It may not be politically correct to say, but you will learn during CNA training that much of your career is going to involve wiping bottoms. Perineal care may not be pretty, but it is an essential task for CNAs, and it must be done correctly to ensure healthy skin. Skin breakdowns and bedsores are often the result of poor perineal care from CNA training graduates and nursing staff. In fact, in 1859 Florence Nightingale stated:
Remember this as a CNA training graduate — “If he has a bedsore, it’s generally not the fault of the disease, but of the nursing.”
Preventing Skin Breakdowns After CNA Training
If you work in a health care setting after CNA training, it is your responsibility to work with others on your health care team, like doctors, physical therapists, dieticians, and nurses, to help your residents and patients avoid the development of pressure ulcers and skin breakdowns.
Detecting skin abnormalities is vital, but it isn’t always easy. After CNA training, consider the following tips.
- Keep a watchful eye on patients who have peripheral vascular disease, sepsis, diabetes melitus, cerebral vascular accident, and hypertension. These individuals may be more prone to skin issues than others.
- In most nursing homes and hospitals, you will be expected to check on your patients every one to two hours. During this time, you will assist them with peri-care and may change their brief if needed. Pressure sores can develop in two to six hours, so checking for skin abnormalities once a day is not enough. Each time you assist your patient with peri-care, you should watch out for any changes in their skin.
- When you are assisting with skin care and peri-care after CNA training, avoid using hot water on your patient’s skin. Use warm water only, with mild cleansing soaps. This will reduce the amount of dryness and irritation your patient experiences.
- While you are washing, lotioning, or massaging a resident’s skin, avoid vigorous massaging in areas that are bony and red. Doing so can lead to deep tissue trauma.
- During CNA training, you learned about care plans for patients. Each of your patients will have their own individual care plan, and it must be followed carefully. If the patient can not move by himself, it will be your responsibility to turn or reposition him as his care plan delegates.
- Reducing the presence of moisture and bacteria is essential to preventing skin breakdown, as you learned in your CNA training. If your patient is unable to control his bowel or bladder function, make sure you check their brief frequently and provide them with plenty of opportunities to use the restroom.
- As individuals age, their skin becomes thin and inelastic, and their oil and sweat gland are not as active. For this reason, you will need to lotion their skin often to keep it from becoming too dry. Remember learning this in CNA training?
Skin care and peri-care is essential to keeping your patients’ skin healthy during your employment after CNA training. By keeping a close eye on any changes in skin, reporting any problems immediately, and following each patient’s care plan precisely, you can help your patients avoid developing pressure sores and breakdowns in their skin. As a CNA training graduate, make sure you use these preventative measures.