One of your important tasks as a home health aide in NYC is to help prevent bedsores. These pressure sores occur in people who are unable to change body position. Extended periods of pressure on one area reduces the blood supply, eventually causing the skin and underlying tissue to die. Pressure ulcers are most often found on the shoulders, heels, elbows, and sacral region.
The following prevention techniques may be covered in your home attendant training NYC students enroll in on the path to becoming a home health aide (HHA):
- Change the patients’ positions regularly: By repositioning patients every couple of hours, it reduces the pressure on the skin and the risk of developing bedsores. Help turn them to the side if on their back for a while, and vice versa.
- Clean/dry the skin: Overhydration of skin lowers resistance to pressure or friction. Use a mild soap and moisturizers when cleaning skin, and then use a dry towel to pat it. Avoid rubbing, as this can cause irritation, but clean, dry skin is less prone to pressure ulcers.
- Help with exercise: This may seem challenging if a person is bedridden, but range of motion exercises such as arm lifts can reduce one’s risk. Along with your home health aide training in Manhattan, this should help maximize the care you provide.
- Pillows: Place cushioning pillows under the tailbone, shoulders, elbows, and heels, or between the knees and ankles if people are on their sides. Pillows between body parts pressing against one another help limit pressure that causes bedsores.
Other simple techniques for preventing bedsores on a patient include:
- Changing wet clothing, which can avoid skin damage due to acidic urine.
- Lifting rather than dragging the patient, preventing the effects of friction.
- Not massaging thin, vulnerable skin around bony areas of the body.
- Avoid raising the head of the bed more than 30 degrees, to prevent sliding.
- Checking for signs of sores; if an area is discolored, check for blanching (whitening) when the spot is pressed and released. If it doesn’t turn white, a bedsore may be forming and proper care needed.
Bedsore Prevention Strategies
As a care provider with a home health aide certification in NYC, you can work to prevent pressure ulcers. Use pillows under the legs, from mid-calf to ankle. The patient’s heels should be off the bed, but pillows should not be placed under the knees. This can affect circulation. Also, focus on diet and hydration, as fluids, protein, vitamin C, and adequate nutrition can help strengthen the skin.
Pressure ulcers can occur even if patients are sitting up. Make sure they sit upright and straight to ease movement and shifting. There are also various pressure-reducing devices to use, including gel pads, wheelchair cushions, egg crate foam mattress pads, and air mattresses.
Enroll with ABC Training Center
Continue reading to see if our HHA training in NYC is right for you. You can enroll online, or call us at 718-518-5589 for assistance by our helpful team and receive training to qualify for work with HHA agencies in the Bronx or anywhere in the New York City area.