Myth 1: Apply a sacral dressing and your job is done. In fact, it’s not a practice that should be viewed as an end-all-be-all. National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) clinical guidelines do recommend at-risk individuals receive a soft silicone multi-layered foam dressing, but in conjunction with other prevention measures1. Studies show that including this practice as part of a skin care bundle can reduce pressure injury incidence.
Myth 2: Turn patients every two hours. This previous turning and repositioning protocol no longer applies. According to the updated NPIAP 2019 guidelines, the frequency should be determined on an individual basis, depending on activity levels and the person’s ability to reposition themselves.1 In addition, be sure you’re using the right support surfaces, and consider the following characteristics of each individual:
- Skin and tissue tolerance
- General medical condition
- Overall treatment objectives
- Comfort and pain
Myth 3: A little is good, a lot is better. Sounds logical, but that’s not usually the case. It’s important to follow the product application instructions, because sometimes over-applying can cause damage. For instance, excessive barrier products can crack, which breaks the seal and allows moisture in.2 It’s also inefficient and can unnecessarily drive up your cost of skin care.
Myth 4: CNAs are strictly task oriented. Think about what a certified nursing assistant does every day. They interact with patients and residents typically more than any other caregiver. They get to know the people they care for, and a lot of that care is personal. “Oftentimes, I’ll hear aides use the word ‘my’—‘my residents,’ ‘my people,’” says Joanne Labiak, MSN, CRNP, CWOCN, CWS, DAPWCA, owner of Certified Wound Care Specialists, LLC, and a Medline consultant. “There is this personal accountability. They see it as more than just a job,” she says. That’s why it’s important to truly rely on your CNAs and educate them to feel empowered to use the right products and best practices. Read about our targeted Skin Matters program, specifically for CNAs.