Tips on Educating Patients About Their Procedures

Patient instruction before a procedure is crucial for the patient and the healthcare provider. Below, we offer some helpful tips on educating patients about their procedures to ensure they fully understand the information they must know.

Consider Communication Barriers

First, you should consider communication problems between yourself and your patient due to language, culture, and physical or cognitive impairments. If the patient is visually impaired, you’ll have to communicate more verbally; if the patient is cognitively impaired, you’ll likely have to be more persistent with your instruction. Having a plan that considers the patient’s communication barriers will help you start on the right track.

Keep It Simple

A good first tip when educating patients about their procedures is to keep it simple. You obviously want to be thorough in the instructions, but you don’t want to overload and confuse the patient. Remember that while the terminology and abbreviations of medical lingo may be second nature to you, they’re likely unknown to the patient. The patient is also likely stressed from being in the hospital and having an upcoming procedure. Therefore, use simple terms and words to get the message across and give details in bite-sized pieces.

Include Family and Friends

If the patient has family and friends with them, include them in the instruction and health care management. If the patient cannot care for themselves due to ailments, close family and friends will need instruction for health care management. They can also offer questions the patient may not think of at the moment, and they know how the patient learns best and can help explain the information in a way they would best understand.

Use the Teach-Back Method

The teach-back method involves asking the patient to explain what you just told them back to you. This method ensures that the patient understands your instructions and helps them retain information. Remind the patient that you’re not testing them; you’re confirming they fully understand their procedure.

Provide Instruction and Paperwork in Their Native Language

If the patient doesn’t speak English, or if English is their second language, provide some instruction or paperwork about the procedure in their native language. Also, ask a family member or friend to translate for you and provide follow-up literature in their language to ensure they best understand the procedure.

Stay Protected With Baxter & Associates

Patient education is critical for healthcare providers, as it ensures that the patient can give informed consent and that the provider can avoid a malpractice claim of negligence. As a medical malpractice insurance agency, we provide malpractice insurance for all healthcare providers, from nurses and physicians to chiropractors and dentists and more. Contact our staff or complete a form online for a quote for our services today.