Karen Zulkowski's blog

DMCA.com Protection Status
Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

How many of you know how knowledgeable you are about wounds? Keeping up with the latest articles and treatments is difficult. This is especially true for a staff nurse that only encounters patient wounds occasionally. Larger facilities and home health agencies have wound nurses, but smaller facilities do not. Pressure ulcer knowledge has been examined for Registered Nurses across the United States using the Pieper Pressure Ulcer Knowledge Test. When urban versus rural nurses' knowledge was examined between rural Montana nurses and urban New York City nurses all scored at a "C" level. Similar testing at a Florida VA found nurses score 77% and only improved to 81% after education programs. Registered nurses that participated in the New Jersey Hospital Association pressure ulcer collaborative scored slightly higher on the Pressure Ulcer Knowledge test at 83%. However, percent correct is still a "B-" average. Certified wound care nurses scored at 93%.

Blog Category: 
Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Five million US rural residents live in designated provider shortage areas. A provider shortage area is defined by the federal government as counties with fewer than 33 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents. It is believed this shortage will be worse by 2014. Not surprisingly, rural residents and primary care providers rate their health care lower than their urban counterparts. Few specialists are available in rural areas with rural areas having half the number of surgeons and other specialists compared to urban areas.

Karen Zulkowski's picture
Keywords: 

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Taking a positive approach when a pressure ulcer develops at your health care facility usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, it should be. When a patient develops a pressure ulcer the first thing that usually happens is the blame game: It wasn’t our fault—it must have happened at the (take your pick) nursing home, hospital, OR, ER, etc. In reality, the pressure may have happened prior to the patient’s arrival at the facility.

Blog Category: 
Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Last month I talked about the issues that occurred during my husband’s knee surgery. This month I want to bring the focus back to lawsuits and how they arise. What are the implications for the patient and family, and how does palliative wound care fit in?

Blog Category: 
Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

The past few months I have written about legal cases and palliative care. My plan was to combine them for March. However, my husband had a partial knee replacement at the end of February and I wanted to write about that. My apologies for no March column.

Karen Zulkowski's picture

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

As health care professionals we always want to heal our patients and make them better. This may not always be possible. We need to understand that not letting the pressure ulcer or wound we are treating get worse sometimes has to be the realistic goal.

Blog Category: 
Karen Zulkowski's picture
Keywords: 

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Part 4 in a series discussing the process of litigation in patient care lawsuits

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3

Karen Zulkowski's picture
Keywords: 

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

How do you act when giving a deposition? It’s not something we covered in school. As I said last month, you probably won’t remember the plaintiff (patient). You may have only taken care of the person once or twice or when they were your patient. They may have gone back and forth to ICU and different units, or between the hospital and nursing home, so you had limited contact with them.

Karen Zulkowski's picture
Keywords: 

By Karen Zulkowski DNS, RN, CWS

Being involved in a lawsuit is never fun. However, if your facility is sued because a patient developed a pressure ulcer, you may have to testify. Pressure ulcers are the second most common reason for medical lawsuits. The facility and physicians are usually the ones targeted for monetary damages, but everyone that has taken care of the patient, the family that brought the lawsuit, and experts hired by both sides will have to be deposed.

Important Notice: The contents of the website such as text, graphics, images, and other materials contained on the website ("Content") are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to substitute manufacturer instructions. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or product usage. Refer to the Legal Notice for express terms of use.