Hospitals are usually overloaded with patients, which is especially true for the turbulent times we presently endure. To avoid a strain on the medical system, prevent re-hospitalization and promote patient wellbeing, every health care professional should endorse patient education.
Whether you are a doctor, nurse, or any other health care worker, your job is making sure that patients are aware of their condition, no symptoms they should look out for, medications they must take, and lifestyle changes they should make, so they could avoid revisiting the hospital with the same health issue. Today, we will discuss ways in which you can educate your wards on how to be healthier and more mindful of their wellness.
How You Can Impact Patient Education Today
There are numerous ways to influence patient education, but we will condense them into 10 helpful, easy-to-follow tips:
- Free some of your schedules for a friendly heart-to-heart.
Hardworking and responsible medical workers often tend to take on more responsibilities than they can effectively handle. Time and time again we see doctors that only have a few minutes per person, not having an opportunity to dedicate some real time to each case. Of course, there is no time for a meaningful interaction in such conditions. We can resolve that by sharing some of your duties with the hospital’s support workers and making time for quality conversation with each person.
- Start the conversation early and be consistent with it.
Squeezing in some last-minute advice once the patient is already discharged is a common practice, but it’s not very resultative. Sharing something with a person whose only thought is getting home faster is mostly a waste. Be ahead of the game with your insights and advice – start educating patients regularly since their admission.
3. Build on the knowledge they already have.
When patients are being told what they already know, it makes them lose interest and not pay attention. Little do they know that doctors merely try easing them into complicated subjects. To avoid such a situation, ask your patient what they know about the matter in question and add to their knowledge.
4. Utilize visuals.
Comprehending a load of new information is hard, especially if you lack knowledge in the respective field. People perceive information much better if multiple parts of their brains are being stimulated. This is why it is smart to make patients learn through visuals – use pictures, posters, or plastic models to explain something to a patient.
5. Be vocal.
To save time and provide information, patients can revisit many medical workers’ hand-out brochures or printouts with details about the certain condition rather than explaining it themselves. This is thoughtful and helpful, but it is a poor substitute for a real conversation. Printed materials often get discarded lost or misplaced, living patients with a need to Google away.
6. Ask patients to put their advice into practice.
We all know that trying something once is better than hearing about it a hundred times. Once you show or explain something to a patient, request that they repeat or try what you just described. This engages memory and makes knowledge settle more effectively.
7. Make it a group effort.
A patient usually crosses paths with several medical professionals during their treatment. Consult with one another, find the best strategy for each patient, and establish which information each of you will provide.
Many activities are more successful when multiple people put their minds to them. The same principle applies when departments are created within an organization, or projects are done by a team. Many projects are best left to a group of professionals, especially if you need something as demanding as a good translation. Check PickWriters if you need to find your team of skilled specialists for an important task.
8. Be friendly and relate.
Doctors often dissociate and stop treating patients as regular people. You should check yourself on occasion, and try relating to your wards. Be friendly, but remember that it implies more than smiling, reassuring, and patting patients on the back. It means treating your patients as friends – being straightforward, honest, and kind.
9. Educate both patient and his family.
This is a well-known tip, but a crucial one to remember. Patients often get overwhelmed, distracted when they talk to a doctor – due to their treatments, stress, or simply an abundance of information they try to take in. This is why it is advisory to deliver important information to patients as well as those who accompany them. This way, fewer details will get lost.
10. Take your time.
Those familiar with medicine sometimes fail to understand why some patients have trouble digesting certain information. You should remind yourself that most of your wards have no experience with medicine, which is completely OK. Switch up your teaching methods for each patient, see what works for them.
Public health is something all of us should take seriously and work on upholding. Although we cannot single-handedly influence everyone’s wellbeing, we are capable of making a difference on a smaller scale.
Become an advocate for patient wellbeing today, and be diligent about giving each and every person the information they must better control and maintain their health. These simple actions are not just part of professional duties – they are moments of care and kindness each of us deserves.