Toolkit To Educate and Engage Residents and Family Members

Overview of the Toolkit

Why Should a Nursing Home Use This Toolkit?

The Resident and Family Member Education toolkit helps the nursing home (1) encourage an open and respectful dialogue between nurses and prescribing clinicians and residents and their family members, and (2) help residents and family members participate in their care.

What Is Included In the Toolkit?

The toolkit provides ways to educate residents and their family members about antibiotics and the risks involved with taking antibiotics, including Clostridium difficile (or C. diff) and antibiotic resistance. The toolkit includes the following tools:

  • Talking With Residents provides talking points for nurses to educate residents about antibiotics and encourage them to ask questions or report symptoms (tool 1). This tool is provided in both a: 
    • Long version (PDF) (Word) and a
    • Short checklist version. (PDF) (Word)
  • Talking With Residents’ Family Members provides similar talking points for nurses to use when talking to residents’ family members (tool 2). This tool is provided in both a:
    • Long version (PDF) (Word) and a
    • Short checklist version. (PDF) (Word)
  • Resident Information Sheet: Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria provides a template for informing and educating residents who test positive for a resistant organism (tool 3). (PDF) (Word)
  • Be Smart About Antibiotics is a handout that can be given to residents to provide basic information about antibiotics and their risks (tool 4). (PDF)
  • Suspect a Urinary Tract Infection?How Taking Antibiotics When You Don't Need Them Can Cause More Harm Than Good is a handout that can be given to residents to  explain the risks associated with unnecessary antibiotic use to treat a suspected UTI (tool 5). (PDF)
  • Managing Resident and Family Expectations provides a template to discuss the tools at a staff meeting (tool 6).
    (PDF) (Word)

How Do I Implement the Educate and Engage Toolkit?

Implementing the toolkit takes four steps:

  1. Identify champions for the nursing staff. The champions should be asked to make sure that all new nursing staff members receive training and support in the use of the tools. The champions should also regularly promote the use of the tools and check in with nursing staff to see how well it is working. At least two champions should be identified to ensure continued leadership through periods of staff change.
  2. Convene a meeting of the nursing staff and any onsite prescribing clinicians to discuss the tools. In this meeting, nurses and onsite prescribing clinicians should be encouraged to discuss how they would use the talking points in these tools with different types of residents or in different situations. In addition, the meeting should cover what helps to support discussions between residents and staff and what might be barriers (tool 5).
  3. Provide copies of the tools. Having the talking points (tools 1 and 2) in hand will help nurses remember all the information that needs to be covered in their conversations with residents or family members. The talking points can be tailored to suit individual conversations with residents and family members. The checklist versions of each tool contain less detail, and may be more convenient for nurses to carry with them as a reminder of topics to cover. The tools can also be quickly adapted by removing the preliminary instructions at the top of page one, and provided as handouts to residents or family members if desired. Nurses could also provide residents or family members with a copy of the Be Smart About Antibiotics handout (tool 4), which is even shorter and simpler. If residents or family members are particularly concerned about a UTI, the nurse could provide them with a copy of Suspect a Urinary Tract Infection? (tool 5) to help answer questions
  4. Communicate with residents and families about antibiotic-resistant infections. When a resident has tested positive for drug-resistant bacteria, the Resident Information Sheet (tool 3) can be used to ensure that residents and their family members are informed and get needed information about this type of bacteria.

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Page last reviewed October 2016
Page originally created October 2016
Internet Citation: Toolkit To Educate and Engage Residents and Family Members. Content last reviewed October 2016. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/nhguide/toolkits/educate-and-engage/index.html