What Is Teach-Back?

Connie Davis, RN, MN, ARNP; Co-Director of the Centre for Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation

Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Explain the purpose of teach-back.
  • Discuss the most important thing to keep in mind when using teach-back.

Description: The last time you ordered take-out, did the restaurant staff read your order back to you to make sure it was right?

Read-back is a simple way to close the loop on a communication, ensuring that both parties share the same information. Teach-back is a similar technique that providers can use with patients to ensure they’ve effectively communicated their health advice or information. In this video, Connie Davis, RN, MN, ARNP; Co-Director at the Centre for Collaboration, Motivation, and Innovation, explains teach-back and the most important thing to keep in mind while using it with patients.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think it’s so important to put the responsibility of clear communication on the provider, not the patient?
  2. In which types of clinical situations do you think teach-back could be an effective communication tool?
  3. What do you think are some of the barriers providers face in using teach-back reliably? How might you overcome those barriers?
  4. Find a partner and practice using teach-back: First, explain the instructions for a game you like to play — then, ask them to explain the game back to you. What did you learn about using teach-back?
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