Role of health professionals in patient education.


Patient education is topical in the 1990s, with some medical specialties having had longer experience of education than the specialty of rheumatology. Education of diabetic patients is perhaps the best example. The way in which members of a multidisciplinary team are prepared in the skills of teaching patients should perhaps be questioned. Little has been published on the skills required for education of patients in the United Kingdom, and what little there is seems to confuse the skill of teaching with the art of counselling. The training curriculum for medical students, student nurses, and student physiotherapists makes little reference to this subject, though the new format of nurse training-Project 2000'places a heavy emphasis on health education. Other encouraging moves have been made in rheumatology with post basic courses in rheumatology nursing, which have for a number of years included patient education skills. A new validated course for post basic physiotherapists in rheumatology, organised by the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists, Staffordshire, has also placed much stress on these skills. Additionally, there is much evidence to indicate that many patients are dissatisfied with the amount and type of information given to them by health professionals. For example, the reports published by the health ombudsman2 criticise health professionals, particularly doctors and nurses, for their poor communication skills. The specialty of rheumatology in the United Kingdom has derived its methods of educating patients primarily from the experience of other specialties and from the United States. Care must be taken in setting up systems for patient education to ensure that the professionals appointed to these positions have the correct training and skills. Unfortunately, it has often been the case recently that nurse specialist posts

Cite this paper

@article{Maycock1991RoleOH, title={Role of health professionals in patient education.}, author={Joan Annette Maycock}, journal={Annals of the rheumatic diseases}, year={1991}, volume={50 Suppl 3}, pages={429-34} }