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Pressure ulcers are areas of localized tissue destruction caused by the compression of soft tissue over a bony prominence and an external surface for a prolonged period of time. They usually occur over bony prominences such as the coccyx, ischial tuberosities, heels and trochanters where there is less tissue to compress

Pressure ulcers can often be prevented, but not always. Prevention requires the use of effective protocols. Until such preventative protocols are used more aggressively, pressure ulcers will remain a common problem. The resident groups primarily affected are those with limited mobility: the elderly, the quadriplegic and the critically ill. Recent studies indicate that properly treated pressure ulcers heal faster than previously thought, often showing signs of healing within two to four weeks.

  • Agenda

  • Read the Overview and Course Objectives.
  • Study the Terminology.
  • Read the course material.
  • Complete the Learning Activity.
  • Complete the Post Test with a score of 80% or more.

    The material is organized around the following categories:

  • Introduction
  • Assessment
  • Assessing the Individual
  • Managing Tissue Loads
  • Ulcer Care
  • Managing Bacterial Colonization and Infection
  • Operative Repair
  • Education and Quality Improvement
  • Conclusion

    The purpose of this program is to provide nurses an understanding of pressure ulcers, their causes, symptoms and complications, and their impact on long-term care.

    After completing this course, the learner should be able to:

  • Assess an at-risk resident for the presence of pressure ulcers.
  • Assess a pressure ulcer and properly categorize it into one of four stages.
  • Outline and describe the four initial steps of ulcer care.
  • Describe positioning techniques used to support healing.
  • Describe the types of support surfaces and their uses.
  • Identify when adjunctive therapy or operative repair may be required.

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