Six steps to teaching cancer patients
CPD Previous     Next

Six steps to teaching cancer patients

Bob Price Director, Postgraduate awards in advancing healthcare practice, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University, Milton Keynes

There are compelling reasons why nurses should be engaged in teaching patients who have cancer. Coping with cancer is an emotional journey, an individual one, but arguably one aided by learning. Patients learn self-care techniques necessary for their illness and, with help, they can learn how to examine the emotional challenges that cancer and its treatment may pose. To teach patients, however, requires strategy and reflection, and teaching techniques may or may not have been taught in the nurse education syllabus. It is tempting to hope that patient education will be delivered by specialist practitioners, when in fact nurses in a range of hospital and community settings may be asked for help with learning by patients. This article sets out steps in the teaching of patients, which can be argued as a coherent approach and which work with nurses’ philosophy of care to support patients under difficult circumstances. Six steps are suggested to enable nurses to approach teaching in a way that is effective, seems helpful to patients and is meaningful to nurses as part of the care strategy.

Cancer Nursing Practice. 12, 6, 25-33. doi: 10.7748/cnp2013.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review.

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 31 January 2013

Accepted: 21 May 2013

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now