In every aspect regarding patient care, especially with medications, patient education is a must.
The patient should be educated on the medications they are taking before discharge. The instructions given should start with the first dose of the medication.
The patient will also need continued reinforcement education. The reason for ongoing education is that when patients are in the hospital, they may not remember the instruction given if it was done so in just one sitting due to the stress being in the hospital, lack of sleep, stress over their diagnosis, to name a few. The patient will need continued education. If the patient is in another setting, such as a clinic or home health, they will need additional education.
In providing education to the patient, the nurse needs to present the teaching in a format that the patient can easily understand and that is best for them. All patients do not learn the best from written instructions as some learn better from verbal instructions, others from written, and some from the video format. The nurse needs to decide which design is better suited to the patient before teaching. Patient teaching, at a minimum, should include the medication name, the dose, the intended effect of the medication, significant side effects, and any dietary restrictions that come with the medication.