Teaching Nurses to Teach: Peritoneal Dialysis Training

What should I do when patients make mistakes?
As you work with each patient, you become intimately aware of how quickly you can proceed with training. Patients will forget things, they will make mistakes, and they may not place the same value on the need to follow procedures as you would like. Their learning is affected by their own abilities, their level of sickness, their environment, and their past experiences. You will need to respond to their questions and mistakes in ways that can facilitate their learning, alleviate their anxiety, and encourage them to continue.

General Guidelines

  1. Oops - contaminating the transfer setProvide immediate feedback.
    As soon as you see a patient performing a skill incorrectly, gently ask him/her to stop, briefly explain what needs to be done, and ask him/her to resume the procedure at the point right before the error was made. Don’t wait until the entire task was completed before telling a patient what was done incorrectly.

  2. Provide positive and specific directions.
    When giving feedback to a patient, state what you want to be done and how to do it. Avoid negative statements that tell the patient what not to do. Stating instructions positively cues the patient to direct his/her attention to the critical aspects of the task.
          Instead of: “Don’t touch the rim of the cap.”
          Say: “Make sure you fingers stay below that line.”

  3. Provide positive reinforcement for correct behaviors.
    Words of encouragement and reinforcement are also important to patients as they perform skills or answer questions correctly. Simple statements such as “that’s right,” or “good, keep going,” help patients gain confidence.

  4. Video: What contributes to a training programs success?Stay on task.
    Patients often have concerns that are unrelated to the topic at hand but will be addressed further on in the training. Reassure patients that you will address their needs when those topics come up in the training sequence and redirect them back to the task. You may want to consider having a patient write the question down as a reminder for you to answer. This frees that patient to return to the task at hand. Keeping information within context will help a patient remember it later.



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Program Planning
1. Introduction
Lesson Planning
2. Presenting New Information
Procedural Skills
Cognitive Skills
Responding with Feedback & Guidance
Preparing for Training
3. Building in Practice
Lesson Planning - Responding with Feedback & Guidance
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