One of the key roles of a nurse or physician is effective patient education. After all, treating a patient’s body is important, but a patient’s understanding of their own help is just as important. To properly care for patients in all regards, health care workers should know these strategies to educate patients effectively.
Use Different Teaching Methods
Different patients have different learning methods, so it’s helpful to use a variety of teaching methods when educating your patients. While verbally explaining a procedure or condition might work well for one patient, another patient might learn better by reading a pamphlet or watching a video. Identify which method works best for each individual patient.
Meet Patients on Their Level
Throughout your career, you’ll be responsible for educating patients with different mental, physical, and emotional needs. Some patients may need accommodations to be able to learn well—for example, if a patient has impaired sight, you may need to get special print materials for them or teach them with non-visual methods. Patients will also come into education with different levels of prior understanding, so make sure to identify a patient’s current level of understanding before explaining concepts in more detail. Always be respectful of your patients, and check that they truly understand what you have taught them.
If your patient has any close family members, include them in the patient education process. Family members are often responsible for helping with a patient’s care, so it’s important that they understand the procedure or condition. Family members can also provide a support system for patients while they absorb difficult to hear information.
The technology of the medical field is constantly advancing, so take advantage of it in your patient education processes. Make patient education resources readily available online and deliver further individualized patient resources or information virtually.
If you follow these strategies to educate patients effectively, your practice will be able to properly communicate with and care for all its patients. But on the flip side, you should continue to value the physical care of the patient. Always be prepared to care for your patients’ physical needs by equipping your facility with mammography chairs and other quality medical equipment.