Process of patient teaching

Process of patient teaching

  • Assessment of learning needs involves 4 main areas:
    • Physical factors
      • What is the patient’s age?
      • Is the patient acutely ill?
      • Is the patient fatigued or in pain?
      • What is the primary diagnosis?
      • Are there additional medical problems?
      • What is the patient’s current mental status?
      • What is the patient’s hearing ability? Visual ability? Motor ability?
      • What drugs does the patient take that may affect learning?
    • Psychologic factors
      • Does the patient appear anxious, afraid, depressed, and defensive?
      • Is the patient in a state of denial?
      • What is the patient’s level of motivation? Self-efficacy?
    • Sociocultural factors
      • What are the patient’s beliefs regarding his or her illness or treatment?
      • Is proposed teaching consistent with the patient’s cultural values?
      • What is the patient’s educational experience, reading ability, primary language?
      • What is the patient’s present or past occupation?
      • How does the patient describe his or her financial status?
      • What is the patient’s living arrangement?
      • Does the patient have family or close friends?
    • Learner factors
      • What does the patient already know about his or her health problem?
      • What does the patient think is most important to learn?
      • What prior learning experiences could act as a frame of reference for current learning needs?
      • Is the patient ready to learn? Change behavior?
      • How does the patient learn best (e.g., reading, listening, looking at pictures, doing, playing games)?
      • In what kind of environment does the patient learn best? Formal classroom? Computer/Web-based setting? Informal setting, such as home? Alone or in a group?
      • In what way should the caregiver(s) be involved in patient teaching?
  • Assessment
    • Many factors influence ability and readiness to learn
    • Adapt and modify teaching expectations and strategies based on individual and caregiver learning needs
  • Learner Factors
    • Learning needs
      • New knowledge and skills needed to meet goals
      • What you think is important may be different from what patients want to know
    • Learner Factors
      • Readiness to learn
        • Motivation
        • Stages of change
        • Positive reinforcement
      • Learning styles
        • Visual
        • Auditory
        • Physical
    • Diagnosis
    • Planning
      • Setting goals
      • Setting priorities
      • Select teaching strategies based on 3 factors:
        • Patient characteristics
          • Learning style, educational background, culture, language skills, and nature of illness
        • Subject matter
        • Available resources
    • Teaching using discussion (“teach back”) and demonstration/return demonstration (“show back”) increases successful learning by the patient


  • Help patients sift through information to decide if it is valid, reliable, and usable


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