Patients who develop stage 3 and 4 pressure injuries with prolonged wound chronicity and complexity may require surgical intervention. One surgical method used to encourage healing in pressure injuries is flap surgery, which involves taking a section of skin with an intact blood supply and...
By Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP
What does your facility do to raise awareness regarding pressure injury prevention? We have lots of educational opportunities throughout the year, but one of our most important and prepared for days is the third Thursday in November – World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day! This is a day to raise awareness that has been promoted by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). Every year, the NPUAP puts out a press release and lots of good information in terms of ways to educate and engage staff on such an important topic, on a national level.
Pressure Injury Prevention Day
World Wide Pressure Injury Day is a day that focuses on learning, sharing our knowledge, and educating our peers. Personally, I use this day to showcase what my staff has been working on throughout the year, new evidence-based trends in wound care, and any other additional information that is new to the NPUAP website. This year, I had an excellent turnout in terms of presenters and attendees. Many of the stations were hands on, and each of the nursing units I cover contributed something to the day (posters, hands-on wound demonstrations, games, etc.).
The stations we showcased this year included the following:
- Our dietitians and dietetic interns had a supplement tasting to include all of the different nutritional supplements on our formulary. Allowing staff to handle and taste the nutritional supplements really helps them to better understand what the patients are receiving. Also, we discussed how we are moving away from prealbumin and albumin as indicators of nutritional status and focusing more on weight trends and percentage of intake.
- Our hospice staff nurses created a life-size version of MARSI (medical adhesive-related skin injury) and gave her several skin injuries, an ostomy, and some not so common skin conditions, which were discussed with attendees. These nurses also discussed medical device-related pressure injuries by using the acronym MD. RPI. Finally, they showcased a poster on nail conditions and issues and what they might indicate in terms of health status.
- Our Transitional Care Unit (TCU) staff did a "pop the pumpkin" game with cups and tissue paper, with questions about staging, documentation, long-term care institute, and more. If you answered the question correctly, you got a piece of candy. Additionally, they showed the different stages of pressure injuries by using apples—very creative!
- Our nurse educator had a game that focused on principles of documentation for licensed staff and the correct way to obtain accurate weights on patients for unlicensed staff. There were props and handouts.
- One of our nurse researchers presented her work and our work on the impact of a pressure injury education program on nurses' knowledge and practice during end of life care. This included a research poster, handouts, and all of the supplemental information used in her research and implementation of the educational program with hospice nurses. Skin changes at the end of life were also discussed.
- Other members of the research team presented their work related to tissue health and pressure injury risk, specifically what is being done in relation to pressure injuries in the research field that may affect how we practice risk assessment and care planning in the future.
- Our plastic surgery nurse practitioner presented options for surgical closure of pressure injuries and additional information from a plastic surgery standpoint based on her work with one of our plastic surgeons.
- Another one of our long-term care units presented on the correct way to apply preventative dressings, implement prevention strategies, and change a wound dressing correctly, as well as tips and tricks for wound care documentation.
- Nurses from multiple units presented their work on an environmental skin committee, specifically focusing on how the environment affects our skin. Information was presented in a newsletter format that will be quarterly: HEAT (helping everyone adjust to the temperature) Patrol.
- I spoke about end of life skin changes and also about the benefits of certification and different certifications available for wound care, along with who qualifies to sit for the examination, costs, and other issues.
This educational day was interdisciplinary and open to anyone from patients, to staff, providers, and all medical center employees. Overall, empowering staff to share their knowledge and all the great work that they do on a daily basis is a very important piece of this day. Pressure injury prevention takes a team, and without our team and each individual contribution, we wouldn't be where we are! Everyone has such great knowledge and creativity to contribute. It is important that we showcase that at least once a year and, of course, continue to promote a culture of prevention!
About the Author
Holly is a board certified gerontological nurse and advanced practice wound, ostomy, and continence nurse coordinator at The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a passion for education, teaching, and our veterans. Holly has been practicing in WOC nursing for approximately six years. She has much experience with the long-term care population and chronic wounds as well as pressure injuries, diabetic ulcers, venous and arterial wounds, surgical wounds, radiation dermatitis, and wounds requiring advanced wound therapy for healing. Holly enjoys teaching new nurses about wound care and, most importantly, pressure injury prevention. She enjoys working with each patient to come up with an individualized plan of care based on their needs and overall medical situation. She values the importance of taking an interprofessional approach with wound care and prevention overall, and involves each member of the health care team as much as possible. She also values the significance of the support of leadership within her facility and the overall impact of great teamwork for positive outcomes.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.