As you begin to refocus on the basics of prevention, be sure not to fall into any “old ways” of thinking.
Myth 1: Applying a sacral dressing means your job is done
National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP) clinical guidelines recommend at-risk individuals receive a soft silicone multi-layered foam dressing, not on its own, but rather in conjunction with other prevention measures.² Studies show that including this practice as part of a skin care bundle can reduce pressure injury incidence.
Myth 2: Turning patients every two hours is best
Every two hours is an outdated turning and repositioning protocol. According to the updated NPIAP 2019 guidelines, the frequency should be determined on an individual basis, depending on a person’s activity levels and their ability to reposition themselves.² Besides starting with the right support surface, 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 a product can cause damage. For instance, barrier products can crack if too much is used, which breaks the seal and allows moisture in, instead of keeping it out.² It’s also inefficient and can unnecessarily drive up your cost of skin care.
Myth 4: The job of the CNA is to perform the mundane tasks
Certified nursing assistants 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 phrases ‘my residents’ or ‘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.