Fewer staff with less experience means a renewed focus on skin care basics as wound care specialists make their way back into facilities

Wound care professionals not long ago warned the specialty was facing mounting PPE costs and cutbacks in wound
prevention products. But wound care is emerging from the pandemic with improved best practices, and a steely resident care resolve. 

“Everything that we do has to relate back to how to meet residents’ needs when they’re understaffed or may not have the experience level,” said Tony Forsberg, RN, BSBA, WCC, CSPHA, national clinical director for Essity HMS North America.

Because of the unavoidable knowledge gap among “temps,” Forsberg and his team are focusing heavily on education and training. In addition to using Zoom, Essity is also resuming more one-on-one instruction and responding to on-the-ground observations. 

Forsberg recently sourced a vastly improved silicone-based tape that doesn’t damage the thin and frail skin of  elderly patients after witnessing a rash of medical device-related skin tears during IV and
cannula removal.

Mary Jo Conley, BSN, RN, CWOCN, who serves as a WOCN board member when not on the floor at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, is seeking stronger relationships with partners and suppliers while promoting better skin care and pressure injury-prevention practices.

For its part, DermaRite Industries quickly pivoted from in-person to virtual education at the start of the lockdown, and has emerged from the pandemic recognizing the critical need to educate all caregivers about skin care and pressure injury prevention, said Elaine McGowan, BSN, RN, CWCN, vice president of clinical affairs

Medline Industries’ SNF customers are building “a new model for skin and wound care” by addressing workforce challenges head-on. Medline recently undertook a more holistic approach that “empowers frontline staff to deliver evidence-based best practices,” said Chrystalbelle Rogers, MSN, RN, CWCN, CENP, director of clinical services for Medline Post-Acute Care Skin Health.

The company’s Post-Acute Skin Health Solution team is now hosting free “virtual boot camps” to educate clinicians on best practice.