Reflective accounts

Pressure ulcer prevention

A CPD article improved Malgorzata Zdzioch’s knowledge of how to prevent pressure ulcers in frail older people
pressure ulcers on the heel

A CPD article improved Malgorzata Zdziochs knowledge of how to prevent pressure ulcers in frail older people

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The CPD article discussed the importance of preventing pressure ulcers in frail older people. It outlined the risk factors, classification and effects of pressure ulcers, and the methods used to prevent their development.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

A pressure ulcer is a localised injury to the skin or underlying tissue as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shearing force. Pressure ulcers remain prevalent in all healthcare settings, despite increased prevention awareness.

The article stated that older people are

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A CPD article improved Malgorzata Zdzioch’s knowledge of how to prevent pressure ulcers in frail older people


Patients with pressure ulcers require wound care that is evidence-based  Photo: SPL

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The CPD article discussed the importance of preventing pressure ulcers in frail older people. It outlined the risk factors, classification and effects of pressure ulcers, and the methods used to prevent their development.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

A pressure ulcer is a localised injury to the skin or underlying tissue as a result of pressure or pressure in combination with shearing force. Pressure ulcers remain prevalent in all healthcare settings, despite increased prevention awareness.

The article stated that older people are at increased risk of developing pressure ulcers because of complex care needs, skin changes, malnutrition and dehydration, an increased risk of incontinence and reduced mobility. I have learned that the skin of older people is thinner, which makes this group more vulnerable to pressure ulcers.

The CPD article included guidance about pressure ulcer prevention in frail patients. This may involve considering the need for pressure-relieving equipment, assessing the patient’s skin, planning regular repositioning and undertaking a nutritional assessment. In my practice, skin assessment is performed daily to identify pressure damage early, and provide the best care.

Patients should have a care plan in place that includes an individual repositioning plan, daily skin inspection and nutritional assessment, and which takes the patient’s mobility into consideration.

Where pressure ulcers are already present, it is important that the patient receives evidence-based wound care to enable optimal healing. The patient should be given comprehensive information about their care options, where possible.

How did you change or improve your practice?

I have observed that pressure ulceration causes pain and discomfort to patients, which affects their quality of life. I have noticed they often have difficulty coping with the pain they experience, and might become withdrawn and depressed. Therefore, it is important for nurses to provide effective care and support for these patients.

As a result of reading this article, I will ensure risk assessments are kept up-to-date for patients who are at risk of pressure ulcers. I will undertake regular skin assessments for frail older patients, inspecting their skin for signs of pressure damage.

I plan to support other members of staff involved in the patient’s care, and involve them in discussions about the appropriate treatment and management of pressure ulcers.

I intend to improve my knowledge of tissue viability and wound management to increase my skills in the management of pressure ulcers. I will also undertake further training in this area as part of my professional development.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

One of the themes of the Code is to practise effectively, which includes working cooperatively. The CPD article emphasised the importance of effective teamwork in preventing pressure ulcers and improving care. 

Another important aspect of this theme is for nurses to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date. Reading the article has improved my knowledge of how to prevent pressure ulcers, and I have greater awareness of their effects on patients.

Malgorzata Zdzioch is a staff nurse at Brownlands Nursing Home, Daventry


This reflective account is based on NS824 Barry M, Nugent L (2015) Pressure ulcer prevention in frail older people. Nursing Standard. 30, 16-18, 50-58. These questions are the same as those on the NMC templates that UK nurses and midwives must use for revalidation

Write your own reflective account 

You can gain a certificate of learning by reading a Nursing Standard CPD article and writing a reflective account. To write a reflective account for Nursing Standard, use the NMC reflective accounts form 

Complete the four questions about the CPD article you have just read, writing about 800 words in total. How to submit your reflective account

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