Focus on best practices...

There is so much we could do to more clearly communicate with our patients, but we have so little time.  How can we prioritize? One study surveyed health literacy experts and compiled a list of the core set of practices that all health care professionals should learn and use routinely...

Network and Learn Septe...

As a health care professional working in patient education, don’t you ever just want to ask a colleague a question, or run an idea by someone who knows what you’re talking about? Well, the Health Care Education Association conference will give you an opportunity to meet...

If patient education is...

First, let’s agree on the goals of patient education. The learner is educated when he or she: — Has his or her questions answered — Understands enough to make informed decisions — Develops basic self-care skills to survive — Can recognize problems and how to respond If...

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...

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