Roles of the Registered Nurse (RN) are ever changing where it is key to continue to educate for the protection and well being of the patient. Pressure ulcers have become a main issue in healthcare in an attempt to lower cost as well as prevent further morbidities and complications for the patient. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) a pressure ulcer is defined as an area of skin that breaks down when something keeps rubbing or pressing against the skin. An increase in immobile and elderly patients has increased the risk for the development of pressure ulcers. The education and prevention of pressure ulcers should be implemented as a key goal for a nurse during the care of a patient.
Pressure ulcers is tissue damage that occurs when the epidermis and softer underlying tissue is pressed up against a bony prominence for extended periods of time. (Ignatavicius, 2013) The pathophysiology behind the development of a pressure ulcer is the compression on blood vessels, which in turn restrict blood flow to the tissue leading to a decrease in tissue perfusion and oxygenation with an end result of cell death. (Ignatavicius, 2013) Pressure ulcers can occur anywhere on the body however it is most common over the sacrum, hips, and ankles due to the common position of the body residing on those bony prominences. Tubing and cords are another common source of pressure ulcers, such as lying on a Foley catheter tubing or having a nasal cannula that is to tight around the patient. As with most prevention and healing of illness or disease, proper nutrition plays a large role in pressure ulcers. Nurses must be aware of the mechanical forces that can put a patient at risk for or create a pressure ulcer. Friction is when a surface ru...
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...ng assistant and in turn free up time for the nurse to care for other aspects of the patient. Monitoring and assessing high-risk areas for development of pressure ulcers of these patients was a necessity at least once every shift. More frequent turning and positioning was needed due to the complete immobility of these patients. I found that the diligence and expertise of these nurses, combined with the continuance to gain knowledge, helped prevent pressure ulcers from developing or progressing.
Even the most experienced nurse must continue to gain knowledge to ensure proper safety for their patients. The use of evidence based practice to evolve the current prevention strategies will help make sure the best care is given to the patient. The nursing profession will only succeed with the continuation to gain knowledge and implement proper protocols for the client.
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