How Healthcare Professionals Can Educate Patients In Various Specialties

Here's how healthcare professionals can education patients so they better understand their treatment, care, and prevention options in various specialties

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March 4, 2019
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Educated patients are far easier to deal with as they understand the seriousness of their problems and want to try to help themselves. Those that are in denial about a condition or disease can find themselves in worse shape due to lack of information or lack of attention paid to the doctor or healthcare professional. Pamphlets have been used for quite some time as an option in how to help educate patients but one thing a pamphlet cannot do is answer a customized question. While help conditions have the same symptoms, the severity of the condition could be far different in one person thus impacting what they should and should not do. The following are tips for healthcare professionals to help educate patients in certain areas of expertise.

Dental Health

People know what they should be doing when it comes to their teeth. Brushing and flossing is common knowledge but people still refuse to do them on a regular basis, especially flossing. Drug use also impacts dental health immensely with “meth mouth” being quite a regular occurrence in those that abuse methamphetamine. Pictures are what need to be shown of gum diseases as well as what happens on certain types of drugs. If people are early enough in their addiction, they might stop due to fear of looking like one of the subjects in the photographs. Outlining how much certain procedures will cost can also be a huge help as a few extra minutes a week brushing your teeth is far better than a root canal. Do provide this information in pamphlets as well as on the website where you can go in-depth on the blog about certain information about dental health.

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Nutrition

Nutrition information should be present in every single type of healthcare office as diet impacts every facet of your life. This can impact mental, physical, dental, and even neurological health. The excuse of not knowing how to eat a balanced diet is far-fetched at this point with all of the information that is easily available on the internet. Nutrition does vary by goal, age, and gender which should be stressed in all literature as there is not a one diet fixes all as everyone is different.

Fitness/Heart Health

Those that specialize in fitness and heart health understand that certain supplements like fish oil or BCAA powders and pills can be a huge help. Certain supplements can help lower blood pressure as well as allow the muscles to recover in a timely fashion. Heart health is something that is far too important to go on uninformed so make patients read things while waiting and answer questions honestly. People tend to lie about how often they eat fast food or drink alcohol. Educate the patients by letting them know their wellness plan depends on the truth and you are not going to judge them.

Mental Health

There is not enough mental health awareness in today’s society as people only seem to talk about it when there is a tragedy like a suicide or mass shooting. Mental health professionals should commonly publish things on the blogs of their website that have checklists for specific mental health issues. What many people do not realize is that by checking a few symptoms and not all of them that they could still be suffering immensely. Mental health checklists being sent out periodically to current patients can be a huge help as well. When one problem seems to be solved this does not mean another mental issue will not begin.

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Rehab and Prehab

Injuries can be prevented in the cases of overuse injuries or hurting yourself from using poor form while lifting weights. Take the time to do preventative exercises if participating in a sport like swimming or baseball pitching as these can be stressful on the rotator cuff. Those involved with sports related injuries can drum up business as well as educate athletes on exercises that can prevent their injuries. Holding a 30 minute question and answer session as a physical therapist with a swim team can reduce injuries as well as be a person to go to if an injury still does occur. Be present in the athletic community and people will continually use your healthcare services whether it is injury recovery or prevention.

Final Thoughts

Educate people on health and they can turn into far easier to work with patients. Never underestimate how an informed patient can help give input on their path to recovery that is constructive.