Ask the Treatment Expert about ... pressure injury prevention

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

On the heels of Pressure Injury Prevention Day (November 17), what are the most important measures for pressure injury prevention?

Governmental and published research does show that there has been a small decline in pressure injury development over the past five years. But without a vigilant emphasis on prevention, long-term care facilities will continue to face the pressure injury dilemma. 

Pressure injury prevention programs help, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. 

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel suggest five major pressure injury prevention interventions:  

1. Risk assessment

2. Skin care

3. Nutrition

4. Repositioning and mobilization

5. Education

Let's discuss the education intervention. Staff education and continuous reinforcement are essential in providing pressure injury prevention interventions in the long-term care setting. Education engagement should include all staff, the resident and family members. The benefits of this cannot be overstated. 

When staff members understand pressure injury prevention and development, programs that promote the resident's mobility or repositioning can be included in the individualized plan of care for the resident. When dietary staff members understand the importance of nutrition in pressure injury development, they can be the first caregivers to note a change in appetite or food and fluid intake and can report to the nursing staff for monitoring. 

Plus, when certified nursing assistants — who usually have more direct contact with residents than nurses — understand proper pressure injury prevention interventions, they can routinely report changes to nursing staff.