Nurses educate their patients to promote and improve their health as individuals and the entire community at large. Patient education provides the patients with the knowledge and skills to enable them to take care of their health, and to improve their wellbeing. Patient education is also responsible for enhancing the patient’s ability to take care of themselves and to improve their confidence(Cramer, 2009).
The effectiveness of patient education and how well the patient receives the intended knowledge is dependent on how good the communication skills of the nurse are. Good communication skills promote the patients’ understanding and hence the needed intervention to help them in the recovery process is attained(Kreofsky, 2013). The paper looks into the impact of patient education on a patient, in this case, an elderly one. I interviewed a 78-year-old woman, Nelly, on her experiences from patient education.
Nelly’s physical appearance shows that she has body weight problems, and her walking shows impairment in her legs. She was recently diagnosed with hypertension and was found to be obese. She also has high blood sugar and alleviated lipid levels.
The interview started with a question inquiring whether she was given instructions describing how she could take care of her health after she left the hospital. She responded that she was guided with instructions on medical schedules and the importance of following the instructed treatment. The dosage instructions were clear on the medication package. She said that the instructions were clear and easy to remember since they were written and still given to her verbally. Rather than instructions on her medication, the nurse also gave her advise on how to keep physically fit. She was advised to engage in physical activities such as long walks. She was also instructed to maintain a healthy diet focusing on fruits and vegetables and reducing the amount of junk foods consumed. She easily remembers almost everything the nurse instructed her to do since it was clear as she gave her verbal instructions and she compiled the written instructions properly.
I then asked Nelly who assisted her at home after she left the hospital. Nelly lived with her family hence receiving care was not an issue. Her eldest daughter was the most concerned about her health and always made sure to remind her of everything that she was supposed to do during the day. She offered psychological support and kept nagging her to engage in physical activities. The rest of the family took care of her too but more on a request basis. They were ready to help but they often helped after the eldest daughter gave instructions or after she requested the help herself. Her grand daughter who liked listening to her stories was the one who kept her active by walking with her as she listened to them.
The last question asked about her knowledge concerning any assistance service that could help her stay at her home as she got older. She responded stating that she had gotten into making orders for food deliveries and getting herself a personal nurse. She had been ordering most of the food in the family since the other people whom she live with are employed and they have a tight schedule. She had engaged herself with a nurse who would check up on her regularly from her home. She was not troubled on means of transport since she had stopped driving ten year ago after a tragic incident. She had a chauffeur who rarely disappointed her transport needs, even the urgent ones. She seemed properly prepared for her older life and was properly educated on her medical issues.
Older adult patients are associated with a large variety of illnesses and they require all the efforts they can afford to get better. They must receive proper patient education to ensure they know how to take care of their health. Patient education helps a patient to understand how to best take care of their health and why they should do it. Patients require people to take care of them when they go back home. The elderly requires assistance services to help them stay at home as they get older.
Cramer, J.A.(2009). Enhancing patient compliance in the elderly. Role of packaging aids and monitoring. Drugs Aging, 12, 7–15
Kreofsky, L. (2013). Engaging staff to engage patients: patient engagement is essential for meaningful use, and studies show it is becoming more definitively linked to consumer satisfaction. Health Management and Technology, 34(2), 12–13.