Patient Education Materials Needed

  1. I have been given the responsibility of maintaining a very large, glass enclosed bulletin boardin the waiting room of our 18-bed med-surg/coronary ICU. My boss wants me to have a "monthly topic" to help educate visitors as they wait to see patients. She suggested things like "what is a ventilator" and information on restraints, etc.

    Does anyone have any links where I can find information that I can copy for the board? Everytime I do a web search on 'patient education' or 'nursing education' I get about 2 million results on 'patients' or 'nursing' or 'education' but NOT 'nursing education directed toward patients.' You know what I mean .

    Thanks for your help!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   nursejanedough
    Please find something in the newspaper that talks about the nursing shortage. (Especially in Long Term Care, Nursing Homes)
    It seems Emergency Rooms get the most coverage because I guess more people have been exposed to the shortage in ER. There is already a major shortage in LTC, Long Term Care, Nursing Homes. As an RN, I quit working in the nursing homes because it was too exhausting/dangerous to work. I love working with the older people, grandmas and grandpas. I absolutely loved it. Even the very confused (Alzheimer's). But when I would show up for work and I had 15 diapers to change because some of the nursing assistants didn't show up for work (they were exhausted too) and then I had to spoon feed 10-15 residents and their medications were way behind (some diabetic) and I was already potentially liable for a lawsuit, it was exhausting and scary. Most people don't know RN's can get sued for not giving Grandma their medication on time. People have no idea what's going on. Some family members have no idea what's going on in nursing homes and a lot of loving family members are in major denial. (Take time off work, and really check it out). After all, they have their own lives to lead right now, etc. They want to think their loved ones are getting great care (so they won't feel guilty or have a lot of responsibilty). But most of them really know what is going on.
  4. by   MollyJ
    There are many patient education sites on the net, but usually they target wellness topics such as cholesterol, hypertension, smoking, women's wellness issues (breast exams, etc). You might try www.about.com and they will lead you to links, but you will need to put in the wellness topics you want for your search term.
    I would be conservative about down loading computer generated docs and putting them on the BB because they will be very fine print and not very exciting to look at visually.
    You might check web sites for the American Lung Association, the professional organization for respiratory therapists about ventilator based information. Don't forget to network with your RT's for topics like the vent. Perhaps you could put up a card with a picture of a vent and answer two or three "FAQ's" about the vent. (Why does it alarm like that when my family member is trying to sleep? Does it hurt to suction someone? What does a ventilator do?) Generate your FAQ's on 8 1/2x 11 pieces of paper oriented horizontally. You can hang them up horizonatally or slightly on the slant for visual interest--play with it. Do it in a publisher like program and, if you're a scrap booker, use bright pieces of paper behind your graphics and your FAQ sheets to make it visually exciting to look at. Don't try to give them everything they'd ever want to know about vents. Two or three big ideas is all you want. Put a little card on the bottom that says, "If you have questions pertaining to your family member, please ask your nurse."

    Dietary issues provide wonderful fodder. Many patients in a CCU will be being told for the first time that they need to be on a low NA or low fat diet and dietary departments get TONS of visuals to aid in those ideas.

    Plan your ideas at least 6 months to the whole year in advance so that you can start collecting visuals. Know that February is heart month. Don't forget to blend in those old school themes. March is St. Patrick's day, etc. Fall--October through December--is when we promote influenza vaccine and that is something that most chronically ill people need. Look at your population and aim your bb toward them. Seniors are very health conscious and they love to learn about health. Topics can include:
    diet, low fat, low na
    atrial fibrillation
    exercise (low intensity--get some info from the hospital PT) Don't forget a disclaimer to check with your doc before starting a regimen
    stress reduction/relaxation
    benefits of walking
    arthritis
    cholesterol/lipids
    cancers--prostate, breast
    influenza vaccine
    restraints
    the ventilator
    feature your hospital's cardiac rehab program
    spirituality and wellness
    your hospital's chaplaincy program
    depression
    sexuality after MI

    Get info from the "experts" in your hospital. This is great networking and you get to learn something while you do a BB.

    Sounds like a fun assignment.
  5. by   essarge
    I would suggest that when you are "surfing" the web, be topic specific, ie. Alzheimers disease, perhaps a "Did You Know" section with little known health trivia things that are kind of fun to read, maybe even a section that has to do with things that families can do together while visiting ie. "exercise with the family" (specific to the age of your residents). I'd try to have fun with it...there are too many serious things that people have to deal with as it is!!

    Oh, and I'd stay away from anything that has to do with legal issues....might open a can of worms that you don't want!!
  6. by   Zee_RN
    Thanks for your input! Nursejanedough, I seriously doubt my nurse manager would allow me post anything in the visitors' waiting room about the nursing shortage . Although I've been tempted many times...

    Molly..I like your idea of planning 6 months in advance..takes some of the pressure off month-to-month. I am planning on "The Ventilator" for my first topic and have drawn up a rough draft which has a patient's daughter talking on the phone to another family member..."Dad's been put on a ventilator..." etc., giving a little scenario and answering common questions.

    Essarge, I searched the web for ventilator yesterday...you wouldn't believe the "roofing" sites I was given . Ah well! Found some good ones too but all were healthcare professional-specific. And I'm definitely staying away from anything legal! Yikes! My manager wants to review everything before it' posted--she has a good idea for things that might cause trouble.

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