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Patient discharge, learning, brain injuries, nursing, teaching methods



  1. Carlos Patiag, Maricel MSN, RN, CRRN


Purpose: To identify (1) effectiveness of current registered nurse (RN) strategies in teaching discharge medications to cognitively challenged patients and (2) whether errorless teaching/learning (ETL) with pictorial medication cards improves such instruction.


Design: Cross-sectional, qualitative, pretest/posttest.


Methods: Open-ended interviews and a class on ETL were conducted with a purposive sample of 10 expert staff RNs from rehabilitation and neurological telemetry units in a 377-bed, not-for-profit hospital. Data were analyzed using content analysis.


Findings: Informants reported current practices that were not adapted for the cognitively challenged population (n = 10). They also found the new ETL easy, effective, and useful in promoting safety and satisfaction but reported that writing on the cards was too time-consuming (n = 7).


Conclusions: Although not generalizable, outcomes suggest value in revising and evaluating ETL with a pictorial card for teaching this population.


Clinical Relevance: Discharge medication knowledge is critical to safe self-management, and using ETL with cognitively challenged persons may promote learning.