BACKGROUND: Accurate pressure ulcer staging is an important skill for nurses, physicians, physical therapists, and certified nursing assistants. Current education is based on the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel's staging system. A review of the literature indicates variability in staging abilities of numerous healthcare providers. With this problem in mind, a new method of teaching pressure ulcer staging by visual analogy was developed.
METHODS: We used the current National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel definitions to create a training tool based on a visual analogy between the different pressure ulcer stages and common fruits and vegetables.
RESULTS: Initial feedback from a western states wound care conference indicates successful integration of teaching into nursing practice. A poster was also presented at the annual 2011 Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse's National Conference. Positive feedback was received from numerous Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse's members who requested an electronic copy of the poster.
CONCLUSIONS: Visual analogies can provide a method of teaching pressure ulcer staging across different disciplines with different levels of training involved in patient care.