A group of eight Nurses, from both facilities, attended our first practical wound care workshop. Prior to this 3-hour workshop, the nurses had to have completed a self-directed learning resource on wound care. On the day of the workshop, our guest co-presenter Kate, from clinical supplier Mölnlycke Health Care, had to present via Zoom as she was in quarantine at the time. Much to our delight our first Zoom training session went well, with Kate providing an initial presentation on skin tears and wound care products and then I facilitated the practical wound care session with Kate ‘observing’ from quarantine.
To create a realistic scenario for the nurses to practice this specialized dressing technique, I had prepared some raw chicken drumsticks with mock blood, blood clots and ‘skin tears’. Kate supplied the dressing equipment.
Once the nurses had become accustomed to handling their poultry patients, they undertook the task with enthusiasm. This was a great opportunity to refine their skin tear assessment and wound care techniques whilst being provided hands on guidance.
Skin tears are common traumatic wounds occurring principally on the extremities of older adults, because of friction or shearing. This is due to the following;
- Aged skin has a tendency to be dry due to decreased sebum (oils) and decreased sweat from impaired thermoregulation.
- Their skin is also quite fragile associated with decreased subcutaneous fat and collagen
- There may also be delayed healing related to decreased blood flow to the skin
Skin tear wounds are graded in five categories, according to the wound depth and skin flap characteristics. The skin flaps can heal and reattach to the underlying skin if the dressings are performed correctly, using the appropriate materials.