Selection and Preparation of Patient/Family Educators

We were prepped before the event and made to feel comfortable in coming. As a result, we felt safe and able to do it.

Parent Educator, IPPC Educational Retreat

Words of Advice for Patient, Resident, and Family Advisors cover

A key consideration for effectively involving patients and families as educators is to ensure that they are comfortable with the role, with the content and format of the curriculum, and with the audience. IPFCC has a long history of fostering partnerships among patients, families and health professionals and has developed a number of resources, generally, for patient and family advisors and, specifically, for patient/family educators. The publication, Words of Advice for Patient, Resident, and Family Advisors, provides information about patient/family educators and about preparing for panels and presentations.

The highlighted exemplar IPE programs also developed guidance about selecting and preparing patient/family educators.


In the Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care, family members who participated were sent information beforehand about the educational retreats and their role. Special meetings for family educators were scheduled at the beginning, middle, and end of each 2-1/2 day retreat. An experienced family member was available throughout the retreat as an “advisor” to others.