May 2, 2012

The Gauntlet is Thrown: A Health Literacy Instructor Challenge!

Fresh from the Health Literacy Department - One of the best ways to teach health literacy and patient empowerment in the ESL, ABE or GED classroom is to guide your learners through their development of a personal health journal. A few years ago we developed the Doctor's Visit Toolkit. Inside, we provided general tips to be an empowered patient and templates for learners to practice completing common forms they'll see in the healthcare setting. Together with learners, we work our way through the Doctor's Visit Toolkit and upon completion, we encourage learners to bring it with them as a reference tool the next time they go to the clinic or hospital.

Through mid-July, we're challenging our Central Texas instructors to take on the Doctor's Visit Toolkit with their learners. Use it as an ongoing project that learners work on over several weeks. Once you've completed the activity with your class, send us an email with a sample of the journal you've created. Literacy Coalition employees and advisers will choose the top three models and share them in our next quarterly newsletter (scheduled for release on July 15th). The creator of the top journal will also have a featured article in the newsletter (distribution to 1000+ people) and win a prize package valued over $50!

Much of what you might include in a health journal can be found on our Resources Page. Email Peter if you don't have the 1st Edition of the Health Literacy Instructional Manual yet (that will be a great resource to get you started!) or if you'd like some templates of medical forms that were used in the Doctor's Visit Toolkit.

Things you might include...just to get you started:
  1. Medication schedule chart
  2. Medical history form
  3. Family history
  4. Sample insurance form
  5. List of key vocabulary for navigating hospital or doctor's office (e.g., information desk, emergency, pediatrics, physician, etc.)
  6. AskMe3 and other recommended questions to ask the doctor or nurse
  7. Patient-empowerment tips
  8. And much more! Talk with your students about what they want to learn regarding health information and get creative!  
Good luck and don't hesitate to call or email Peter if you have questions or want some resources to get you started! 



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