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Care skills for pressure ulcer patients
  • 21

  • Course Code: 5N2770
  • University: The Open College
  • Country: Ireland

Write a comprehensive discussion on the needs of a person who is at risk of developing a pressure ulcer. Your assignment will be assessed on the following:

  • Comprehensive description of client’s needs.

  • Accurate identification of assistance required.

  • Clear recommendations on an effective course of action to better meet client’s needs.

  • Evidence of reflection as a result of 6 weeks work experience.


Pressure ulcers are a significant health concern for immobile or with limited mobility (Ferris, Price, and Harding, 2019). These wounds are caused by repeated compression of the epidermis and underlying tissues, which results in tissue injury and, ultimately, necrosis (Anthoni, Alosoumi, and Safari, 2019). The severity of pressure ulcers can range from one (least severe) to four (most severe).

Research shows pressure ulcers pose a grave health risk, particularly for older people and those with chronic conditions (Sumarno, 2019). The risk factors for pressure ulcers are inactivity, starvation, incontinence, friction, and shear forces. Consequently, the protective barrier of the epidermis is weakened, increasing the danger of a pressure injury.

If the underlying causes are not treated, managing and preventing pressure ulcers is difficult. The bundle consists of specialised surfaces, nutritious foods, and frequent repositioning. Immediate intervention and treatment are essential for avoiding complications and accelerating recovery.

Client needs

Patients with or at risk for a pressure ulcer must have their medical and physical needs carefully examined to determine and evaluate their needs. The capacity of the person to do activities of daily living (ADLs), such as eating and drinking, moving about, using the restroom, and maintaining good posture, should be assessed as part of this assessment.

The evaluation of the person's healthcare needs, medical history, current health, and any underlying health conditions that may increase the risk of developing a pressure ulcer should all be considered. Poor circulation, which can happen in persons with certain disorders such as diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, can alter tissue damage and healing time (Saleh et al., 2019). People with limited movements, such as those who have experienced a spinal cord injury or other neurological issues, frequently have pressure ulcers.

Physical demands, particularly those related to ADLs, should be included in the evaluation along with healthcare needs. Pressure ulcers can be prevented with appropriate cleanliness, skincare, and a nutritious diet (Reza et al., 2020). People susceptible to pressure ulcers should be reminded to practise excellent hygiene, care for their skin, keep it dry and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture. Two other advantages of eating healthily are prevention against starvation and tissue repair.

People at risk for developing pressure ulcers can be identified and treated appropriately using tools such as the Waterlow score, Falls Assessment tools, Barthel Index, Pain Assessment Tools, and the SKINNS Bundle (Khojastehfar, Ghezeljeh and Haghani, 2020).

To forecast a person's risk of developing pressure ulcers, the Waterlow score, a popular risk assessment tool, considers a person's age, mobility, and nutritional status, among other factors. With the SKINNS Bundle of treatments, pressure ulcers in high-risk groups can be avoided and treated.

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Level of assistance required

Depending on their specific illness and treatment plan, a person may require assistance caring for a pressure ulcer or avoiding forming one. Healthcare professionals must work closely with the patient and their carers to identify the most efficient therapies and aid with ADLs to prevent pressure ulcers from developing.

The term "appropriate ADL assistance" can refer to mobility aids like transferring and positioning and support with bathing, dressing, and toileting. Bed rails, lifts, and hoists are a few examples of mechanical equipment that may be necessary for giving persons with mobility issues or other physical limitations safe and effective care. A patient should be periodically turned and rotated to relieve pressure on the skin and underlying tissues and prevent pressure ulcers.

A safe living environment can be very beneficial for people who are at risk of developing pressure ulcers (Sumarno, 2019). Ensure that the individual can live safely and comfortably in the home by eliminating hazards and making necessary modifications. For instance, rails can be installed in the bathroom to enable safe and independent toileting and non-slip mats can be used in the shower to prevent falls.

Constant and straightforward communication is necessary to comprehend and address a person's needs completely. Family members or carers may be asked to participate in care planning and decision-making throughout this phase, and suitable communication strategies, such as using visual aids or assistive technology to facilitate communication, may be employed.

With mechanical help, pressure-relieving tools, and practical manual handling skills, pressure ulcers can be prevented or reduced. Pressure-relieving mattresses and cushions are among the specific support surfaces that can help with pressure redistribution and minimize the risk of tissue injury. Healthcare professionals must acquire proper manual handling techniques to provide patients with safe and effective treatment.

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Healthcare professionals must promote high-quality treatment for patients with pressure ulcers or at risk of getting them. Healthcare practitioners should use best practices and alternative care solutions to improve their patient's quality of life to prevent pressure sores.

One recommendation is to flip and rotate clients often, especially those who are physically incapable of moving or have significant mobility issues. Repositioning patients so they are no longer in a painful or unpleasant posture, helps avoid pressure ulcers and other tissue damage (Sumarno, 2019). Physical activity should be encouraged wherever possible to help patients with their circulation and prevent pressure ulcers.

Another solution is to supply clients with enough food and drink. Due to the possible negative consequences of malnutrition and dehydration on their patients' skin and tissue, healthcare professionals have an ethical and legal duty to monitor their patients' intake and take appropriate action when necessary (Reza et al., 2020).

Utilising pressure-relieving support surfaces, such as pressure-relieving mattresses and cushions, can reduce the risk of tissue damage. Healthcare professionals should work closely with them to ensure that clients and their carers use the appropriate support surfaces.

Conducting routine skin examinations on patients is essential to preventing the onset of pressure ulcers. Healthcare personnel should frequently get training on identifying and evaluating pressure ulcers to ensure that early treatments are administered when necessary.

Finally, the supervisor or charge nurse must be notified immediately if the client's condition changes. Reporting them as soon as feasible is crucial to decrease the chance of further problems.

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By reflecting on the lessons they have learned from treating patients who have or are at risk for developing pressure ulcers, care professionals may better evaluate the quality of their services. Therefore, medical practitioners may assess their expertise and skills to see where to improve.

By examining the outcomes for patients with pressure ulcers or those at risk of developing them, healthcare professionals can assess the effectiveness of their treatment. It is crucial to frequently evaluate the client's skin and other physical indicators to gauge the effectiveness of therapy to guide future treatment decisions better.

Additionally, understanding the rationale behind the care is necessary to evaluate its effectiveness. Professionals in the medical field should be able to explain the thinking behind their treatment choices and the expected implications on the patient's health.

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Anthony, D., Alosoumi, D. and Safari, R., 2019. Prevalence of pressure ulcers in long-term care: a global review. Journal of wound care, 28(11), pp.702-709.

Ferris, A., Price, A. and Harding, K., 2019. Pressure ulcers in patients receiving palliative care: a systematic review. Palliative medicine, 33(7), pp.770-782.

Khojastehfar, S., Ghezeljeh, T.N. and Haghani, S., 2020. Factors related to knowledge, attitude, and practice of nurses in intensive care unit in the area of pressure ulcer prevention: a multicenter study. Journal of tissue viability, 29(2), pp.76-81.

Reza, H.M., Das, C.K., Mittra, C.R. and Saha, A.K., 2020. Nurses’ knowledge and practices regarding prevention and management of pressure ulcer for hospitalized patient. Asian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, 6(2), pp.237-243.

Saleh, M.Y., Papanikolaou, P., Nassar, O.S., Shahin, A. and Anthony, D., 2019. Nurses' knowledge and practice of pressure ulcer prevention and treatment: an observational study. Journal of tissue viability, 28(4), pp.210-217.

Sumarno, A.S., 2019. Pressure ulcers: the core, care and cure approach. British journal of community nursing, 24(Sup12), pp.S38-S42.

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