Patient Education in Nursing

Patient Education in Nursing

Patients can manage their health condition effectively if they have the necessary education, tools, and resources. Patient education in nursing is a vital element of nursing care. In case you are looking forward to practicing patient education and don’t know where to start, do not worry. This blog will help you understand what is patient education in nursing, its benefits, and strategies for effective patient education.

What is patient education in nursing?

Patient education is care issued by healthcare professionals that assist patients to manage their medical demands once they leave the hospital. Education helps patients to control their health and minimize their chances of being readmitted to the hospital with health complications. Patient education is vital in managing patients’ health because it encourages positive practice and fastens the healing process.

Patients who understand their health status ask doctors about their condition, organize follow-up appointments and use self-management techniques. Nurses play a vital role in patient education by enhancing patient confidence and knowledge of skills they will need after discharge. Health educators recommend lifestyle changes for patients with chronic illnesses to control, handle emergencies and maintain healthy living.

Informal patient education in nursing may include the following;

  • Handling dosage for medication such as insulin
  • Continuing care at home, such as dressing a wound
  • Diagnosis and treatment options
  • Exercising preventative care, such as diet mitigation for sustained health
  • Proving and expounding on checklists and guides to help patients recall essential self-care information
  • Designing equipment to be used at home, such as an oxygen tank

Principles of effective adult-focused patient education in nursing

Adults like having self-direction and their decision considered. You should be realistic by listening to what your patient wants to learn and the preferred learning method. Invite them to share their knowledge and give credit for their life occurrence. Adults learn best when they connect their learning to what they know.

Create enough time for the patient to learn, practice, and inspire the family to participate. You should also provide a conducive physical and emotional study environment. The following are principles of patient education in nursing;

  1. Communicator

A good communicator should deliver information effectively by using a language that your patients understand and using pictures and models for illustration. You should speak and listen to your patient’s concerns. Nurses should listen to what the patient knows and not to impress with what they know.

Be pleasant to talk to the patient’s family members and incorporate them into the teaching plan. You should also ask your patients questions to ensure they understand what you are teaching them.

  1. Caring

A caring nurse should show empathy, provide encouragement and support, be compassionate to the patient’s concerns, and secure enough time not to rush the patient. You should understand the patients’ worries about pain, safety, appearance, and financial cost and help convey the concerns.

  1. Confidence

A confident nurse should know how to prepare a worthwhile teaching plan, select what to teach, and organize a good learning environment. You should be confident so that you can manage to choose the main essential points that your patient needs to know.

  1. Competence

A competent nurse should ensure patients’ safety while teaching them and provide teaching resources that are personalized to their care. You should also help the patient understand what to do to prevent complications.

Importance of patient education in nursing

Patients should be informed about the risk and benefits associated with a diagnosis or treatment to decide on the best interventions to take.  Education helps patients to take part in interventions that result in a positive outcome, promote wellness, restore health, prevent disease or injury and help patients cope.

The benefits of patient education in nursing include;

  • It prevents medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, or heart disease
  • It reduces the number of patients readmitted to the healthcare facility
  • It helps patients know what to expect during a medical procedure and recovery process
  • Enlightening patients about self-monitoring devices such as blood pressure monitors which reduces complications
  • It helps patients to take medication as prescribed and seek medical attention during an illness
  • It helps patients to become independent and be self-sufficient
  • It gives patients confidence and hopes to do better and fight against distress.
  • It relives patients’ anxiety about the treatment procedure
  • It enhances communication with patients
  • It reduces patients’ confusion

The barrier to patient education in nursing

There are two types of barriers that hinder learning i.e. external and internal barriers. External barriers include environmental factors such as interruption and sociocultural factors such as language barriers. Internal barriers include psychological factors such as depression, anger, fear, and anxiety and physical factors such as pain, fatigue, and sensory deprivation.

Trends affecting patient education in nursing are as follows;

  1. Visual and healing barrier

Patients can have difficulty understanding what you are communicating to them if they have virtual and hearing problems. Ensure that you use teaching methods that are favorable to their individual needs. You can consider using sign language to pass information to patients with healing problems.

  1. Presence of symptoms

Patients with severe pain cannot concentrate on what you are teaching them. It would be best to let them rest and teach them later when they feel better.

  1. Pain or mobility problems

Patients with pain or decreased strength cannot manage to use their bodies to practice what you are showing them. For example, a patient with weak hand strength cannot be able to practice how to use an inhaler which results in ineffective learning.

  1. Jargon

The use of jargon and medical terms will hinder learning because patients are not on the same level as you when it comes to medical literacy. You should use non-medical terms to ensure you pass information effectively.

Strategies for effective patient education in nursing

Patient education aims at enhancing patients’ health literacy. Achieving effective patient education needs an extensive strategy that is easy to execute and follow. It should use essential tools and resources to meet the health literacy demands of the patients. The following are strategies for initiating effective patient education;

  1. Utilize technology in patient education in nursing

Nurses should take advantage of advanced technology while providing patient education. Technology such as smartphones can be used to deliver resources and information to patients. Patients can also access education materials through email or a secured link to a portal which can reduce a lot of paperwork. You can consider personalizing these technology tools by age, condition, gender, etc.

Health professionals can also use health tools such as interactive apps which help patients to understand their health conditions and offer health management techniques. To use such tools, you must evaluate the patient’s health literacy and usefulness.

  1. Establish the patient’s preferred learning style

There are a lot of techniques that nurses can use to deliver information from a paper handout to digital technologies. You must establish which tool the patient prefers to ensure that the tool is effective in delivering education. Nurses should consider what the patient needs to know to avoid overload and repetition of information. Patient education tools include the following;

  • Analogies
  • YouTube
  • One-on-one teaching
  • Graphics
  • Demonstrations
  • Brochures
  • PowerPoint presentation
  • Group classes
  • Videos or DVDs
  • Peer educators
  • Posters or charts
  1. Consider the patients’ weaknesses and strength

You should identify if there is something that is hindering the patient from learning to know the best approach to use whether it is mental, physical, or emotional. For example, visually impaired patients and those who don’t know how to read may prefer audio or videos since reading materials may not be appropriate for them. Also, patients with healing problems may choose demonstrations or printed materials.

  1. Utilize the teach-back method

The Teach-back method is an effective technique in patient education that ensures that patients and their families understand what the nurse is communicating. During the tech-back method, you should first explain a procedure, concept, or self-management technique then ask the patients to repeat it in their own words.

This method will help you know whether the patient understands the information you are demonstrating. If they don’t understand, look for a better approach to teaching them.

  1. Involve family members

If your patient has close family or loved ones, you should involve them in patient education. Family plays a vital role in healthcare management. They provide a support system to the patient and will ensure that the instructions you are giving will be followed.

  1. Talk to patients in a language that they understand

The language barrier is one of the hindrances to patient education. You should communicate to patients in a language that they understand to ensure that the information is well understood. Using translation services can help to deliver information effectively to patients.

  1. Stimulate patient interest

You should create patient interest by helping them understand why the procedure is important. Engage with the patients by asking and answering questions and considering their concerns. Some patients may require a detailed explanation of their health condition, while others may need only the important facts and a simple checklist.

Bottom line

Patient education in nursing is one of the most complex aspects of nursing care. Excellent teaching is essential in ensuring positive patient outcomes. You should ask your patient-specific questions to know whether they have understood what to do after leaving the healthcare facility. This blog will help you practice providing effective education that will improve patient outcomes. Reach out to for help