I believe Kathy’s point that education occurs not only BEFORE a patient starts treatment, but DURING, as well as ONGOING education is so critical. We all know that patients hear about 20% of what they are informed…so repeat education is key.
When I see patients, I also try to include “practical” information as well.
For example, in the winter here in New England- it snows! So- including information about what they should do if they do not feel they can safely get to our facility, or, if a snow storm shuts the road down. I also include information about drinking alcohol, what happens if they have vacation plans (do they need to cancel), about whether or not they can drink alcohol. Safe sexual practices are also discussed if appropriate.
We all know just how much there is to cover with cancer treatment education and clearly this can not be provided in one session. Having a variety of educational materials available is ideal to reach ALL types of learners: verbal information, written, and, if possible, various media related educational tools. Videos, DVDs, on-line, etc.
If anyone has examples of tools, or resources they use, we would love to hear about them!!! The more resources we can provide to our patients (and to each other) – the better.