When your patient doesn...

What can you do when your patient refuses a diagnostic test? It depends. As I’ve said before, there is value in assessment and individualization. For example, a 51 year old woman reported months of having vertigo. Her doctor told her if the medicine he gives her does not work,...

Let the patient interru...

I just got a question via social media from a nursing student.  She didn’t understand why I said: when you are teaching, you should let the patient interrupt you rather than say, “Wait until I am done and then you can ask questions.” Because the evidence shows:...

What patient education ...

I just read this on the Internet. I won’t give the source because my intention is not to criticize them, but to inform you: “A successful patient education program has three main elements: – what to communicate – when to deliver it – how to deliver it” What...

Another reason to indiv...

Are you primarily providing health information to patients digitally? Do you refer everyone to your website? Are you assessing their needs first? More than 56 million people in the United States live with a disability. However, disabled Americans are about 3 times more likely as...

Major challenge of a ch...

The nurse asked the patient what was the largest challenge she faced now that she was diagnosed with diabetes. Her response, “Having a doctor who listens.” Her largest challenge was not fear. Not self-care skills. Not worry about what the future holds. It was having a...

A simple change to impr...

Research shows the most efficient and effective way to teach is to first assess what the learner knows, individualize teaching to meet the needs of the learner, and evaluate understanding with teach back. Too often, we jump into teaching without assessment, skipping this most essential...

Do your patients know w...

One thing health care professionals need to understand: Patients don’t expect to become patients. They did not study for the role. And we, who work in health care, know the system well. We are so immersed, that we forget to others it is a foreign land and culture. So we complain...

“Diabetes has rui...

“Diabetes has ruined my life,” said the patient. Wow. I felt sad for him. It’s a chronic illness. His life is ruined. Yet he was sitting there, robust and articulate. Why was he feeling so helpless and hopeless? The best way to respond to a statement like this...

Before you teach patien...

A colleague asked, “Anyone have or can point me to a curriculum outline or manual for teaching patient ed skills to nurses or APCs?” It may sound self-serving, but you might want to use my book No Time to Teach: The Essence of Patient and Family Education for Health Care...

Don’t confuse the...

I just read an article on what patient education can and cannot do, which baffled me until I realized the premise was the problem. The author assumed teaching tools were patient education. Apparently, not everyone knows that paper doesn’t teach, people do. In summary, the...

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