Gillette’s Teach-Back Method

Posted On: Feb 7, 2013

Some conversations with Gillette staff might have a slightly different feel to them in 2013. We’re increasing our use of “teach-back,” a method of educating patients and their families about aspects of their care.

Teach-back has long been used within the health care industry (including by some Gillette staff). It’s known to be an effective way of ensuring patients and their families fully understand what’s important for them to know.

To help prepare you for taking part in teach-back at Gillette, here’s some information about the technique and how we use it here.

We’ve also produced a short video to demonstrate how a teach-back conversation between a health care provider and a patient family might occur.

Video: Gillette’s Teach-Back Method

What’s the teach-back method?

It’s an education technique Gillette staff use to make sure we’ve done a good job helping you understand how to best take care of yourself, your child or the patient.

The way it works is: We explain some important information or instructions; then we give you an opportunity to tell or show us what we’ve just taught. If we haven’t conveyed all information clearly enough, we stay with you to fill in any gaps or re-teach in a way that is more meaningful to you.

Who uses teach-back?

Anyone can! Gillette physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, therapists, assistive technology specialists and other patient care staff have been trained in the teach-back method. We consider teaching a partnership with you. We want to be sure that we answer all your questions and that you feel good about providing care at home. If we don’t always initiate teach-back, feel free to start the conversation yourself! We’ll take time to make sure you understand what you need to know.

What does teach-back “look” like?

Here are some examples of how we might use teach-back with you:

  • If you’ve been taught about a new medication, we might ask, “How will you give this medicine? What side effects will you be watching for?”
  • If you’ve been taught about a new diagnosis, we might ask, “How will you explain this to your loved ones at home?”
  • If we’ve shown you how to perform a care procedure, we might ask you to demonstrate how you’ll perform the procedure yourself after you get home.

Our motto is “Teach-Back Is a Two-Way Street!”