Teaching Nurses to Teach: Peritoneal Dialysis Training

Where do I begin?
Planning to teach begins with identifying a goal. What do you want patients to do after the instruction that they couldn’t do before the instruction? Regardless of whether your patients perform their dialysis manually or connect to a machine, you need to decide your overall goals or outcomes in teaching patients peritoneal dialysis. The training goals of our program is to have patients:

1. Safely demonstrate procedures associated with peritoneal dialysis.
2. Recognize a contamination and take appropriate action.

How do I make broad goals manageable?
Performing peritoneal dialysis involves a combination of knowledge and physical skills. The above goals can be broken down into topics and subtopics (i.e., symptoms of peritonitis, making a sterile connection, etc.). Each topic represents the information that is important for the patient to understand, or the skills that a patient must demonstrate. When you identify topics that are involved in meeting an overall goal, you are organizing the instruction in a way that makes it easier for patients to remember. You also are identifying the skills that patients must demonstrate in order to assure you that they are independent in their dialysis care.

Here is a listing of lesson topics that the nurses in our clinic have developed for teaching their patients.

Overview to Peritoneal Dialysis
Aseptic Technique
Steps in the Exchange Procedures
Emergency Measures for Contamination
Exit Site Care
Ordering Supplies
Record Keeping
Clinic/Home Visits
Holiday Protocols

When you begin planning your own program, you will develop your own list of topics and subtopics which you will use to plan lessons.

How do I organize the lessons?
Every lesson should connect to other lessons in a logical way, allowing patients to learn, step by step, the information and skills needed in order to perform their dialysis independently. Some lessons must be taught before others. For example, you would not begin a lesson on troubleshooting with equipment if your patients could not identify the parts of the equipment or demonstrate how to use the equipment correctly. The information that you present to your patients must be logical, otherwise they could become confused as to what they are expected to do and have a harder time remembering what they already learned.


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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
Program Planning
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