Ask the Treatment Expert about... addressing pressure ulcers with staff

Rosalyn S. Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC
Rosalyn S. Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC

Do you have any ideas on how to address the problem of pressure ulcers with my staff?

I applaud your question. Facility- acquired pressure ulcers are a major threat to both patients and facilities. 

A pressure ulcer is defined by the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel as a “localized injury to the skin and/or underlying tissue usually over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, or pressure in combination with shear.” Prevention begins with a skin assessment upon admission, followed by thorough documentation of the skin assessment and a risk assessment with the initiation of interventions to address each risk identified. 

Pressure ulcers result in a painful condition for the resident and a potentially costly situation for the facility. 

Staff education and involvement are essential elements for initiating a pressure ulcer prevention program.

November 19 was designated as “World Wide Pressure Ulcer Prevention Day 2015.” NPUAP provided support materials and events for facilities involved, which should still be accessible on www.npuap.org. These free materials will assist you in promoting pressure ulcer prevention in your facility, including:

1. A poster, “Pressure Ulcer: Just the Facts!” includes the definition of a pressure ulcer with photographs and pressure ulcer stage definitions

2. A poster, “Best Practices for Prevention of Medical Device-Related Pressure Ulcers”

3. “Stop Pressure Ulcer” logo signage

4. A “Pressure Release” that you can use for your individual facility

5. A “Pressure Ulcer Patient Guide”

If you have not initiated your program yet, the information from NPUAP will be helpful whenever you and your team are ready.