Jamaica Hospital now provides a comprehensive consultative wound care service for all inpatients.
The purpose of the service, offered though the Nursing Department and run by Rosalyn Beswick, Clinical Nurse Manager and Certified Wound Care Nurse, is to prevent pressure injuries from occurring through education and intervention.
A pressure injury (previously known as pressure ulcer) is defined as localized damage to the skin and/or underlying soft tissue usually over a bony prominence. The injury can present as intact skin or an open ulcer and may be painful. Pressure injuries usually occur as a result of intense and/or prolonged pressure.
Rosalyn and her team of specially trained wound care technicians provide around the clock coverage for all patients in need of their services. The team performs approximately 50 consults every week with the number growing steadily. “As the providers become more familiar with the services we provide and learn how we can contribute to the recovery of the patients, they are utilizing us more and more” states Rosalyn.
One of the main focuses of the wound care team is to provide instructions on how to properly position patients to allow for the appropriate distribution of weight. Another service offered includes monitoring the nutritional status of the patient to ensure they receive a diet high in protein and vitamins as well as adequate hydration. Lastly, the wound care specialists assess patients and offer the necessary moisture management, needed to prevent a breakdown of the skin. To support this effort, hospital administration has made an investment to purchase over 200 new bed surfaces and additional foam wedges, which will greatly benefit the team and the patients they serve.
The results of this program have been overwhelmingly positive. Since the inception of the service, the hospital’s pressure injury incidence rate went from 3.48 to .93, well below the national average. As a result Jamaica Hospital’s patients have benefited by reporting decreased pain and suffering and improved quality of life.
Rosalyn is very excited about how well the service has been received, “The patients are thankful for their improved quality of life and the staff is appreciative to have the resource available to them.” With more and more doctors, nurses and discharge planners counting on the services offered by the wound care team, Jamaica Hospital is confident that this service will continue to improve the overall quality of care provided to our patients.”