One of the most important aspects of dealing with a patient’s medical condition is to be able to provide effective education to the patient. The US Department of Health and Human Services observes that urological diseases have persistently bedeviled many Americans, with medical conditions ranging from kidney stones and prostate cancer, to vaginal prolapse among women. All of these ailments cause pain, lifestyle limitations and financial costs to the affected individuals. Some of them, such as prostate cancer, can result in sterility if not addressed adequately. Accordingly, the significance of providing effective patient education as a way of tackling diseases cannot be overemphasized.
What the Experts Recommend
Medical specialists and practitioners have a key role to play in educating patients with urological conditions. To achieve this objective, they must have certain key points in mind:
1. Take advantage of technology.
Developments in medical technology have made it possible to educate patients more effectively. Health care institutions can easily access educational materials, customize them to meet individual needs and let patients review the material on their own. The medical expert can then answer any questions that the patient may have after reading the materials. The result is a better use of time during office visits.
2. Understand how each patient learns best.
Medical practitioners should keep in mind that different patients have various modes by which they learn best. Some may learn by reading printed material or watching films, while others retain information better when taken through the process step by step. Offering patients various ways of learning about their condition and treatment helps ensure that each patient’s learning needs are met effectively.
3. Involve family members.
Family members play a vital role in taking care of a patient and ensuring that instructions are followed. Some patients may not adequately remember to follow the instructions given by their care providers. Contravention of such instructions would interfere with the healing process. To minimize the chances of relevant instructions being overlooked by patients, it is helpful to involve family members and caregivers.
4. Let the patient’s interest guide the process.
Some patients may want to know every detail of their condition, whereas others just want a checklist of dos and don’ts. In all cases, the medical practitioner should determine whether there is sufficient interested in order to avoid giving too many instructions that overwhelm that patient and will never be followed.