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Aspects of Patient Education






     Patient education is a multifaceted process by which physicians, nurses, and other health care providers pass along information to you as a patient. More specifically, two aspects of patient education that your health care providers will focus on include helping you better understand your condition and helping you learn ways to manage your symptoms. But, it's important to remember that patient education is also about your ability to take initiative and improve your knowledge of your condition, symptoms, and treatment options on your own.

Understanding Your Condition

Once you've received a diagnosis regarding a specific condition, disease, or disability, your primary care physician (PCP) or another health care provider will likely be the first person who can help you better understand and mentally process this new information. Your PCP may choose to educate you with informational brochures or videos, or by simply having a conversation about your condition. It's important to ask as many questions as you can about aspects of your health condition that you are unsure of and inquire about how your lifestyle, medications, or other health issues may affect the recently diagnosed condition.

There are a variety of ways that you can learn more about your specific condition above and beyond what you learn from your PCP or health care provider. The Internet is a rich source of information, and it's likely that you'll come across plenty of articles and diagrams regarding your condition. Be sure to look at the websites of hospitals, non-profit organizations, and medical specialty associations.

Another great source of information is your local library. While doing research in a brick-and-mortar library seems antiquated compared to the digital library we all have at our fingertips, libraries are excellent places to find specifics about your condition. Along with books, don't forget to check out medical periodicals and journals that may discuss current studies or research based on your condition.

Learning How to Manage Your Symptoms

Asking your PCP and other health care providers to help you better understand your condition, as well as seeking information on your own, is just one important aspect of patient education. Another is learning about and implementing the treatments that can help you manage the symptoms associated with your condition.

Again, your PCP will be your best source for information and should be able to suggest the most appropriate treatments for your condition based on your specific case, your overall health, and other subjective factors. For example, if your PCP has diagnosed you with spinal arthritis, he or she may recommend over-the-counter or prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can help reduce the inflammation affecting your spinal facet joints. However, if you suffer from certain cardiovascular or gastrointestinal conditions in addition to spinal arthritis, you may be unable to take NSAIDs, and your physician might prescribe an analgesic such as acetaminophen as an alternative.

You could also supplement your patient education experience by talking to others who have or had your condition and can recommend therapies that were effective for them. If you feel comfortable talking about your condition and symptoms, simply ask friends, family, and neighbors about their experiences with certain treatments. Don't forget that you should always consult with your PCP or a physician who is a specialist in treating your specific condition prior to starting any treatment method.

Take Initiative

When it comes to your health, you should never be complacent or wait for someone else to make your health care decisions for you. If you feel that a health care provider is not offering appropriate patient education for your needs, seek additional medical opinions about your condition. Take time to read your insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare policy, and ask questions about things you don't understand. Taking a proactive role in your own health and seeking effective methods of patient education can help you better manage your condition.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to patient education and advocacy.

Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications and is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including patient education and advocacy. http://www.healthgrades.com/group-directory/arizona-az/scottsdale/laser-spine-institute-341f7180




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Taylor Thomas is an experienced writer who has written for a number of notable publications. As a lifestyle expert, Mr. Thomas is able to offer advice and insight on a multitude of topics, including those pertaining to patient education and advocacy.


Posted on 2013-06-04, By: *

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