Patient and Family Education
Patient and family education helps patients better participate in their care and make informed care decisions. Many different staff members in the organisation educate patients and families. Education takes place when the patient interacts with his or her physician or the nursing staff. Others provide education while they provide specific services such as rehabilitation or nutrition therapy or prepare the patient for discharge and continuing care. Because various staff members help educate patients and families, it is important that staff members co-ordinate their activities and focus on what patients need to learn.
Effective education thus begins with an assessment of the patient and family's learning needs. This assessment determines not only what needs to be learned, but how the learning can best occur. Learning is most effective when it suits an individual's learning preferences, religious and cultural values, and reading and language skills, and when it occurs at appropriate points in the care process.
Education includes both the knowledge needed during the care process and the knowledge needed after the patient is discharged to another care suite or home. Thus, education can include information on community resources for additional care and required follow-up care and how to access emergency services if necessary.
Effective education in an organisation employs electronic and visual formats and a variety of distance learning and other techniques.
The purpose of Patient Education is to enable the patient / family and care giver to discover what education is necessary to fulfill each patient's needs, and to provide the knowledge and understanding to the patient/family which will facilitate any necessary change in behaviour.