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As a nurse our responsibility is to make sure our patients understand what we educate them on because that causes better outcomes for the patients we care for. Strategies we can implement besides learning styles is looking at the patient has a whole. Nurses should like and consider the emotional, the physical, the spiritual and how willing they are to learn and if encouragement is needed to complete the plan of care or help the patient understand what they need to know prior to discharge. Another strategy is starting to teach the patient as soon as they are admitted because now and especially in a hospital the patient is admitted and then discharged in such a short time that we don’t get to teach as much as we should anymore. I personally feel behavioral objectives should consistently be used because anytime health promotion/teaching is part of the plan of care then this typically is going to lean towards the changing the of unhealthy habits or even adding in healthier habits.
The nurse has many roles and responsibility during a shift. The nurse is a friend, a confidant, an advocator; but one of the most important roles is a health educator. Nurses providing quality, individualized, education can increase patient outcomes (Smith & Zsohar, 2013). The teaching is not just for the patients but their caregivers as well. The patient’s caregivers can be family, friends, or hired personal staff. Before teaching should begin, it is important for the nurse to address any language or cultural barriers that could affect the patient’s ability to learn. It is vital to ensure the patient and caregivers have their seeing or listening devices on prior to delivering education. From personal experience, it is quite frustrating to teach the patient and caregivers only to find out their hearing aids were not in place. The formulate an individualized care plan, the nurse needs to assess the patient’s current knowledge about the disease and address any misconceptions the patient may have about their disease (Ashton & Oermann, 2014). This can be done by asking open-ended questions about their current knowledge of their medications or the knowledge they have about their disease process. The patient may not believe something is happening internally because he/she is not physically injured or they do not physically feel anything wrong. Patient’s may know the disease process but not the repercussions of not following their care plan. For example, a Type 1 diabetic not monitoring their blood sugar daily. The patient may not be aware of what can happen systemically. Assessing the patient’s willingness to learn. The Type 1 diabetic could be a teenage girl with apprehensions about monitoring blood sugar at school. The apprehension can affect the patient’s optimal outcome. The nurse will have to modify the approach when teaching this patient. Behavioral objectives would need to be utilized for this patient due to the at-risk behaviors which could lead to deteriorating health condition