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National Patient Safety Foundation: Ask Me 3 - Patient Education Program

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

More Ways

Computer, Internet access, projector, speakers (for class presentation)

Activity Description

In this activity, your students learn the three questions they should ask their healthcare providers in every healthcare interaction:

  1. What is my main problem?
  2. What do I need to do?
  3. Why is it important for me to do this?

The site includes a four minute video (from YouTube) and fact sheet with common terms used by medical professionals along with synonyms and explanations of their meanings.


  1. Check to be sure the video in particular is not blocked at your school. It comes from YouTube so it may be.
  2. Watch the video at the Example Web Site (above) and identify the vocabulary (especially medical terms) that you will need to pre-teach.
  3. This activity should be done toward the end of a health unit, when students are already familiar with body parts, symptoms, and medical conditions.
  4. Print copies of the Words to Watch fact sheet (PDF) for each student.


  1. Have students think back to the last time they saw a medical professional (doctor, nurse, pharmacist, etc.). Did they ask any questions? Have students Think-Pair-Share the questions they asked their medical professional. Write these responses on the board or in a word processing document projected on a screen.
  2. Ask students why it is important to ask questions during a visit with a medical professional. Have them Think-Pair-Share and write their responses on the board or in a word processing document projected on a screen.
  3. Tell students they will be watching a video about the importance of asking questions and will learn three questions they should always ask their healthcare providers.
  4. Pre-teach the vocabulary and medical terms used in the video (particularly the terms the doctor uses with patient Joe).
  5. Have students listen for and write the answers to the following questions:
    • Why is it important to ask questions?
    • What three questions should you always ask?
    • How can you remember the answers to the questions you ask?
  6. Discuss the answers to the questions.
  7. Watch the video again. Discuss any questions that arise.
  8. Distribute the Word to Watch fact sheet and review the terminology. This fact sheet is also available on the Web site in Spanish (PDF) if that is useful.
  9. Have students type the three questions in Microsoft Word, print them, and put them in their wallets for use in their next healthcare interaction.


  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced


Basic Communication

  • (3.6) Understand basic health and medical information
  • (3.5) Understand basic principles of health maintenance
  • (3.4) Understand basic safety measures and health risks
  • (3.1) Understand how to access and use the health care system
  • (3.3) Understand how to select and use medications

Basic Communication

  • (7.2) Demonstrate ability to use critical thinking skills
  • (7.3) Demonstrate ability to use problem-solving skills
  • (7.5) Understand aspects of and approaches to effective personal management

Basic Communication

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.