Two additional tools you can use to help achieve understanding are
Chunk and Check
Chunk and Check
If you are teaching more than one concept, use Chunk and Check
Sometimes we try to teach too much at one time. This is because, in healthcare, we typically have to explain more than one concept. People struggle to understand long lists of things to do, and yet this is often the way information is presented in the health sector. One way of simplifying education is to deliver short key messages only, and then use teach back to check understanding…we call this ‘Chunk and Check’.
Chunk and Check is simple to use. After you have communicated one important message—a ‘chunk’ of information—check how much the person understood by using teach-back. Chunk and Check is a way of using teach-back with the tried and true method of breaking information down into small, bite-sized pieces.
Think about what people really need or want to know. Most people only remember about three things at any one time, so focus on two or three important messages only.
Sometimes only one message is enough, and be aware that it might take more than one session before the person fully understands even that one message.
Often, if someone has a question from early on in a conversation, they will save their question until the end. Holding on to this question can affect their ability to understand the rest of what is being said. Use the Chunk and Check method to address that concern by stopping the conversation to insert teach-back and check understanding.
What is most important for someone to know?
A 68 year old woman goes home from the hospital with heart failure and diabetes. Which message from this list is the most important to convey about the first 24 hours after discharge?
A is CORRECT. Providing too much information at the time of discharge from hospital will make it difficult for her to prioritise what she needs to do in the first day or two after she returns home. So focus on the most important thing she needs to know; in this case her medication regime.
Watch both these videos.
In which video does the administrative officer demonstrate ‘Chunk and Check’?
In Video B the administrative officer chunks the content up into smaller bits and checks on understanding before moving onto the next bit. In Video A the information is delivered in one single uninterrupted stream.
When using teach-back with clients who speak a different first language including sign language, consider using translated visual aids and professional interpreters. Many health services can access health trained interpreters. There is also the Australian Government’s Translation and Interpreter Service (TIS) which provides access to face-to-face and telephone interpreters for a fee. The use of NAATI accredited interpreters is recommended as they are bound by a code of conduct and are required to relate information accurately and completely, and to maintain confidentiality.
Watch this video to see how to make the best use of professional interpreters.