Nurses are one of the most pivotal elements of the healthcare sector. They spend the most time with patients by keeping track of their medical condition and helping to recover. Undoubtedly, doctors play a key role in delivering patient care, but nurses have their own significance in the healthcare landscape. They keep doctors informed about the condition of patients and also assist in diagnosis by closely monitoring patients. Nurses constantly stay in touch with patients, so it becomes easier for them to educate them. Patients remain in healthcare facilities for a specific time, so they need health awareness to take care of themselves later.
The pandemic of COVID-19 displayed the capabilities of nurses who played a key role in spreading awareness among people. From maintaining social distance to following the right hygiene practices, they guided people on how they could remain safe during this pandemic. Creating awareness among people plays a key role in improving patient outcomes. It allows patients to deal with emergencies such as dressing wounds or using medical equipment without relying on medical assistance. Without further ado, let’s find out which strategies nurses can follow to educate patients.
1. Nurses have to be Highly Qualified
Nurses need to earn a high-level degree to educate patients. Qualified and competent nurses can add better value to the knowledge of patients. Therefore, all nurses should opt for relevant qualifications as per their nursing discipline. You can also leverage nursing bridge programs to earn a bachelor’s level degree. For example, as an RN (registered nurse), you can consider RN to BSN degree. It will bridge the gap between ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) and BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). Similarly, you can consider bridge programs as per your area of interest.
Highly qualified nurses have vast knowledge, so they can significantly impact the patient’s education. They know the dos and don’ts of patient care; hence, they can better guide patients about taking necessary health precautions.
2. Consider the Patients’ Native Language
In order to improve the health literacy rate, nurses need to deliver the information to patients in their native language. Patients come from different cultural and social backgrounds to healthcare centers. They may have good comprehension skills, but they need guidelines in their native language to make informed decisions.
Due to technological advancements, the language barrier is no longer an issue. So, nurses can leverage different applications to translate the information into a language that patients can understand easily. Google translate is the best example in this regard which is also easy to use. You should keep the information simple and avoid going into the details of complex medical procedures.
3. Identify the Key Areas of Improvement
You have to educate patients by addressing their health issues. By identifying the areas where the patient is struggling, such as breathing or nausea, nurses can create a health plan. It will help patients remember the details and learn new concepts to take care of themselves efficiently.
Also, nurses can create an instruction booklet for patients, so patients can refer to it anytime in case they do not remember the healthcare guidelines. To make things easier, nurses can provide contact numbers to patients so that they can share their queries and concerns anytime. It would be helpful if family members of the patients could also stay in touch with the nurses to re-educate them if needed.
4. Encourage Continuous Health Education
Nurses have to emphasize continuous health education to bring positive changes in patients’ lifestyles. It will help promote healthy habits, such as quitting tobacco or alcohol and consuming a healthy diet. Such bad habits can be more harmful to people dealing with different health issues. So, through continuous education, nurses can make patients understand how such behaviors can affect their overall health.
Nurses know exactly the root cause of the problem that patients are dealing with. They spend the most time with patients, so they get the chance to observe their habits and other health behaviors. It allows nurses to create a proper plan as per the patient’s needs and overcome health issues.
5. Get Rid of Nurse Shortage
It is important to understand that the nurse-to-patient ratio directly impacts patient education and outcomes. If there are fewer nurses and more patients, it will be difficult for nurses to provide quality care and address their issues.
Therefore, healthcare organizations have to fulfill their responsibilities in this regard. They have to take measures to eliminate the shortage of nurses to improve the patient experience.
6. Leverage Telehealth Opportunities
Due to technological advancements, patient education has become much easier for nurses. Especially during the pandemic, nurses assist patients through telehealth services. Therefore, nurses should make the best out of current technological options such as telehealth to conveniently educate patients.
All nurses should know that telehealth has some limitations, such as communication through video calls. It may not give a clear idea to nurses about the health of the patients. Therefore, nurses have to get comfortable with the current technology and should work to improve their telehealth communication skills. Telehealth improves access to patient education through health screenings and enables nurses to provide necessary guidelines to patients about their medications.
7. Create Educational Content in Different Forms
Every person learns differently, so nurses need to create content that is easily understandable for everyone. You can create content in a visual form, such as videos, flow charts, or diagrams. Nothing is better than visual learning as it will give a clear idea to the patients regarding health practices.
Also, nurses can consider the auditory learning method and create content in the form of recorded audio. Some individuals may find it easier to listen to the recordings and follow the guidelines. Hence, nurses have to keep these factors in mind.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare sector, playing a key role in delivering quality patient care. So, a huge responsibility lies on their shoulders to spread awareness about healthy practices. Since they are the closest to patients, they make them feel comfortable around them and address the patients’ health concerns. It allows nurses to make health recommendations accordingly and ensure that patients follow guidelines.