Spotting Skin Breakdown After CNA Training

cna trainingCNA Training

One of the most important aspects, and most frequent job task, of a CNA after CNA training is perineal care. While this task isn’t the prettiest part of your job description, it is an essential part that cannot be ignored.

During CNA training, you learned that perineal care is the process of washing the rectal and genital areas of the body. On patients that are able to visit the bathroom by themselves, this type of care should be performed by a CNA at least once a day during the patient’s bed bath, tub bath, or shower. Patients who are incontinent must be given perineal care multiple times a day, generally every two hours.

The purpose of perineal care is to prevent odor, infection, and irritation while ensuring cleanliness. However, it is also used by CNAs to prevent pressure ulcers and skin breakdown.

After CNA Training: The Importance of Preventing Pressure Ulcers

Pressure ulcers are one of the biggest health problems facing patients in the hospital and nursing home setting today. According to a study by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, or HCUP, between 1993 and 2003, the number of pressure ulcers had increased in the hospital setting by 63 percent. During the same time, however, the number of individuals entering hospitals only increased by 11 percent.

Pressure ulcers are not only painful, but they can be extremely costly, with the average hospital bill for a pressure ulcer being about $37,800. Many believe pressure ulcers are a “visible mark of a caregiver sin,” and in reality they are. After CNA training, you are on the front lines of patient care, and if you aren’t providing proper perineal care, the result will be a skin breakdown or pressure ulcer.

Preventing Skin Breakdowns After CNA Training

While there are many individuals on the health care team that contribute to the care of each patient you have after CNA training, detecting skin abnormalities and reporting them to your nursing supervisor is no less vital. Here are just a few ways to prevent skin breakdowns from developing and identify problems before they get out of hand.

  • Always keep an eye out for any changes to the skin with each peri-care session. Pressure ulcers can develop in a matter of hours. If you notice differences in the skin, don’t ignore it. Tell your nurse supervisor immediately.
  • Avoid massaging reddened, bony areas of a patient’s body after CNA training. Studies have suggested that this can lead to deep trauma to the tissue.
  • Always make sure the water used to wash a patient’s genital and rectal area is warm, but avoid making it too hot. Also, minimize irritation and dryness by using only mild cleaning agents after CNA training.
  • Patients who are bedbound may not be able to move by themselves. Continuous pressure on one area of the body can result in the development of pressure sores. Read the patient’s care plan carefully after CNA training and make sure to reposition them as per their care plan’s schedule.

Pressure sores can be very hazardous to the health of your patients after CNA training. Make sure you are doing what you can to prevent these sores from developing, and reporting any abnormalities in the skin after CNA training.

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