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Education for Prevention

Education for Prevention

Fran Demo BSN, RN, CWON

Pressure Injury Prevention

Benjamin Franklin said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Most healthcare practitioners understand this, as is evident by the many wonderful pressure injury prevention programs seen presented as posters, in articles and in our own facilities. Education on prevention is key for patients, caregivers and staff to understand how instrumental their role is in maintaining healthy skin that will be better able to resist injury. Being rewarded as part of the solution can be very satisfying.

The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm. Florence Nightingale said this more than one hundred years ago and it still holds true today. The challenge of managing a complex wound is exciting yet preventing that wound in the first place is the core of nursing practice. Take for example, the critical care patient who could have developed a pressure injury leaving them debilitated for months as the pressure injury is being treated. Would it not be better for the patient to be pressure injury free, to enjoy life given back to him/her, participate in activities and enjoy grandchildren?

Education

Education for prevention is key to “do the sick no harm”. Education should not be limited to the nursing staff, it should also be directed to the patient and family or caregiver. Do not underestimate the role of the ”frontline” caregiver in pressure injury prevention, whether that caregiver is a skilled professional or family member. Patients and caregivers are more inclined to follow a plan of care that is easy to manage and presented in a positive manner. There is a personal satisfaction knowing your hard work is valued.

Implementation

Interventions suggestions for each section of the Braden Risk Assessment Tool outlined below would be easy to incorporate in to any facility pressure injury prevention program or for educating a home family caregiver.

Sensory Perception

  • Diversional activity
  • Medication management
  • Speech evaluation and recommendations
  • Providing a safe environment

Moisture

  • Cleanse, moisturize, and protect, healthy skin resists injury!
  • Bathe or encourage bathing regularly with fragrance free, pH balanced products
  • Apply gentle, fragrance free lotions, include legs and feet but not between toes
  • Provide timely incontinence clean up, avoid use of adult incontinent underwear when patient is in bed
  • Do use zinc and/or dimethicone barrier products on a regular basis, preferably after each incontinent episode
  • Manage cause of incontinence

Activity

  • Instruct patient on risks of inactivity, not only skin injury but joint pain, weight gain, chronic illness
  • Offer suggestions and provide tools for increased activity
  • Encourage patient participation to improve compliance
  • Include PT/OT in coordination of plan of care

Mobility

  • Encourage the patient to be as independent as physically possible with bed and chair mobility
  • Utilize assistive devices and bed features for patient mobility
  • Patient should be mobilized (repositioned) a minimum of every 2 hours when in bed and every 15-30 minutes when in chair
  • New safe patient handling & repositioning products from EHOB ease the risk of injury on patient and caregiver for patients unable to position self

Nutrition

  • Pleasant surroundings & social interaction at mealtime
  • Maintain skin health from the inside out with appropriate nutrition and fluids
  • Assessment of patient likes and dislikes
  • Arrange for healthy snacks
  • Supplementation as recommended by dietitian

Friction and Shear

  • Use lift sheet and positioning devices to prevent shear and friction injury
  • WAFFLE Overlay decreases risk of pressure injury when transferring or repositioning a patient that is not able to position themselves
  • TruVue Heel Protector, Foot WAFFLE or Foot Elevator protect high risk heels and ankles for patients unable to lift legs off bed.
  • Comorbidities
  • Work with patient and physician to manage medical conditions
  • Develop realistic plan of care to help patient acquire and manage medications

Other interventions to consider

  • Protect patient from injuries from medical devices such as nasal cannulas, bedpans, CPAP masks, etc.

Documentation 

  • Best when timely and accurate documentation
  • Tells the patient’s story, communicates plan of care between disciplines
  • Decreases risks of litigation.

How can EHOB help?

  • Full line of quality products to aid in the prevention of pressure injuries from head to toe!
  • New line of safe patient handling and positioning products
  • Clinical Team to available to provide education on pressure injury prevention, documentation, as well as how to maximize the benefits of EHOB products utilization.
  • Free Caregiver Guide to augment patient education

Contact a local representative today to schedule an appointment!