causes serious threat to sick persons undergoingchemotherapy. It enhances their exposure to infections, which resultsin prolonged treatment as well as reduced dose intensity (Mayor,2010). Hence, it is important that a neutropenic patient is aware ofthe risks and how to avoid them. The patient is a woman, who has beena cancer patient for five years. She has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemiaand because of chemotherapy is now neutropenic. It is crucial thatthe patient learns on ways to reduce exposure to infections. Becausethe patient is at high risk of exposure to infections, learningthrough visual and audio aids, enhances the capability of the patientto avoid germs and in turn protect her from infections.

Nursing diagnosis

The patient is at risk of infection linked to reduced naturalresistance because of chemotherapy. White blood cells are veryimportant to the body as they assist in fighting infection. However,chemotherapy in the process of killing cancerous cells also killshealthy ones (CDC, n.d). The patient has had cancer for five years,meaning that her immunity to infections has weakened over the years.Thus, any infection could greatly affect their recovery process andshe must always be alert to avoid infections at all times.

Learning objectives

  1. The patient is able to understand the significance of protecting herself from germs to avoid infections.

  2. The patient learns how to protect herself from germs to help protect her from infections.


In order to achieve the learning objectives, the patient will betaught through demonstration and a practical approach on how toprevent germs and infections.

Teaching aids

The use of both visual and audio aids visual aids are important indemonstrating how to practice hygiene. In addition, visual aids alsocomprise of practicals that can be given to the patient to assesstheir learning outcome. Audio goes along with visual aids. Whilemaking the presentations that demonstrate how to prevent germs andprotect oneself from infection, it is important to add the voiceaspect to the visual. Voice reinforces understanding and it is easierfor the patient to recall what has been said and practice it.


The first step involves informing the patient on how to detect thatthey have neutropenia. Because most patients are unaware of theirsusceptibility to neutropenia, it is important that during teachingthe patient understands where to examine herself. Researchdemonstrates that the mouth, abdomen, skin and region surrounding theanus are the area to examine for signs of infection (Mayor, 2010).This is aided by the use of videos. By playing the videos using alaptop, the visuals show other patients that have had infections, howthey look and the areas affected.

Once the patient is aware of places the infection is most likely tomanifest, the next step involves informing on why it is crucial toprevent germs. As a nurse, one is already informed on why cancerpatients develop neutropenia. Hence, the nurse verbally explains thatany infection reduces immunity to cancer. The patient is alsoinformed that their environment comprises of many germs, which arehighly likely to cause infection. It is crucial that the patientavoids germs because as a neutropenic patient, she is at a high riskof infection.

The third and most important step is informing the patient on how toprevent infection. At this point, the patient already understands whyshe should prevent infection and areas of the body likely to pointout she has infection. The step entails teaching on three ways toprevent acquiring infections from the surrounding, other people likefamily and food.

One โ€“ teaching the patient on how to detect any fever symptoms

According to the CDC (2015), fever is detected by frequentlychecking temperature. Getting fever while undergoing chemotherapytreatment might be the sole indication of an infection, which is lifethreatening. This is achieved by using videos that demonstrate howthe patient can take her temperature.

Two โ€“ washing hands frequently

Hand hygiene is a major cause of infections. Washing hands gets ridof germs that cannot be seen by the naked eye. The patient will beinformed to wash their hands anytime they greet someone or touchsomething. Audio teaching aids explain on the process of washinghands by use of soap and water or hand sanitizers. The patient shouldalso be informed on the need to ask family members to wash hands whenvisiting. When taking food, for instance fruits, they must be washedthoroughly.

Three โ€“ report any abnormal signs

The patient should learn that any signs related to their illnessshould be reported as soon as possible. Using videos, the patientlearns how ignoring a sign such as a stiff neck could result in moreserious infection. The earlier a problem is detected, the moreeffective the cure.


The learning objectives were achieved because the patient learnedthe need to practice hand hygiene and how. Based on evaluation, thepatient was able to depict that she comprehended the significance ofhow to safeguard herself from germs. She was issued with props andrequired to demonstrate how to wash hands and fruits and how tomeasure temperature, which she successfully did.


CDC. (2015). Preventing infections in cancer patients.Retrieved from:

CDC. (n.d). What you need to know: and risk forinfection, 1-2. Retrieved from:

Mayor, S. (2010). in cancer patients: risk factors andmanagement. Cancer World, 15-22.