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Teach-back is a method of educating patients and their families about aspects of their care.

Teach-back has been used within the health care industry for many years. It’s known to be an effective way of making sure 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.


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: 

  1. We explain some important information or instructions.
  2. Then we give you an opportunity to tell or show us what we’ve just taught.

If we haven’t explained all the information clearly enough, we stay with you to clarify any aspects you’re not sure about, or to reteach information in a way that communicates more effectively 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 think of teaching as 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 we’ve taught you about giving a new medicine, we might then ask, “How will you give this medicine? What side effects will you be watching for?”

If we’ve taught you 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.

We see teach-back as a “two-way street.” The only way we know if we’re effectively communicating is to hear from you. We look forward to our next conversation with you about your care.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.