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...

Inconsistencies...

When a surgery is scheduled, health insurance agrees to pay for medical imaging and lab tests that inform the surgeon of the conditions he or she will encounter. These help the surgeon assess the situation before beginning surgery, leading to better outcomes. However, this approach...

Are pictographs the ans...

Pictographs or pictograms are commonly used in discharge teaching instructions to convey medication use. But do patients with low health literacy skills understand them? One study considered this. Their goal was to send reminder pictographic messages to people on their cell phones...

The 2nd Edition of No T...

No Time to Teach: The Essence of Patient and Family Education for Health Care Providers was published in 2009, with great success. As I’ve said many times, the evidence in the field of patient education has been very consistent: the most effective and efficient teaching methods...

Assessment saves teachi...

I often say you can save teaching time with assessment.  It appears to add time to the process, but assessment gives you information that allows you to individualize teaching to the needs of the learner. A generic lecture can include information that contradicts what the learner...

A Call to Action: We N...

After saving lives, our most important service is patient and family education. This is because most health care is self-care. If we don’t impact self-care behaviors, we can’t impact health outcomes. I propose we need to identify the evidence-based interventions and disseminate...

Providing information i...

Yes, I keep coming back to this one key point: providing information is not the same as providing education. I love technology. I love apps. They are our future. But I cringe every time I read that the digital and mobile delivery of health information should be our response to...

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