Patient education refers to the process of imparting behavioral and psychological knowledge to patients to facilitate their participation in the provision of health care. Nurses are the primary educators for the patients since they are directly involved in the provision of medical care. In that regard, they are aware of each patient’s educational needs, and thus they can administer such training effectively. However, research indicates that most nurses are not aware of the best methods to employ when educating the patients and this aspect leads to ineffective training (Deakin, Cade, Williams, & Greenwood, 2006). Besides, various healthcare organizations employ the services of volunteers to conduct such training. The volunteers do not have the necessary knowledge regarding patient education hence they end up using the wrong methods. In the light of the stated challenges in the patient education, this paper explores the effective methods of imparting knowledge to patients to allow them to participate in their care. This paper shall discuss two methods together with the advantages and the disadvantages of each method.
Mixed media approach
The mixed media approach refers to a method of imparting skills to patients using a variety of mediums based on the patients’ knowledge. It involves the delivery of the relevant education to a patient using the medium that s/he prefers. The method is characterized by the use of devices such as smartphones and computers depending on the literacy levels of the patient. To pick the medium to use for the particular patient, the educator may ask the patient his/her hobby to gain insight of his/her likes. The educator should then devise the sessions so that the client’s hobbies are reflected in the learning. For example, if the patient states his/her hobby as watching movies, the educator should play video clips to attract attention from the client.
Appropriate uses of the method
The effective use of this method involves the determination of the client’s likes to determine the kind of medium to use to train them. The age of the beneficiary coupled with the client’s literacy must be considered while deciding the kind of devices and technology to be employed during the training (Muma & Lyons, 2011). The topic should be devised in such a way that it reflects the client’s needs. For instance, if a client suffers from diabetes type 2 the training should center on the effective management of the condition. In such a case, the educator should cite the feeding habits and regular exercises as the preventative measures for the condition.
This method has several advantages compared to other methods. Firstly, the method allows the patient to choose how the education shall be administered. The engagement of the patient in choosing the medium of the training instills a sense of inclusion during the decision-making process. Additionally, the education is informed by the client’s hobby, which increases the chances of grasping the major themes of the education. Research indicates that patients’ education is more effective when the patients are allowed to choose how the training shall be conducted (Schifferdecker & Reed, 2009). In light of the highlighted statement, this method may be effective in imparting the relevant knowledge to the patients.
Secondly, the method facilitates the use of the new technology in the provision of the patient education. The use of the smartphones and computers in educating the patients may facilitate independent learning through the internet. The internet has plenty of information regarding almost every topic hence patients may explore the topic independently to advance their knowledge of the topic in question. The method may specifically be beneficial to the young population owing to their indisputable interest in the new technology.
Much as the method has notable strengths compared to other methods, it has its disadvantages. Firstly, this method involves the determination of the client’s hobbies and structuring the sessions to reflect such hobbies. Different patients have different hobbies making the method expensive and time-consuming.
Secondly, the method emphasizes the incorporation of the new technology in educating the patients. The elder population may not be well versed in the new technology, and thus it may not be beneficial to them.
Group discussion method of patient education involves the arrangement of the patients into groups. Each group is composed of persons with similar conditions (Deakin et al., 2006). The teaching in a group setting focuses on the topic affecting the group as a whole as opposed to an individual training, which focuses on the individuals needs. The group members interact with each other, and they share their individual experiences.
Appropriate uses of the method
The effective use of the group discussion method involves the selection of individuals with similar problems. The trainer must select the teaching materials that maximize the gains for each member of the group. The literacy levels and the age of the group members are used to inform the selection of the teaching materials. For persons with a higher literacy level, the new technology may be integrated into the training.
Group discussions facilitate the passage of knowledge about a certain disease due to the interaction and group experimentation of the skills taught by the trainer. The argument is grounded on the view that different people have different levels of understanding. In that regard, those who grasp the concepts fast may help the other group members in the absence of a trainer.
The other advantage of a group discussion method is that it is cheaper than individual interventions. In a group setting, the group members learn contemporaneously, and they can share the training materials available to the group (Muma & Lyons, 2011). Additionally, the sessions may be presided over by a single trainer hence achieving savings regarding the labor requirement.
The main disadvantage of the group discussions method is that the trainer cannot give enough attention to each member as in the case where every patient is trained individually. Besides, the method may raise ethical concerns due to lack of privacy. The medical ethical code requires that the privacy of the patient’s data be guaranteed at all costs. In a group setting, a patient’s information may easily leak to the other group members during the discussions. Additionally, the medical ethics requires healthcare providers to utilize everything at their disposal to guarantee the patients’ safety. In a group setting, the trainer cannot attend to each member individually due to the many issues raised.
Patient education denotes the process of imparting personal care skills to patients to encourage their participation in their healthcare. The World Health Organization (WHO) requires that nurses provide patient education to help boost care outcomes. The provision of such education to patients faces great challenges among them being incompetency by the providers. This paper seeks to add to the existing literature on the topic. In the achievement of the stated purpose, the paper analyzed two methods of effecting patient education to advise nurses on the best ways to conduct such training to optimize the outcomes. The advantages and the disadvantages of each method are discussed in details in this paper.
Deakin, A., Cade, E., Williams, R., & Greenwood, D. (2006). Structured patient education: the Diabetes X‐PERT Programme makes a difference. Diabetic Medicine, 23(9), 944-954.
Muma, D., & Lyons, B. (2011). Patient education: a practical approach. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Schifferdecker, E., & Reed, V. (2009). Using mixed methods research in medical education: basic guidelines for researchers. Medical Education, 43(7), 637-644.