Patient education has become a vital parameter in improving a patient’s quality of life. It has also come to play an essential role in reducing hospitalizations in the long run. Nurses on their part, have important roes to play when it comes to catering to a patient’s needs.
Current trends in healthcare also indicate that these nurses have an equal responsibility to educate patients about the condition, proposed treatments and medications, as well as the different ways in which they can improve their quality of life. Accordingly, here are some tips that new nurses can adapt to educate their patients for quality service and assurance.
Follow an individualized approach
Every patient is different in his/her learning abilities. Rather than following a centralized approach to educating patients, nurses need to follow an individualized approach of imparting education based on the patient’s body condition, learning capacity and individual needs. It is also considered imperative that the attending nurse take into consideration the patient’s physical and psychological well-being before engaging the latter in learning. For instance, a mentally distressed patient will not be able to concentrate on any information that is being provided to him/her.
Follow a patient centered education approach
Again, the focus here is on providing information in patient centric format rather than a centralized approach. Nurses need to take into consideration the patient’s preference of language when imparting information. They should not take for granted the fact that every patient may not know English and would need a translator for help. They should also not take for granted the fact that the patient can make do with whatever information is handed out to them in a language they cannot understand.
Use different styles of teaching
Traditional ways of learning may not always be favorable for patients. However, there are several interactive ways in which nurses can educate their patients. Some of these include:
- Hands on demonstration
This patient teaching technique helps patients to understand how a task is completed or how process tends to work in a one-on-one setting. This allows the patients to repeat these tasks easily at home afterwards. Following a demonstration, patients can also ask questions and provide feedback, thus gaining more knowledge in the process.
- Written material
Although this can be a routine form of teaching, it is best considered for patients who may not be that tech-savvy. Written material is also deemed necessary for prescribed medicines. This form of teaching can also help patients gain step by step instructions on specific processes and treatments.
- Video education
This is akin to computer based training, and is best considered for those patients who find it hard to understand other forms of teaching. Videos can explain details in a more interactive manner to patients. Nurses can then use a written test post the video session to gauge the level of understanding of the patient.
- Teach back method
Many studies have indicated that the teach-back method can prove to be extremely fruitful when it comes to educating patients. This highly interactive method allows nurses to utilize a two way dialog approach to teach their patients. Once the nurse has finished with a lesson, he/she asks the patient to explain back the concept to them in words. This method can make it easier for nurses to find out just how much their patients have benefitted from these teachings as well.
Current trends in the healthcare industry have shed light on the increasing necessity to educate patients. Apart from administering the necessary medications and taking care of them, nurses should take it as their moral responsibility to educate patients about the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle for better quality of life.]]>