√ There are different professionals who may be part of the healthcare team to help manage the person living with a pressure injury.
√ Every member of the pressure injury team has an important role to help prevent pressure injuries and to help current pressure injuries heal.
√ The person living with a pressure injury is the most important person in the team.
It can be very confusing when caring for someone at home as there are many professionals who may visit and check up on your loved one. Since it takes a team to manage someone with a pressure injury, in this section we will talk about each of the professionals you may interact with and what each of them do.
A wound care nurse is a nurse who has extra training in managing someone with a wound. They work with the rest of the health care team to help develop a treatment plan for the person who has pressure injury. A wound care nurse may be one of the first people that are called upon when a family member finds out their loved one has a wound. The frequency in which a wound care nurse will visit someone with a pressure injury will depend on how often wound dressings need to be changed and how serious the pressure injury is.
Here is what wound care nurses do to help someone living with a pressure injury:
Personal Support Workers offer support to the individual who is at home or in the hospital. Sometimes, they work in the community accompanying someone who requires help (e.g. during a doctor’s appointment). Sometimes they may be hired to work with the person requiring care while the person is in the hospital. It is important to note that a personal support worker is not the same as a Personal Attendant. A Personal Attendant provides every day supports to individuals with physical disabilities. The Personal Attendant is hired by the person with a physical disability and directs the Personal Attendant on what to do.
Here is what personal support workers do to help someone living with a pressure injury:
The family doctor is responsible for the overall management of the person living with a pressure injury. Family doctors will prescribe medication and prescribe the best dressings for the wound.
Here is what family doctors do to help someone living with a pressure injury:
Occupational Therapists are healthcare professionals who find solutions in how to navigate daily activities (e.g. dressing, household tasks, going to work, participating in the community) with more ease.
Here is what Occupational Therapists do to help someone living with a pressure injury:
Physiotherapists (also referred to as Physical Therapists) are healthcare professionals who work in a variety of settings to help an individual who is experiencing difficulties with movement and overall function. They help the individual’s overall health by improving physical limitations, prevent any complications because of illness or injury, improve the individual’s independence as much as possible and provide education about the individual’s problem.
Here is what Physical Therapist do to help manage someone with a pressure injury:
Pharmacists provide medications that are prescribed by a physician, or they may recommend medications that can be purchased without a prescription.
Here is what pharmacists do for someone living with a pressure injury:
A nutritionist is someone who understands how food that we eat can affect our own health. Nutritionists often work in hospitals or in the community. They can help plan meals for individuals, keep track of what is eaten, and provide suggestions on the best types of food to eat depending on the medical condition. Sometimes nutritionists may educate the individual on the different types of foods and make suggestions on healthy eating habits.
Here is what Nutritionists/Dietician do for someone that is living with a pressure injury:
There are different companies that provide special equipment for pressure injury prevention and management. For example, companies sell or allow individuals to rent special mattresses and/or wheelchair cushions that are used to help prevent pressure injuries or help prevent pressure injuries from getting worse.
Sometimes vendors will work with the Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist to determine what the best types of wheelchair cushions or mattresses are for the person living with a pressure injury.
Sometimes they may visit the person with a pressure injury while the Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist is present.