the activities of daily living.
- Avoiding writer’s block: the mindset for drafting
Hints and tips to get you started – and keep you going.
4. How's your handwriting?
5. Clear, concise notes
These writing skills are relevant regardless of the type of document you are writing. They all need to be clear, accurate and easy to understand.
- Plain Words’ rules of good writing – eight principles to keep your writing on track
- Telling the story – guiding the reader
- Common errors in grammar and punctuation – understanding their effect
Want Something a Little Different?
Give us a call today and we will tailor a course to suit you!
6. Editing your work
Even very small pieces of writing – a note written for a colleague just before your shift ends, for example – benefit from a quick read-through to make sure you’ve been clear. More substantial pieces of work – a short report, perhaps – may need some changes from your initial rough draft.
- A top-down approach to improving text – edit like a reader
- Effective transitions – making your text flow
- Improving the layout – highlighting key points
- Proofreading your work – tips to help you see what’s really there
- Recognising ambiguous content, and what to do about it
You’ve said something needs to be done – but are you going to do it, or are you expecting someone else to do it? When is “tomorrow” – the day after you wrote the words or the day after I’m reading them?
- Spelling – using the tools
If you use Word™ to write your reports, you can take advantage of its spelling checker. If you know how, you can ignore words that Word thinks are spelling mistakes but are just words you use in your role.