Patient education is a significant part of a nurse’s job. it is the process of influencing patient behaviour and producing the changes in knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to maintain or improve health.
Patient education empowers patients to improve their health status and aids them in achieving the best state of health possible through their actions and determination.
Through patient education and support, patients can be encouraged to make a plan and take action. It enlightens them on how to prevent and manage medical conditions.
In this article, we will be educating you on the importance of patient education in nursing because nurses are responsible for teaching patients about preventing and managing medical conditions.
What Are The Importance Of Patient Education In Nursing?
As a nurse, you need to function as a patient’s advocate and discuss therapy in terms that patients will understand. After nurses graduate from an RN to BSN degree program, they become educators even if they do not work as teachers in academia.
Let’s look at some of the importance of patient education in nursing
1. Are you aware that most patients walk out of the doctor’s office without knowing what next to do? some don’t even understand the doctor because of the medical jargons the doctors use or an overload of information which can result in patients not following instructions properly.
This is a good reason for patient education, it’s the duty of the nurses to educate the patients in a language they can understand.
2. Patients that have undergone certain procedures receive discharge patient education with instructions about how to take their medications, handle special equipment, signs of common side effects and treatment, etc.
It is during patient education that the educator suggests lifestyle changes that will help them keep their illness under control, handle emergencies and side effects from drugs, and maintain a high standard of living.
3. Most people finding themselves in uncharted waters, especially regarding a health problem, are bound to feel powerless and at a loss. Patient education helps them understand their condition, available treatments, and what they entail, including possible side effects.
4. Effective patient education starts from the time patients are admitted to the hospital and continues until they are discharged. Nurses should take advantage of any appropriate opportunity throughout a patient’s stay to teach the patient about self-care.
5. Patient education materials are also helpful because these materials often contain visual aids that understandably explain words. Visuals such as photographs can make it easier for people with low literacy levels to understand written content.
For example, some patient education pamphlets might have pictures of different cancer cells, so readers know which type their doctor has found when providing them with treatment options.
7 Tips For Patient Education In Nursing
Patient education is a skill nurses develop throughout their careers. Here are some tips for patient education in nursing:
1. Make Patient Education A Priority
We understand that nurses oversee many aspects of patient care such as performing exams, administering treatments and monitoring health conditions. These multiple responsibilities can make it difficult to dedicate time to teaching a patient how to administer their care.
One way to ensure you have more time to spend on patient education is by diving the responsibilities among other healthcare workers, this will ease your workload and help you make patient education a priority.
2. Simplify Medical Jargons When Instructing Patients
Doctors often use medical terminology when discussing with patients. While nursing professionals have the education to understand these terms, when engaging in patient education, it may be helpful to reword or restate instructions in simpler terms that patients of all educational backgrounds can understand.
3. Understand A Patient’s Self-Care And Learning Abilities
The best way to educate patients is to determine how they communicate questions and challenges with an instructor so you can address their concerns and learn how comfortable they are with self-care.
Nurses should ensure that patients learn the correct information and procedures before leaving medical supervision.
4. Choose The Right Time
Choosing the right time to provide patient education can create a better environment for learning. Consider the time of day or night when the patient can discuss their continuing care with you. Also, consider choosing a time when there won’t be distractions from other workers or patients.
Finding time for patient education between other care duties can be challenging, but it can make your instruction more productive and meaningful for you and the patient.
5. Ask Questions Before Discharging A Patient
It is a good idea to ask a patient some questions before the leave your care, this will help you to know if they understand the treatment method and their prescription.
Asking open-ended questions can allow a patient to explain their thoughts and concerns. Their responses can help you determine if they lack any key information to continue their healing and maintain good health while at home.
6. Involve Family Members In Care Instruction members
Patient education in nursing can involve other loved ones in the learning process. Asking family members to learn the same information as the patient can reinforce key practices for home health care. Teaching family members the same techniques as the patient makes it easier for the patient to also get valid assistance from people in the house.
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7. Modify Teaching Based On Patient Learning Process
Each patient has a unique learning style that helps them process information, this is why it’s important to know how they receive and share information. This may help you identify ways to modify your instruction as needed to best educate your patient.
8. Use Visual Aids To Help Patients Understand Complex Process
Pictorial aids may help patients understand complex care processes more clearly. Consider using a teaching video to deliver information before you discuss items with a patient. Information presented visually may be easier for some patients to remember than written text.
With appropriate access to health data, patients can better understand their unique health, enabling them to seek more relevant information about their circumstances.
By educating patients about their rights to access health data, industry leaders foster engagement inside and outside the doctor’s office. That’s why patient education is essential.