Teaching gone wrong

Nurses Education


I have come to realize that just because you know a skill doesn't mean you know how to teach it. This happened to me, in the middle of my teaching I realized I really actually hadn't provided education on this before. My suggestion is to practice what you need to tell the patient even with co workers and prepare yourself for seamless experience for the patient.

Teaching something (anything - dietary guidelines, procedures, math, flying a kite, anything) requires a higher level of understanding than doing it. You must no something forwards and backwards, be able to answer questions you haven't even thought of, and recognize the distinction between an acceptable variation and an error.

Many educational approaches have leveraged this to improve student understanding. In elementary schools, students "turn and talk" and must explain how, for example, they solve a math problem and not merely find the correct answer.

Medicine has really jumped on this by making educating the tier just below you as a job requirement (attending teach senior residents who teach junior residence who teach interns who teach medical students).

People like Stephen Covey have suggested people try to teach another person something they are trying to learn as a sort of test of how well they have actually learned it.

This is a phenominal strategy for nursing since so much of what we do is providing education. Thank you for reminding us all not to take for granted what we know!

Specializes in Public Health, TB.

I used to see nursing students proclaim all the time that they had done "patient teaching" and yet when I would interview that patient they were unable to relate anything that supposedly they had be educated about.

Just talking at someone, without checking their initial level of understanding, preferred method of learning, and not eliciting any level of understanding is not teaching!

Specializes in retired LTC.

It is quite sad that nurses are often put into the "teaching" role when they hve little or no understanding the fundamentals of adult teaching

I liked teaching. But I was one of those who realized I needed exposure to those fundamentals. Was one of the best classes I ever took!!!

That class inflenced me for all the positions I took after.

I would recommend anyone seeking improvement in that teaching role to seek out some course somewhere. Look outside nursing, like programs for school curriculum & developement training or business foundations. Just AUDIT a course, and see how the rest of the world functions.

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