What interventions to prevent pressure injuries should be communicated to the nursing assistants?

Preventive programs start with a risk assessment and the development of the plan of care. At a minimum, you should communicate the following to the nursing assistants:

• Turning and repositioning plan

• Type of support surface that’s on the bed; if a powered surface, checking prior to leaving the resident’s room that the bed is at the proper setting and is plugged in and turned on

• Type of wheelchair cushion

• How to float the heels

• Positioning devices

• Incontinence management

• Nutritional monitoring and supplements

• Notifying the nurse if a wound dressing is soiled, loose or missing

• Inspecting the skin daily and notifying the nurse if any concerns are found

• Notifying the nurse if the resident has chosen not to follow one or more interventions

Both verbal and written communication are needed, and be sure information is provided in the caregiver’s preferred language.

It’s also important for nursing assistants, from every shift, to contribute to the plan of care; they typically know what the resident’s preferences are. Keep a notebook in which they can communicate any changes and care tips that the nurse or other staff should be aware of, or that should be brought forward to the plan of care.

Communication is the cornerstone to ensuring effective and consistent care for our residents.

Making certain that the voices of the nursing assistants are heard and effectively communicating with them will improve their ability to provide appropriate care and help prevent pressure injuries.

Please send your wound treatment-related questions to “Ask the Expert” at ltcnews@mcknights.com.