Library of valuable resources for PEMs

List of books, web sites, and organizations

Every professional has a library of books and resources that provides insight into his or her specialty, and patient education managers are no exception.

There are many titles that patient education managers (PEMs) keep on their bookshelves, as well as resources provided by organizations dedicated to helping PEMs do their jobs effectively.

Patient Education Management asked several PEMs to recommend a list of helpful books and other resource tools providing aid on such topics as low-literacy patients, preparing written materials, adult learning theory, designing disease management programs, and general information on patient education skills.


Fran London, MS, RN, a health education specialist at The Emily Center, Phoenix (AZ) Children’s Hospital, says the book she uses the most is Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills by Doak, Doak, and Root, published by J.B. Lippincott.

"It gives specific information about how adults learn, how to teach, and how to evaluate understanding, whether or not they have low literacy skills," says London.

For information about designing a disease management program, London reaches for Patient Education: A Practical Approach, written by Kate Lorig and published by Sage Publications.

For general information about patient education skills she refers to Patient Education: Principles & Practice, written by Sally H. Rankin and Karen Duffy Stallings, and published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

London recommends the web site for specifics on how to apply adult learning theory.

Mary Szczepanik, MS, BSN, RN, manager of cancer education, support, and outreach for OhioHealth Cancer Services in Columbus, OH, finds these books very helpful:

  • Handbook of Patient Education by Ann Haggard, published by Aspen Publishers.
  • Client Education: Theory & Practice by Dorothy Babcock and Mary Miller, published by Mosby.
  • No Time to Teach? A Nurse’s Guide to Patient and Family Education by Fran London, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Effective Patient Education: A Guide to Increased Compliance by Donna Falvo, published by Aspen Publishers.

Professional Organizations

In addition to books, organizations are good resources when patient education managers are focusing on a specific disease, says Szczepanik.

"Now that my focus is oncology, I rely heavily on the Oncology Nursing Society for standards, recommendations, texts, and other publications as a resource for patient teaching," she says. "Also, the American Cancer Society, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Association of Community Cancer Centers, and the professional organizations for each disease site and medical specialty are helpful."

The following is a list of oncology organizations recommended by Szczepanik:

• American Cancer Society, based in Atlanta, with local offices throughout the United States. Telephone: (800) 227-2345. Web site:

• Association of Community Cancer Centers, 11600 Nebel St., Suite 201, Rockville, MD 20852-2557. Telephone: (301) 984-9496. Web site:

• National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 500 Old York Road, Suite 250, Jenkintown, PA 19046. Telephone: (215) 690-0300. Web site:

• Oncology Nursing Society, 125 Enterprise Drive, RIDC Park West, Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1214. Telephone: (866) 257-4667 or (412) 859-6100. Web site:

Kathy Ordelt, RN-CPN, CRRN, patient and family education coordinator at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta, finds the videotape Health Literacy — Help Your Patients Understand quite useful. The tape, which deals with clear communications between health care providers and patients,was produced by the American Medical Association. For more information, contact the AMA at 515 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60610. Telephone: (800) 621-8335.

For information on health literacy, Ordelt visits a web site produced by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals ( "It has an amazing amount of information on the problems with health care communications and literacy in the United States," she says.


For more information about resources on patient education, contact:

  • Fran London, MS, RN, Health Education Specialist, The Emily Center, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, 1919 East Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ 85016-7710. Telephone: (602) 546-1408. E-mail:
  • Kathy Ordelt, RN-CPN, CRRN, Patient and Family Education Coordinator, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, 1600 Tullie Circle, Atlanta, GA 30329. Telephone: (404) 785-7839. Fax: (404) 785-7017. E-mail:
  • Mary Szczepanik, MS, BSN, RN, Manager, Cancer Education, Support and Outreach, OhioHealth Cancer Services, 3535 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43214. Telephone: (614) 566-3280. E-mail: