Health Care Illiteracy

Health care illiteracy is a subject near and dear to my heart. Having spent the majority of my career in home health and hospice where I got to spend quality time with patients and their caregivers and loved ones, this issue became very evident in the patient education process. This field affords nurses the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with patients and follow through for a short while to see the effects and hopefully improved outcomes.

We all learn in similar and yet different ways. I know I’m a visual and tactile learner. If I can’t watch and touch and do, it’s almost impossible sometimes. So to hand me a brochure and say read this and learn about your medication or illness is not an effective tool for me!

And when you don’t know enough about something to even begin to ask questions, it’s a very scary feeling and situation to find yourself in.

I was so very pleased and humbled to be asked to write an article of my choosing for the American Nurses Association’s (American Nurse Today) new blog launch. My topic is Non-compliance or Health Care Illiteracy? It posted the week of April 13. There are some great nurse authors contributing to the blog so be sure to check it out every week.

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