Patient Education

  1. I am a student nurse and I have been having some clinical experience in labor and delivery and the post partum unit. From time to time I feel as though some things that are done in the hospital do not make sense. One thing that really bothered me was how fast patients are taught about their health and the babies immediately after delivery. I mean some women had just delivered less than 3 hours ago and they are being taught about their baby and safety issues, their own health and everything else while they are still woozie from the pain meds given during labor. And then you have the father in the room who is still excited and probably isn't listening either. I was just spectating and with all the information the nurse gave the patient, even i had forgotten most of it within 5 minutes. Anyways I guess my question is, why do discharge teaching or even just so much teaching immediately when I would have to say that the patients ability to learn and retain is not at its best. It almost seems like a waste of the nurses time and the patients time because I am sure that they can't remember everything, especially first time parents. If anyone could please answer my question or maybe shed light into how other hospitals do it, I would greatly appreciate it.
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   NurseforPreggers
    Education is important at all stages of L&D, even immediately following delivery. For example, one of the first things I teach my patients after delivery is the importance of fundal massage to reduce post partum bleeding. I let my patient know that I will be massaging their fundus and that they should also. You are correct in saying that the ability to learn may be overshadowed by excitement, fear, fatigue and other emotions at this time. However, it is still important. As with learning in any situation, repitition is key. Some things just can't wait.
  4. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I keep my teaching moments short, but EVERYTIME I am in that room, I am teaching something. No time to waste with short stays (many less than 24 hours)-----got to teach those things sometime. And the time is NOT 5 minutes before discharge. So what you see MAY be what I do----teach from the moment they are admitted. Yes I teach them during labor (if they are receptive and not in too much pain) and each time I enter the room, whether it be to give pain meds, walk them to the toilet, or change linens, unless it's 3 a.m. and they are sleeping, I teach. I see it as having no choice. Also, they absorb MUCH more if you keep it short and in blurbs-----not extended lectures.

    For example, you can give them a lot of info about s/s of infection, say, when you teach peri care or change a diaper---you can discuss cord care and s/s of cord infection. With the first fundal check, you can discuss s/s hemorrhage and teach them to do self-fundal massage. You can discuss baby's unique and amazing anatomy and reflexes and why never, ever to shake an infant---- during the first bath/assessment after birth. You can discuss breast health and care during the first teaching of breastfeeding. See what I mean?

    This is what I have learned, anyhow after nearly 8 years in LDRP nursing. You have so little time to impart so MUCH information.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 22, '05

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