Do we teach the patient??

Nurses General Nursing


Hello. I just finished a prep course for NCLEX and the RN teaching it said when we go through the answer choices we eliminate psychosocial FIRST. She said this includes: pain, sitting, talking, teaching, etc. In one of my prep books, however, it talks about TEACHING, TEACHING, TEACHING the patients. On the last test I took to determine if I was ready for boards, one of the questions had TEACH the patient, and I eliminated it. Turns out it was the RIGHT answer.

So... do we teach the patient?? I always thought we did, but I am getting mixed signals from these RN's teaching these prep courses. Thanks!!!


450 Posts

Specializes in NeuroICU/SICU/MICU.

I think you have to exercise some discretion when eliminating answers. If the question is something like "what would you do first" or "what is your priority", chances are there's an answer for airway, breathing, or circulation, so of course those would come before teaching. But if the question is something like.."The patient expresses some misunderstanding about his medication regimen", teaching would be the first answer (or assessing his knowledge, or something like that). Yes, teaching is usually a low priority intervention for the purposes of the exam, but it is crucial in actual practice. You just have to use those critical thinking and test taking skills you learned throughout your program :loveya: good luck with boards!


784 Posts

Wow! I totally get it! I understand the reasoning behind this now! :yeah:YOU should teach this class! :yelclap: Yippee! I got it!

THANKS AGAIN! :bowingpur :urck:

Daytonite, BSN, RN

1 Article; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

the priority of nursing interventions is as follows:

  • assess/monitor/evaluate/observe (to evaluate the patient's condition)
  • care/perform/provide/assist (performing actual patient care)
  • teach/educate/instruct/supervise (educating patient or caregiver)
  • manage/refer/contact/notify (managing the care on behalf of the patient or caregiver)

teaching is appropriate if the evidence supporting the problem at hand would be best served by teaching or educating the patient. take another look at that practice question that had "teach the patient" as an answer and look very closely at what the stem of the question was asking. you really need to know the nursing process and what goes on in each step of that nursing process because it determines how you are going to act. interventions are treatments for the evidence (signs and symptoms) that prove the existence of the patient's nursing problem. if you did not understand what i just said in the last sentence, you do not understand the nursing process and need to study more about it.

Daytonite, BSN, RN

1 Article; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

you will probably benefit from reading the information on - looking for test taking strategies


1 Post

Specializes in Med Surg, Hospice, HH, Wound Care.

Pretty much agree with some of the other postings. Depends on what the question is asking... If it is asking what is first priority in an assessment - then I don't believe teaching is the answer. However, if you are assessing the person's cognition or ability to comprehend you would have to consider their psychosocial needs, pain etc. to see if they are open to patient teaching and if so, what type of teaching technique you would be able to use. We all teach patients everyday without realizing it---without even realizing it until someone points it out to us. Just relax, don't over read what isn't there. Remember sometimes the easiest answer to a question may be "wash your hands". Hope this helps a little. ;):yeah:

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