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Efficacy of a Skin Tear Education Program: Improving the Knowledge of Nurses Practicing in Acute Care Settings

McTigue, Toni; D'Andrea, Stephanie; Doyle-Munoz, Janet; Forrester, D. Anthony

Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing: September-October 2009 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p 486–492
doi: 10.1097/WON.0b013e3181b35ebd
WOUND CARE
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PURPOSE We sought to evaluate the knowledge base of acute care registered nurses (RNs) regarding skin tears and the efficacy of an online educational program designed to improve their knowledge of skin tears including (1) predisposing factors; (2) identification and assessment of skin tears using the Payne-Martin Classification System; and (3) preventive care, treatment, and documentation.

DESIGN This was a prospective quasi-experimental education intervention study.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING Four hundred sixteen acute care RNs from 2 affiliated hospitals participated in the study. They comprised approximately 20% of more than 2,000 nurses employed by Atlantic Health. These nurses worked in critical care, medical-surgical, and specialty units and varied in age, level of education, work experience, and years in nursing.

METHODS A Web-based educational program was provided for over 4 months on our intranet service, which was available to all RN staff 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. The educational program was subdivided into 3 sections: (1) identification and assessment, (2) classification and differentiation, and (3) treatment.

RESULTS Nurses' knowledge of skin tears improved following the Web-based educational program. Following completion of the identification and assessment of skin tears section, participants were better able to identify and correctly assess skin tears (mean scores 99.1% vs 97.1%, P < .001). Participants also achieved greater knowledge of the differentiation between categories I, II, and III skin tears (mean scores 94.9% vs 83.4%, P < .001) and knowledge of treatment (mean score 93.7% vs 73.8%, P < .001).

CONCLUSION Our Web-based skin tear educational program was effective in improving nurses' knowledge regarding skin tear identification and assessment, classification and differentiation, and treatment.

Toni McTigue, APRN, BC, CWOCN, Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurse, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Atlantic Health, Morristown, New Jersey.

Stephanie D'Andrea, BS, RN, CWON, Wound, Ostomy Nurse, Overlook Hospital, Atlantic Health, Summit, New Jersey.

Janet Doyle-Munoz, BSN, RN, CWON, Wound, Ostomy Nurse, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Atlantic Health, Morristown, New Jersey.

D. Anthony Forrester, PhD, RN, ANEF, Professor, School of Nursing, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, and Professor in Residence, Interdisciplinary Health Research Consultant, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Atlantic Health, Morristown, New Jersey.

Corresponding author: Toni McTigue, APRN, BC, CWOCN, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Atlantic Health, PO Box 1956100, Madison Ave, Franklin Two, Morristown, NJ 07962 (toni.mctigue@atlantichealth.org).

Copyright © 2009 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society