Scholarly Activity Summary
The document describes a group activity about health education on pressure sores prevention in hospitalized patients. The event was conducted in a hospital set up with the target population being medical, surgical and critical care nurses. Undergraduate nurses were also part of the targeted team. The first part gives an overview of the scholarly activity where the target population and the aim of the programme are discussed. The second part covers the problem statement and background information about the state of pressure ulcers in the United States and the outside world. Solutions to the problem are given in the second last part, and programme competencies review forms the last section of the discussion.
Nursing education is one of the methods in which nurse practitioners acquire new knowledge on the management of various conditions in the hospital. I was part of the team that provided health education on practical measures of preventing pressure ulcers in hospitals. The target market for the activity included medical, surgical and intensive care unit nurses. Also, the programme aimed at providing knowledge to new nurse practitioners especially undergraduate students who were in their clinical rotations for the first time. The scholarly activity was of benefit because I got to realize how crucial prevention of decubitus ulcers was. Also, I was happy to be part of the team that offered one of the best health talks from our department.
Pressure sores have been identified as a significant burden of hospitalization worldwide, and nurses form the forefront of the prevention team. According to Brown, Edwards, Seaton, Buckley and Lewis (2015), pressure ulcers remain the cause of prolonged hospitalization more so in situations like poor nutrition, prolonged pressure and increased moisture on the skin. On average, about 60,000 people die every year worldwide as a result of pressure ulcers. A recent study reveals that the prevalence of decubitus ulcers in Europe is at 11% in medical wards and 4.7% in surgical wards (Brown et al, 2015). Pressure sores threaten the mobility of patients because of the pain caused. They also prolong the period of hospitalization and increase the cost of treatment. The target population for the problem has been the elderly, especially those above 65 years of age. However, younger patients with neurological issues exhibit the same problem. By participating in health education programmes, the nurses gain confidence in sharing of information. Nurses also get to better the care given to patients through health education.
Health education helps individuals to understand the management of chronic conditions in the ward. Pressure sores form no exception because, with active control, the problem is eradicated. The first remedy to the problem is a risk assessment. It begins with the inspection of the skin and identification of the areas at risk. Risk assessment does not reduce the ulcers but gives the nurse a preview of what is to be done (Brown et al, 2015). Interventions that are appropriate to the evaluation are then made. Turning of patients every two hours is recommended by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. The use of air mattresses and floaters has proven a reduction in pressure sores by 60%. Nutritional and skin care assessments help in the healing of the affected areas. Despite effective management, some pressure ulcers cannot be avoided. The nurse collaborates with the doctors to determine those ulcers that require debridement to prevent any further tissue damage.
Provision of health education on pressure area care to staff helps in supplementing experience acquired during practice. The chance captured fell on the new students who were doing clinical practice for the first time. I believe that the knowledge provided helped the students know effective ways of managing bed sores. It is also difficult for students to organize health talk programmes like this; hence, it was an excellent opportunity to have a team that was ready to overcome fear and shares knowledge with others. The objectives covered during the activity include assessment process of the skin, different ways of skin care and management of bed sores using various methods. Attending events like this will help me become a better nurse, ready to share information and eager to learn from others.
Programme Competencies Addressed
- Intraprofessional collaboration between doctors and nurses.
- Population health concerns. The elderly form the most significant population affected by pressure sores.
- New practice approaches. The use of air-filled mattresses and floaters.
Brown, D., Edwards, H., Seaton, L., Buckley, T., & Lewis, S. M. (2015). Lewis’s medical-surgical nursing: Assessment and management of clinical problems.