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Clinician Resources: human trafficking, npuap, caregiver, ostomy, HIV

Check out the following resources, all designed to help you in your clinical practice.

Human trafficking resources

Victims of human trafficking often suffer tremendous physical and psychological damage. Clinicians play an important role in identifying potential victims so they can obtain help.

Here are some resources to learn more about human trafficking.

Addressing human trafficking in the health care setting” is an online course that includes a downloadable quick-reference guide that can be saved and easily accessed from a mobile device to assist providers with essential information in the healthcare setting. (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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Exercise your right to be fit!

Nearly all clinicians know exercise is good for our physical and mental health. But incorporating it into our busy lives can be a challenge. The only types of exercise some clinicians have time for are working long shifts, juggling life’s demands, balancing the books, jumping on the bandwagon, climbing the ladder of success, and skipping meals.

Clinicians are in a unique position to help patients change their behavior to improve their health. Ironically, the first behavior clinicians need to change is to work toward improving our own exercise habits. (more…)

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Nutritional considerations in patients with pressure ulcers

Optimizing nutritional status is a key strategy both in preventing and managing pressure ulcers. In patients across all care settings, compromised nutrition— as from poor intake, undesired weight loss, and malnutrition—increases the risk of pressure ulcers. It contributes to altered immune function, impaired collagen synthesis, and decreased tensile strength. In many cases, malnutrition also contributes to wound chronicity and increases the risk for delayed and impaired wound healing. In patients with chronic wounds, such as pressure ulcers, a chronic inflammatory state can induce catabolic metabolism, malnutrition, and dehydration. (more…)

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How to apply silver nitrate

Topical application of silver nitrate is often used in wound care to help remove and debride hypergranulation tissue or calloused rolled edges in wounds or ulcerations. It’s also an effective agent to cauterize bleeding in wounds. Silver nitrate is a highly caustic material, so it must be used with caution to prevent damage to healthy tissues. (more…)

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No more skin tears

Imagine watching your skin tear, bleed, and turn purple. Imagine, too, the pain and disfigurement you’d feel.

What if you had to live through this experience repeatedly? That’s what many elderly people go through, suffering with skin tears through no fault of their own. Some go on to develop complications.

A skin tear is a traumatic wound caused by shear, friction, or blunt-force trauma that results in a partial- or full-thickness injury. Skin tears are painful because the precipitating injury commonly involves the dermis, which is rich with nerve endings. (more…)

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Caution: Checklists may lead to inaccurate documentation

Using a checklist form to document wound care can make the task easier and faster—and help ensure that you’ve captured all pertinent data needed for assessment, reimbursement, and legal support. But the form itself may not be comprehensive; some important fields may be missing.

Recently, we at Wound Care Advisor received a question from a clinician who was having trouble deciding how to code a patient’s wound in her hospital’s electronic health record (EHR). Her patient’s specific wound and tissue types weren’t available options in the dropdown menu on the software system. Luckily, on investigating, we discovered her system provided the option to override the checklist and add comments in a notes section. (more…)

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Clinical Notes: ostomy, pressure ulcer, burn treatment

Self-management ostomy program improves HRQOL

A five-session ostomy self-care program with a curriculum based on the Chronic Care Model can improve health-related quality of life (HRQOL), according to a study in Psycho-Oncology.

A chronic care ostomy self-management program for cancer survivors” describes results from a longitudinal pilot study of 38 people. Participants reported sustained improvements in patient activation, self-efficacy, total HRQOL, and physical and social well-being. Most patients had a history of rectal cancer (60.5%) or bladder cancer (28.9%). (more…)

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Buzz Report: Latest trends, part 2

Keeping clinicians up-to-date on clinical knowledge is one of the main goals of the Wild on Wounds (WOW) conference held each September in Las Vegas. Every year, I present the opening session, called “The Buzz Report,” which focuses on the latest-breaking wound care news—what’s new, what’s now, and what’s coming up. I discuss new products, practice guidelines, resources, and tools from the last 12 months in skin, wound, and ostomy management.

In the January issue, I discussed some of the updates from my 2015 Buzz Report. Now I’d like to share a few more, along with some of my favorite resources. (more…)

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