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UCLA Department of Nursing


UCLA awarded designation as National Magnet Hospital
Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center designated
National Magnet Hospital

UCLA awarded designation as National Magnet Hospital
UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica designated
National Magnet Hospital

Teach Back Annual Education

Teach back is an evidence-based method of patient education that is proven to reduce readmission rates and improve patient compliance with care instructions.

Teach Back annual education objectives

  1. Review and discuss the elements of Teach Back.
  2. The nurse will be able to effectively perform the Teach Back method of patient education during role play and or patient education.
  3. The nurse will evaluate the effectiveness of Teach Back in confirming patient understanding of patient education materials.
  4. The nurse will plan and describe how Teach Back can be used in different patient education scenarios.

Teach Back elements include 

  • Ask patients open ended questions.
  • Avoid closed ended questions.
  • Use living room language.  
  • Avoid using medical jargon.
  • Consider the literacy level of the patient.
  • Consider health literacy of the patient.
  • Make eye contact and sit down when using Teach Back.
  • Document use of Teach Back.
  • Individualize care plans as indicated. (ex. Pain management) 

Teach Back: MedUcation Oline Learning Module 

Teach Back for MedUcation

  • Focus on purpose and side effects of all new meds.
  • Begin patient education as soon as possible.  Only using Teach Back on the day of discharge limits the patient's ability to retain the information.  The more days and times that Teach back is used on the same content, the better their retention.
  • Using Teach Back during pre-op teaching and follow-up phone calls is very helpful in improving knowledge retention.
  • Perform Teach Back each shift.
  • Use med cards or equivalent (Care Notes) as a visual aide.
  • Store med cards or equivalent in MyCare folder for easy access each shift and for discharge.
  • Have patient Teach Back the content to demonstrate their knowledge of the purpose, side effects, dosing and scheduling of each new medication prescribed.
  • Engage family and or primary care giver as indicated.
  • Document use of Teach Back as method of instruction in Care Connect under patient education.

Teach Back can be used for all patient education topics by using the same Teach Back elements stated above. Common topics include:

Teach Back resources can be found on the Department of Nursing Website, Patient Care Initiatives.

For questions, contact:
Jill Scherrey, MSN, RN-BC
Nursing Professional Development Specialist
Department of Nursing Research & Education

Revised 8/2016 

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