Nursing & Patient Education: Purpose, Assumptions & Topics

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  • 0:00 Client Education
  • 0:35 Patient Education: Purpose
  • 2:07 Client Education: Assumptions
  • 3:55 Client Education: Topics
  • 5:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, you're going to take a close look at the fundamental and important purposes, assumptions, and topics involved in appropriate client (patient) education.

Client Education

You're about to enter into one of the most respected professions there is. You, as a nurse, will be pretty much Superman or Superwoman. You will be tasked with everything from administering treatments to patients, to cleaning up any messes they make, to acting as a quasi-psychotherapist to a patient when they have no one else to talk to late one night but you. But one of the most important roles you'll have is client or patient education before, during and even after their visit to, or stay at, the hospital.

This lesson covers the purposes of client education, its important assumptions and commonly covered topics.

Patient Education: Purpose

I guess we need to start with the basics here first. Why bother educating a patient? Why not just tell them that the major deity, MD, knows everything? Why not just tell them that they should just sit still, take it like a man and things will be fine? It's laughable to think that way, since I know you know better.

We educate clients for more than one reason. Clients need to know what choices and options they have with respect to a disease process, so they're not stressed out about being in the dark. They need to know what risks are involved in a diagnostic or treatment procedure, so they can make informed decisions about their own care. They should understand what their chances of survival are or the possible consequences of their disease are, so they can face whatever it is they need to with an open, yet well-informed, mind.

Look, it really all boils down to this: one of the most important purposes of patient education is to help patients achieve the best state of health possible through their own actions. Teaching is what gives clients information, that information informs them about health promoting options and behaviors, ergo, lack of that knowledge can hinder a patient's ability to help themselves, self-care, while you, and the doctor, try to help them as well.

Other very important reasons we educate clients is to:

  • Prevent disease or injury
  • Promote wellness
  • Restore their health
  • And help patients cope

Your job as a nurse and teacher is to bridge the gap between what a patient knows and what a patient needs to know.

Client Education: Assumptions

So, now you know what your purpose is with respect to teaching and what the purposes are of client education are in general. Let's move on to several assumptions related to adult learners that you, the nurse, can use in your client education. These are not my assumptions, by the way, but were developed by educator Malcolm Knowles.

Assumption #1: A person's personality progresses in an orderly fashion from a dependent to an independent one.

What does this mean to you? This means that you should plan teaching activities that get a client to participate in the activity along with you, in order to develop their independence. This is important because it gives a client a sense of control, and thus encourages self-care via empowerment.

Assumption #2: A person's readiness to learn is affected by sociocultural factors and their developmental stage.

What does this mean to the nurse educator? Before you develop, or plan, a teaching learning activity, make sure to conduct a thorough psychosocial assessment of the client, one that may reveal to you that you need to take a different approach with them than when compared to another individual.

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