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Bedsores

Leyla is a student in a nursing assistant class. Today’s class was about preventing bedsores or pressure ulcers. Noticing the signs of bedsores is a part of a nursing assistant’s job.  Preventing bedsores is one of the most important jobs a nursing assistant can do. 

 

Bedsores can happen to patients who have damage to their skin.  Many bedsores happen when patients are not able to get out of bed.  Minor bedsores can be treated easily. More severe bedsores can become painful and difficult to treat.

Leyla learned about some of the best ways to make sure patients do not get bedsores.  A patient’s skin should be clean, dry, and moisturized. Nursing assistants need to make sure bed linens are also clean and dry.  Bed linens should be changed after they are soiled, or dirty.  Dirty bed linens can lead to skin infections and bedsores.

Most bedsores happen because of pressure.  It is important to check the skin of patients who cannot move or get out of bed.  Nursing assistants do this every day. Some of the common areas to check are the buttocks or tailbone. The knees, heels, and ankles may also develop bedsores.  A nursing assistant should also check the sides and back of the head and then the shoulders.  Any changes must be reported to the nurse. 

One of the most important ways to prevent bedsores is to make sure patients move often. A patient who cannot get out of bed should be moved every two hours. A nursing assistant needs to move a patient in bed. A patient’s ankles or knees should not touch.  Using a pillow can help prevent pressure on some areas of the body.

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© 2015 by Southwest Adult Basic Education

Project made financially possible through grants from:

Southwest Initiative Foundation, Marshall Community Foundation, Southwest Regional Transition Partners, Southwest Adult Basic Education, Marshall Healthcare Partners