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RN Evaluation of Errorless Methods in Teaching Discharge Medications to Cognitively Challenged Patients

Carlos Patiag, Maricel MSN, RN, CRRN1; Farrar Highfield, Martha E. PhD, RN2,3

doi: 10.1002/rnj.294

Purpose: To identify (1) effectiveness of current registered nurse (RN) strategies in teaching discharge medications to cognitively challenged patients and (2) whether errorless teaching/learning (ETL) with pictorial medication cards improves such instruction.

Design: Cross-sectional, qualitative, pretest/posttest.

Methods: Open-ended interviews and a class on ETL were conducted with a purposive sample of 10 expert staff RNs from rehabilitation and neurological telemetry units in a 377-bed, not-for-profit hospital. Data were analyzed using content analysis.

Findings: Informants reported current practices that were not adapted for the cognitively challenged population (n = 10). They also found the new ETL easy, effective, and useful in promoting safety and satisfaction but reported that writing on the cards was too time-consuming (n = 7).

Conclusions: Although not generalizable, outcomes suggest value in revising and evaluating ETL with a pictorial card for teaching this population.

Clinical Relevance: Discharge medication knowledge is critical to safe self-management, and using ETL with cognitively challenged persons may promote learning.

1 Center for Rehabilitation Medicine, Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Northridge, CA, USA

2 Department of Nursing, California State University, Northridge, CA, USA

3 Nursing, Dignity Health Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Northridge, CA, USA

Correspondence: Martha E. Farrar Highfield, Nursing, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, 18300 Roscoe Blvd., Northridge, CA 91328. E-mail:

Accepted June 14, 2016.

Cite this article as: Carlos Patiag, M., & Farrar Highfield, M. E. (2017). RN evaluation of errorless methods in teaching discharge medications to cognitively challenged patients. Rehabilitation Nursing, 42(6), 312–318. doi: 10.1002/rnj.294

© 2017 Association of Rehabilitation Nurses.
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