The January 2008 issue of Nursing contained two articles related to pressure ulcers: "Putting a Dent in Pressure Ulcer Rates" (Doing It Better) and "Choosing a Wound Dressing, Part 1" (Wound and Skin Care).* As any nurse knows, pressure ulcers are a constant concern and a patient's risk should be assessed daily. But in practice, this principle is too often ignored.
Recently my husband was admitted to the ICU and placed on a ventilator for 9 days. He was consistently positioned on his back. I told his nurses that I was worried about skin breakdown. They said that patients don't stay in the ICU for long and that it's easier to care for a ventilated patient who's on his back. Surprise-my husband developed two pressure ulcers on his coccyx.
When the ICU nurses found out that I'm a faculty member, many said that now I would see what "real nursing" was!! I'm appalled that our teaching about pressure ulcer prevention is downplayed and ignored in practice. I shall be even more emphatic when I teach about this important and basic nursing intervention. "Real nursing" encompasses all aspects of patient care.
LESLEY AITON SPEVACK, MSCN
*Individual subscribers can also access this article free online at http://www.nursing2008.com.[Context Link]