Additional Teaching Tips*
- Use visual aids and illustrations
- Beware of words with multiple meanings
- Avoid acronyms and other new words
- Use idioms carefully
- Provide a health context for numbers and mathematical concepts
- Take a pause
- Be an active listener
- Address quizzical looks
- Create a welcoming and supportive environment
- Draw simple diagrams when they are helpful. Some people learn visually.
- Clarify the meaning of word that may have double meanings, such as stool, gait, discharge, dressing, etc.
- Say or write an acronym like CAT scan or HDL the first time you use it and explain the meaning.
- Ask the patient if he or she is "feeling sad" instead "feeling blue."
- Do not just give test results in numbers, explain what the results mean. Tell the patient if the results are high, low, good, bad, or in the normal range.
- Speak slowly and give the patient time to think and ask questions.
- Encourage the patient to talk and tell his or her story.
- Follow up if the patient's facial expression suggests he or she is confused.
- Provide a private environment to encourage dialogue.
Module 3 addresses additional teaching techniques and teach-back, which is a method for assessing whether the patient really understands what you've been teaching.