Patient learning for clients in an increasingly complex

Patient education is a topic ofutmost interest in every setting in which nurses practice. The current trendsin health care are making it imperative that patients and families are preparedto assume the responsibility for self-care management. The need for nurses to teachothers and help others learn will continue to increase in this era of healthcare reform. The teaching of patients and families is the means to accomplishthe professional goals of providing cost-effective, safe and high-quality care. The main purpose ofteachingis to increase the confidence and competence of patients.(Bastable, 2003).

It provides opportunities to choose healthier lifestyles and practice preventive medicine.(Basic Concepts of Patient Education). The educational role is one of the mostchallenging and essential interventions that a nurse performs. Nurses engaged in promoting health and facilitating client-centered learning have a key teaching/educational role that is based on soundeducational theory. Nurses are faced with challenges of facilitating learningfor clients in an increasingly complex healthcaresystem.

The three strategiesto find the time to provide one to one teaching is,·        Learningneeds of the patient·        Readinessto learn and·        LearningstyleThe mainpurposes of assessing the learning needsare to discover what must be taught and to determine the extent of teachingneeds to be given. This assessment is helpful to prioritize the needs andinterests of the patient. An effort to prioritize the identified needs willhelp the patient to set realistic and achievable goals. Assessment can be madeat any time. With patients, many potential opportunities arise, such as whengiving a bath, serving a meal, making rounds, distributing medications, and soforth. Minimizing interruptions and distractions during planned assessmentinterviews maximizes productivity. Main methods to assess learning needs are, informal conversation, structured interviews, self-administeredquestionnaire, tests, observationsand patientcharts.

Readiness to learnis the time when the patient shows aninterest in learning and the type of information necessary to maintain optimumhealth. An assessment of readiness to learn to be done before the actualteaching. Different types of readiness to learn are Physical readiness which includes • Measures ofability • Complexity oftask • Environmental effects • Health status and • GenderEmotional readinesswhich includes,• Anxiety level • Support system • Motivation • Risk-taking behavior• Frame of mindand • Developmental stage Experimental readinesswhich includes, • Level of aspiration • Past copingmechanisms • Cultural background • Locus of control and • Orientation andKnowledge readinessthe main components included are,• Presentknowledge base• Cognitiveability • Learningdisabilities and • Learning stylesLearning style-Eachperson is unique and complex with different learning style preference. Three mechanismsto determine learning style are observation, interviews, and administration oflearning style instruments. For example, some patients like one to one discussion whereasothers prefer group chatting with thenurseas the educator so that they can address the current and potential problems.

(Teaching in chemotherapy clinics). Besides that, some patients like to readthe brochures or browse the computers for health-related information.