Patient Education is a process of empowering patients to be the in charge of their own wellbeing and be more independent concerning their health management (Yeh, Wu, & Tung, 2018). It is one of the most important responsibilities of the nurses to educate the patient properly to prevent hospital readmission, improve patient’s confidence in health care and avoid relapses. Moreover, nurses’ ability to instruct efficiently can optimize patient’s learning, skills, capacities of self-care, and capabilities to make informed choices (Falvo, 2011). However, there are many key challenges of implementing patient education effectively. One of the challenges is that, the patient’s capability, capacity and willingness to learn and understand. According to Falvo (2011) “patient characteristics that may influence learning include desire to learn, prior experiences, health literacy, physiological issues, age, culture, ethnicity, language, and psychosocial factors”. London (2016) suggested “to use knowledge about patient characteristics to individualize teaching”.
In order to address this problem, nurses should begin by knowing their patient individually. They should assess the knowledge of the patient by asking what they know before and what they have to know, and to use an open-ended question to gather more information from them. “Teach-back method” is also applicable to know if the patient understands the health teaching that was being taught. Furthermore, nurses should use a language that their patients can relate to and avoid medical terms especially if their patients have no medical background. Aside from that, they should talk in a calm and clear voice. Another barrier in giving patient education is insufficient time and staff. According to Westbrook, Duffield, & Creswick (2011), “hospital nurses spend approximately 37% of their time with patients and of that time only 17% is spent in professional communication that may or may not include patient teaching”. Nurses have a limited amount of time providing patient education due to understaffing and heavy workload, they are more focused on taking care of sick patients and prioritizing the critical one. Hence, the time management is very essential in hospital settings. Nurses must include health teaching in their daily care to save time from discharge instruction. They must handover to their colleagues the teaching activities and learning needs that has given so that there is no repetition and inconsistency in health teaching.
In conclusion, patient education is very important and plays important role especially in the decision-making in regard to their care. As what Kornburger, Gibson, Sandowski, Maletta, & Klingbeil (2013) said “if patient do not understand what is being taught, the risk of complication and readmission can increase”.