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Evaluation of the teaching process enables the nurse to determine if the patient's learning needs were met and if training was effective. If the expected outcomes are not met, the care plan is revised, and additional education or reinforcement is provided. Nurses can ask questions after the session or obtain feedback to assess the patient's understanding of the topic.

Nurses can use several methods to evaluate patient outcomes. For example, oral questions can assess cognitive learning, patient responses can assess affective learning, and a return demonstration can assess psychomotor learning. Methods to evaluate learning outcomes include the following:

  • Teach-back: The nurse asks the patient to explain the topic, and the patient's response shows how well the nurse has explained the information.
  • Comment evaluation: Evaluate the patient's comments on the topic or information.
  • Observation: After the session, the nurse observes the patient practicing hand hygiene.
  • Return demonstration: The learner demonstrates the skills taught during the session.

Evaluation is an ongoing process that helps understand the educator's strengths and weaknesses and teaching strategy effectiveness.

Finally, documentation is the most critical part of the learning process, in addition to the nurse's legal responsibility. Documentation of patient teaching can help quality improvement efforts, meet the standards of care, and promote third-party reimbursement. Documentation includes a written or digital document of the learning needs, the plan, interventions, and the evaluation. The evaluation statement demonstrates that learning occurred; however, if learning did not happen, the note should state what actions occurred to resolve the problem.

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