My personal philosophy of teaching patients and families is extremely important. First, the cost of healthcare is expensive. Educating our patients can reduce the number of emergency room or office visits. Many ER visits are not necessary and could have been avoided or seen in the doctor´s office with a smaller co-pay then the ER. The goal of education efforts is to improve the quality of care delivered by the nurses. Nurses play a key role in improving the nation´s health and recognize the importance of lifelong learning to keep their knowledge and skills current (DeSilets,1995).
Nurses are faced with issues when it comes to teaching. Time is a big problem because patients are being discharged at a faster rate and it becomes challenging to teach the patient before discharge. In the cancer center where I work first time patients receiving chemotherapy are so overwhelmed and anxious it is a real struggle for them to understand. I try to have family in on the teaching, so we are all on the same page. Next, there is a percentage of the country who have literacy problems. When teaching keep it simple with out big or technical words. Ask them to repeat what was just said. Also writing simple instructions down helps. Emphasizing on staying healthy while receiving chemotherapy is an on-going process, checking labs and accessing the patient weekly. We do have a lot in interaction with our chemotherapy patients as we have five nurses and it is a small center with twelve chairs.
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