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Practicing emotional intelligence may help reduce lateral violence

It’s been a stressful day at work—nothing new. One confused patient pulled off her ostomy bag, you’re having difficulties applying negative-pressure wound therapy on another, and a third patient’s family is

angry with you. We all experience stressful days, but unfortunately, sometimes we take our stress out on each other. Too often, this ineffective way of identifying and managing stress leads nurses to engage in lateral violence. (more…)

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Understanding NPUAP’s updates to pressure ulcer terminology and staging

On April 13, 2016, the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) announced changes in pressure ulcer terminology and staging definitions. Providers can adapt NPUAP’s changes for their clinical practice and documentation, but it’s important to note that, as of press time, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not adopted the changes. This means that providers can’t use NPUAP’s updates when completing CMS assessment forms, such as the Minimum Data Set (MDS) or Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS). Instead, they must code the CMS assessment forms according to current CMS instructions and definitions. In addition, there is no ICD-10 code for pressure injury. (more…)

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Balancing the wheels of life

Have you ever ridden a bicycle with a wobbly wheel? The ride isn’t smooth, and you notice every bump in the road. As you focus on your discomfort, you may be distracted from the beautiful vistas you’re riding past.

Think of the bicycle as your overall health, which carries you through life. For most of us, learning how to ride a bike begins in childhood as we learn to control the wheels. But with more wear and tear on the bike, the once-pleasant ride becomes uncomfortable and sometimes out of balance. (more…)

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10 tips for a successful professional conference

Attending a professional conference can yield many benefits if you follow these 10 tips.

1 Obtain new knowledge. Conferences provide opportunities for clinicians to gain new knowledge about procedures, technology, and research. Take notes and keep handouts for reference. After you return, share what you have learned with colleagues so multiple people benefit from the conference. Remember to complete the necessary information to obtain professional continuing education (CE) credit.

2 Become certified. Conferences typically provide opportunities for attendees to take certification exams or attend sessions to prepare for exams. If you’re planning to take a certification test, obtain test blue prints at the conference or attend a pre- or post-conference session that focuses on the certification exam. If you’re ready to test, sign up before the conference so you can become certified while you’re away. (more…)

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Wise use of antibiotics in patients with wound infections

Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health threat not only in the United States, but worldwide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is one of the major threats to human health.

Despite these concerns, antibiotics continue to be widely used—and overused. In long-term care, for instance, antibiotics are the most frequently prescribed medications, with as many as 70% of residents receiving one or more courses per year. And antibiotics are consistently ordered for suspected pressure ulcer infections.

Here is what clinicians who care for patients with wounds can do to help reduce antibiotic resistance. (more…)

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Comprehensive turning programs can avoid a pain in the back

Turning programs are essential to prevent and promote healing of pressure ulcers and to prevent the many negative effects of immobility, ranging from constipation to respiratory infections. However, turning a patient often puts a caregiver’s body in an awkward position, which can lead to musculoskeletal damage, especially back injuries.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare workers suffer the highest rate of musculoskeletal disorders for all occupational groups and more than seven times the average rate for all occupations. Direct caregivers are the group most likely to experience musculoskeletal injuries. During turning tasks, excessive forces are imposed on the caregiver’s musculoskeletal structure due to the external load of the patient and the caregiver’s form and position during the task. Fragala and Fragala found that turning patients in bed is one of the highest-risk activities that lead to low back pain. (more…)

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The power of the positive

Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It’s leadership.

— Ralph S. Marston, Jr., author and

publisher of The Daily Motivator website

Clinicians may encounter many challenges and stressors in the workplace—long hours, rotating shifts, inadequate staffing, poor teamwork, and pressure to achieve higher performance levels in an emotionally and physically demanding field.

But hope exists. Positive psychology uses scientific understanding and interventions to help people achieve a more satisfactory life. Positive psychologists have shown that building positive emotions can change the way we approach and view our environment, helping us become healthier, happier, and more resilient and helping employees and teams become more productive and engaged. (more…)

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Top 10 outpatient reimbursement questions

 

At the 2015 Wild on Wounds conference, the interactive workshop “Are You Ready for an Outpatient Reimbursement Challenge?” featured a lively discussion among participants about 25 real-life reimbursement scenarios. Here are the top 10 questions the attendees asked, with the answers I provided.

Q Why is it necessary for qualified healthcare professionals (QHPs) such as physicians, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and clinical nurse specialists to identify the place of service where they provide wound care services and to correctly state the place of service on their claim forms? (more…)

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Restorative nursing programs help prevent pressure ulcers

Immobility affects all our body systems, including our skin. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, many contributing factors are associated with the formation of a pressure ulcer, with impaired mobility leading the list.

So what can clinicians do to prevent harm caused by immobility? One often-overlooked strategy is a restorative nursing program. (See About restorative nursing.)

Moving up the time line

Most patients who score poorly for mobility and/or activity impairments on the Braden Scale for Predicting Pressure Ulcer Risk are referred to physical therapy, but too often a restorative nursing program (more…)

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Immobility as the root cause of pressure ulcers

By Jeri Lundgren, BSN, RN, PHN, CWS, CWCN

Many factors can contribute to the formation of a pressure ulcer, but it’s rare that one develops in an active, mobile patient. As the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel 2014 guidelines state, “Pressure ulcers cannot form without loading, or pressure on the tissue. Extended periods of lying or sitting on a particular body part and failure to redistribute the pressure can lead to ischemia and therefore tissue damage.” Thus, immobility is frequently the root cause of pressure ulcer development. (more…)

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Motivational interviewing: A collaborative path to change

By Sharon Morrison, MAT, RN

Michael had diabetes and a history of elevated blood glucose levels. A long-time drinker, he seemed to have no interest in giving up the habit. I met him while working as a diabetes nurse educator for the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, traveling from shelter to shelter to help persons with diabetes set goals to improve their health.

If our meeting had taken place a decade earlier, I might have given Michael information about diabetes and talked with him about his alcohol use. I would have encouraged him to stop drinking by explaining the problems alcohol can cause for people with diabetes. (more…)

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Creating high-performance interprofessional teams

By Terry Eggenberger, PhD, RN, CNE, CNL; Rose O. Sherman, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN; and Kathryn Keller, PhD, RN

Kate Summer, a wound care clinician in a urban hospital, is leading an initiative to reduce pressure ulcers. She knows from experience that more effective communication and collaborative planning by the interdisciplinary team managing these patients is crucial for reducing pressure ulcers. But doing this has been challenging for Kate. (more…)

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