Education for the Patient

Jane Han
I think patients learn best when they are ready to learn. For example, they may be concerned about diet restrictions or possible side effects of a colonoscopy procedure. Inherently, I would first want to discuss the process of the procedure and address diet restriction or side effects afterwards. But I think addressing their concerns first before going over the procedure could better serve patient teaching and learning. A patient’s concern can contribute to feeling anxious. I think that once I address the concerns of the patient, they may be more open to learning. For example, in this scenario, I would first let them know that they will be on a clear liquid diet (fat free broth, vegetable juice, pulp free juice) starting the noon 1 day before, then review possible side effects like bloating and cramping, minor bleeding and unlikely, but possible perforation to the colon wall. Once they indicate that they are ready for further learning, I would then teach them what the procedure is and what to expect during the procedure, the reason for the procedure and what would happen if any abnormalities were indicated. I would share with them colon cleansing procedures like bowel preps and also let them know whether any of their current medications may be held or could still be taken. Mostly, I would assess the patient’s readiness to learn and use verbal communication for patient teaching.

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