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Planning for learning involves the development of a teaching plan. Teaching plans are similar to nursing care plans—both follow the steps of the nursing process. Planning in the teaching process involves setting goals and outcomes. Here, goals identify what a patient needs to achieve to understand a healthcare topic better, whereas the outcomes are the action to be performed by the patient to achieve the goal within a timeframe. For example, if the goal is to educate the patient about insulin administration, the expected outcome is that the patient learns to self-administer insulin before discharge.

After writing the learning outcomes, deciding the content for teaching is essential. First, the nurse must thoroughly research the topic by reviewing content in journal articles and manuals in books or online. The nurse then decides on the teaching strategies that best suit the patient by considering age, developmental level, or literacy level. Teaching strategies, including discussions or demonstrations, can be used. Arrange the learning materials before teaching to avoid distractions.

The next step after planning is implementation, which requires interpersonal and communication skills. The teaching environment should be comfortable, which is achieved by:

  • providing adequate lighting and privacy.
  • maintaining warm gestures.
  • assessing the patient's existing knowledge.
  • using various teaching strategies to gain attention and invite active patient participation.
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