As a nurse, there are many opportunities to teach patients and their families through effective speaking. How well I teach patients about wound care and management can have a direct impact on their quality of health. Wound care has many different aspects. My responsibility is to teach and demonstrate the proper procedures to help patients improve their quality of life. This involves teaching and speaking in small groups, which usually includes not only the patient but also members of his/her family. It is very important to make sure that the patient thoroughly understands the subject and can demonstrate the desired procedure back to me. Through my various teaching experiences, I have come to understand the importance of visual and vocal aspects in speech, active listening, and speech content. Visual and Vocal Aspects of Speech
It is important to remember that how material regarding wound care is presented can be just as important as the material being presented. The physical delivery and verbal delivery help the patient to learn and understand the importance of wound care and management. Variation throughout the speech is necessary to create an interesting and effective presentation. Concrete Experience
In my teaching experiences, I am teaching the patient and at least one member of his/her family. My job is to show the importance of performing the desired procedure properly to help improve the patient's quality of life. I must show through my words and actions that I am knowledgeable and confident in the material and skills I want the patient to learn and perform. When teaching, I prefer to sit at the same level as my patient and their family. It is also easier for me to demonstrate a technique and have the patient or family member demonstrate it back to me. Posture can make a big difference in teaching. I maintain a posture that is professional and shows confidence in what I am teaching. I stand or sit upright, but not too straight. I do not slouch or slump. I also use gestures to help emphasis key points and to demonstrate important techniques. I keep my gestures professional and do not make gestures that may be considered playful or derogatory. Eye contact is a key element to use when trying to teach someone. It helps me to judge if they understand the material I am teaching. It is also important for me to keep my facial expressions neutral and friendly. The patient and his/her family need to understand the importance of the material being presented to them. Positive reinforcement can help to build confidence about material being learned.
It is also necessary for me to place verbal emphasis on key points. Not only the tone of my voice is important, but also the rate and volume also have a great impact on helping patients learn. I make sure that I speak at an even rate and slow down to help emphasis key points. I make sure that I am not speaking too fast. A consistent rate helps to hold the attention of the patient. To emphasis key points, I also either speak a little louder or repeat the point several times. This helps the patient know that these are key issues to remember. I will also have the patient or his/her family explain the key points back to me. That way I can make sure they see things the way I am trying to explain them. It also helps to reinforce that they understand the concept and will be able to perform the procedure on their own. A positive attitude helps the learning process flow more smoothly. This along with positive reinforcement helps the patient to gain more confidence in handling their health problems. Reflective Observations
Teaching can be an anxious time due to the environment and the fact that a major health even has recently occurred. Patients and their families seem to respond better when I am sitting at eye level with them and proceed slowly. This gives the patient and his/her family a chance to let the material I am teaching sink in. It...