Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Health Literacy

To promote health literacy, use strategies and techniques such as: 

  • Avoiding jargon;
  • Focusing on knowledge gaps identified by (or negotiated with) the client; and
  • Inviting the client to ask questions or request clarification.
                                                                                                       (IOM, 2004)

Once you and your client have identified the learning needs, plan where and when the learning session will take place. Create a relaxed setting where there are few interruptions and sufficient time to cover the material, check for understanding, provide clarification (Hibbard & Peters, 2003) and follow up.