We may sometimes encounter clients who have difficulty in speaking, hearing or seeing and health teaching can be a great challenge to the nurse. To help you convey your teachings effectively to these types of clients, here are some tips that can help you.
Physical or Emotional Disability
- Adapt information to accommodate the person’s cognitive, perceptual, and behavior disabilities. Be into that person’s shoes.
- Give clear written and oral information.
- Highlight significant information for easy reference.
- Avoid medical jargon.
- Use slow, directed, deliberate speech.
- Use sign language if appropriate.
- Position yourself so that the person can see your mouth if lip reading.
- Use telecommunication devices for the hearing impaired (TDD).
- Use written materials and visual aids, such as models and diagrams.
- Use captioned videos and films.
- Teach on the side of the “good ear” if unilateral deafness is present.
- Use optical devices such as a magnifying lens.
- Use proper lighting and proper contrast of colors on materials and equipment.
- Use large-print materials.
- Use Braille materials if appropriate.
- Convert information to auditory and tactile formats.
- Obtain audiotapes and talking books.
- Explain noises associated with procedures, equipment, and treatments.
- Arrange materials in clockwise pattern.
If visual perceptual disorder:
- Explain information verbally, repeat, and reinforce frequently.
- Use audiotapes.
- Encourage learner to verbalize information received.
If auditory perceptual disorder:
- Speak slowly with as few words as possible, repeat, and reinforce frequently.
- Use direct eye contact to focus person on task.
- Use demonstration and return demonstration such as modeling, role playing, and hands-on experiences.
- Use visual tools, written materials, and computers.
- Use all senses as appropriate.
- Use written, audiotape, and computer information.
- Review information and give time to interact and ask questions.
- Use hand gestures and motions.
- Base information and teaching on developmental stage, not person’s age.
- Use nonverbal cues, gestures, signing, and symbols as needed.
- Use simple explanations and concrete examples with repetition.
- Encourage active participation.
- Demonstrate information and have the person perform return demonstrations.