Implementing a wound care resource nurse program.
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Nurses are leaders in implementing innovations that can create positive outcomes in the prevention and management of pressure ulcers in patients admitted to acute care hospitals. Believing that nurses knowledgeable in best practices could impact prevalence, incidence, and care of pressure ulcers, an educational program was developed in a Canadian healthcare system to inform and empower nurses providing skin and wound care. The program afforded participants the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skill to recognize patients at risk for developing pressure ulcers and to independently treat Stage I and Stage II pressure ulcers and skin breakdown related to moisture, friction, and shear. The program includes evidence-based practice recommendations and highlights the Best Practice Guidelines developed by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, a provincial body taking an active role in the development, implementation, and evaluation of published guidelines derived from global research literature synthesis. Pre- and post participation assessment of 65 nurse participants from three hospitals deemed the program successful in terms of knowledge and fulfillment of their educational expectations. Organizational support to implement the skin and wound care resource nurse role was encouraging and medical directives for Stage I and Stage II pressure ulcers by nurses were implemented. Evaluation and monitoring of program outcomes, including pressure ulcer incidence rates, continue.
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