Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Conversation Starters

The following conversation starters invite the cilent to expess feelings, concerns, and questions in open dialogue with the nurse. From this needs assessment, the nurse is able to identify barriers to learning, what the client already knows or believes, knowledge and/or skill gaps. This then creates a basis for partnering with the client to identify priorities and timing of learning sessions.

Use the following questions as guides for your teaching and interviewing techniques:

  • How are you feeling right now (Invites client to indicate pain, fatigue or other barriers to learning, or to express confusion/fear/anger/frustration, etc)?
  • Can you please tell me what you know about....?
  • What questions do you have...?
  • How do you like to learn something new?
  • What do you do to help you learn something new?