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Put teaching tips in handout form for staff
During Health Care Education Week at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA, Benjamin T. Laroya, RN, BSN, OCN, patient and family education coordinator, assembled a list of teaching tips to handout to staff who came by the display on patient education.
He divided the tips into several categories to make them easy to read, which include the following tips:
• Seize every opportunity
— Every time you walk into the patient’s room, you have a teaching opportunity.
— Consider patient-nurse interaction on a daily basis. Doing assessment and interaction, and answering patients’ questions while providing daily bedside care is patient education.
• Make it personal
— Look for the patient’s strengths — family support, the patient’s own intelligence and personality style — and tailor your teaching to their strengths. Start at the beginning with hands-on involvement of patient and family.
— Find out how much the patient already knows. Assess the patient’s emotions and readiness to learn.
— Individualize education to each patient.
— Good communication is key. Really listen to the patient’s concerns.
— Take the time to hear the patient’s feelings coming through in his or her words.
— Use open-ended questions. Use anecdotes, life stories, and share experiences. Patients verbalize their feelings or may ask advice.
— Have patient write down questions. With personal matters, have family leave room if patient agrees.
— Talk to them as you would a family member.
— Develop a trusting comfort level with patient.
— Address sexual issues related to the patient’s disease and treatment;
— Always include the patient in his/her care. Present the teaching-learning process as being a mutually agreed-upon team goal. Give patients choices to allow control over their situation.
— If the patient comes with his/her family, teach the family as well.
• Timing is everything
— Choose the right time and use simple instructions.
— Wait some time after patient’s discussion with doctor, to limit anxiety. Repeat information and follow up throughout the stay.
• Don’t bite off more than you (or your patient) can chew
— Keep it simple, short, specific and in laymen’s terms.
— Use simple explanations when educating patient and family.
— Choose only one subject at a time.
— Teach a little bit at a time. Too often, educators can provide too much information at once.
• Practice makes perfect
— Ask for return demonstration, hands-on practice.
— Do teaching in several sessions with reinforcement of previous information.
— Repeat, repeat, repeat.
• What and why?
— Make sure that you explain not only what needs to be done, but also why it is done.
— If patient refuses a certain drug, ask why. That can help-may need to change the regimen.
• Use the tools
— Provide teaching record for patient to read and take home, including a phone number to call if they have questions.
— Know where patient resources can be obtained (i.e., booklets, classes, supportive care services, etc.).
— Verbal and written instructions should be provided to patient at all times when teaching is performed so patient can refer back to the instructions when needed. Written materials also allow the patient to ask questions at a later time if they don’t understand things at the time of teaching.
— Use visual aids.
— Written information regarding medication side effects along with signs and symptoms is been helpful.
— Set a clear goal and be creative.