As a CNA, you know that educating patients is an important part of your job. But what are the best ways for CNAs to educate patients?
Our blog post will go over 10 different ways for CNAs to educate their patients. Let’s get started!
1. Hands-On Learning
Hands-on learning is a great way for CNAs to educate their patients.
By allowing the patient to physically participate in his or her care, you are teaching them how certain tasks are performed. You can allow your patient to use reachers or other utensils during meals to help them strengthen their arm strength. You can also teach your patient different exercises that they can do on their own when you’re not around, such as leg lifts and hamstring stretches.
This will give your patient more confidence in his or her abilities, which will hopefully motivate him or her to be more independent!
Videos are another great way for CNAs to educate their patients.
There are a lot of videos on YouTube that can be very helpful in teaching your patient about daily living activities. You can show the patient how to put on a certain piece of clothing, such as pants or socks, which will help them build up their mobility and strength. Or you could show the patient how to prepare meals from a cookbook or website that you’ve found online.
This hands-on approach will really motivate the patient!
3. Visuals and Handouts
Another great way for nurses to educate patients is through visuals.
Use handouts, pamphlets, brochures, booklets etc.
To provide your patient with visual information regarding certain topics you would like them to know about before leaving the hospital. You can also offer your patient resources such as websites or contact information where they can get more detailed information about what they need to do once they return home from the hospital.
4. Talking One on One
No matter how busy you are or how many patients you have, make sure that at some point during the day you take time out of your schedule to sit down with each patient individually and go over any new information they may need to know about taking care of themselves after they leave the hospital.
The more one on one time you spend discussing specifics with your patients, the more comfortable they will be when they are on their own at home.
5. Make it Relevant
Don’t just give your patient abstract concepts that don’t really mean anything to them in real life situations.
When you talk with patients, make sure you always relate what you are talking about to their day-to-day lives.
As an example, if a patient is having problems with incontinence, you should talk with them about how it may affect other aspects of their life such as going out in public or sleeping through the night.
6. Don’t Assume Anything
Something that all nurses need to remember when talking to patients is not make any assumptions about what your patient knows and doesn’t know.
Make sure you always ask questions and get feedback from your patient before moving onto a topic where they might not be familiar with certain concepts. Also avoid using medical jargon because this can confuse patients and will only serve to hinder your education efforts.
7. Take Time to Listen
If you’ve ever been in a situation where someone is talking about something you don’t really understand, it’s easy to zone out and pretend like you are listening while thinking of what else needs to get done!
But when taking care of patients, it’s important for CNAs to take the time that they need in order to listen carefully and absorb all the information that the patient is sharing.
By actively listening to your patients, they will feel more respected and cared for during their stay. Plus, you’ll be able to more effectively teach them about their condition!
8. Putting Yourself In Your Patient’s Shoes
Before you embark on a mission to educate your patients about certain topics, always put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself if this is something you would want to be educated about.
If the answer is no, then why should your patients feel differently?
Your job as a nurse is not only to educate your patients but also to be an advocate for them when they can’t speak up for themselves. Always keep patient comfort in mind when talking with them about certain topics because sometimes less information is better than more.
9. The Power of Research
If you are struggling with how best to educate your patients or which resources might be best for them to utilize once they go home from the hospital, one thing that might help is doing some research on the topic yourself.
Look up websites, call organizations, etc. to find out what information is currently out there that you can use to help educate your patients on certain topics. You might be surprised at how much information is available for you on many different topics.
10. Be Consistent
Don’t just talk with your patient about a certain topic once and assume they got the message. Keep coming back to the same concepts over and over again until they fully understand everything that you are trying to teach them.
Because patients may have short term memory loss after being in the hospital, it’s important for nurses to remember this when starting new education sessions with their patients regarding different health issues.
Note: Remember that the process of educating patients can sometimes be a slow one. Not everyone you try to educate will understand everything the first time around so you need to have patience and keep trying to repeat important information regarding certain concepts until your patient fully understands what you are talking about.
Not only are nurses an important part of the health care system but they can also play a large role in educating their patients about certain conditions and how to better manage them once they go home from the hospital. By following the advice listed above, nurses will have a greater chance at making sure that the patients they care for understand everything there is to know about certain health issues that may be affecting them on a day-to-day basis.