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Exploring the Effect of Educating Certified Nursing Assistants on Pressure Ulcer Knowledge and Incidence in a Nursing Home Setting



Exploring the Effect of Educating Certified Nursing Assistants on Pressure Ulcer Knowledge and Incidence in a Nursing Home Setting



Ostomy/Wound Management 62(9): 42-50



The certified nursing assistant (CNA) is the caregiver who frequently identifies the first signs and symptoms of pressure ulcers (PUs) in the long-term care setting. A quality improvement effort was implemented to explore the effect of a 1-hour CNA education program about early identification, treatment, and prevention of PUs on PU knowledge, PU incidence, and PU prevention interventions, including skin checks. All 33 CNAs employed in a care facility for residents 55+ years old were invited to participate. CNA demographic and PU education variables were obtained. PU knowledge was assessed using the Pressure Ulcer Toolkit questionnaire before, immediately after, and 3 months following the educational intervention about PU prevention. PU incidence data were abstracted from monthly quality assurance reports for the 3 months pre-intervention and 3 months post intervention. Patient medical records were mined for data on turning/repositioning, skin checks, and informing care staff of suspicious areas of skin for the 3 months pre- and post educational intervention. Data for percent of short-stay residents (< 90 days) with PUs were collected via the quarterly Medicare Nursing Home Compare Quality Measures report for this facility before and 3 months after the educational intervention. Pre-intervention and post-intervention PU incidence was statistically analyzed using the t-test. The CNA demographic survey was administered using an anonymous pencil-and-paper format and hand-tabulated by the primary investigator. Of the 31 CNAs surveyed (mean age 32 years [range 18-65], mean years of experience 7.7 years [SD = 8.1, range 0.5-40], 26 (84%) reported they received training regarding PU prevention in the classroom during their initial CNA training, and 81% received on-the-job training at some point in their careers regarding PU prevention. The Quality Indicator report showed a reduction from 5 PUs to 0 (12.3%) in the 3 months pre-intervention to 0% in the 3 months post-intervention. CNA reporting of skin breakdown increased by 68% from 8 reports to 17. CNA training regarding PU identification and prevention measures did not significantly improve knowledge scores, but the rate of PU development was significantly lower and the number of documented skin assessments and PU interventions higher after the education program. Additional studies to evaluate the effect of CNA education on the rate of PU development in nursing homes are warranted.

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