Venues supplement orientation instruction

Staff learn with in-services, modules, tip sheets

While a two-hour orientation on patient education provides a good introduction to resources and teaching methods at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, it is difficult to provide all the details in such a short time, says Brian M. French, RN, BC, manager of The Maxwell & Eleanor Blum Patient and Family Learning Center and The Knight Simulation Program at the hospital.

Therefore, the patient education nurse from the learning center conducts unit-based in-services upon request and one-on-one coaching, or small group sessions on how to find information on the hospital's intranet.

Two modules for Healthstream, the hospital's online learning management system, are being developed. One is on teach/show-back technique, and the second covers online resources. Because Massachusetts General Hospital has a decentralized patient education system, resources are not found in one online location but in several places.

When the patient education committee was planning the curriculum for the orientation, it performed a brief survey of staff. It found there was a lack of awareness of available resources for teaching patients, and even when staff members were aware of the resources, they lacked the ability to find them online, says French.

A sub-group of the patient education committee creates tip sheets or articles for the Patient Care Services' newsletter as well. One tip sheet was on teach-back.

"We try to do multiple things to raise awareness, help staff know the resources better, and improve their teaching technique," says French.