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Pressure Injury Education in the Department of Veterans Affairs

Results of a National Wound Provider Cross-sectional Survey

Cowan, Linda; Garvan, Cynthia; Rugs, Deborah; Barks, Lelia; Chavez, Margeaux; Orozco, Tatiana

Journal of Wound Ostomy & Continence Nursing: September/October 2018 - Volume 45 - Issue 5 - p 419–424
doi: 10.1097/WON.0000000000000468
Wound Care
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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to describe experience, training, educational needs and preferences, and perceptions of pressure injury (PI) prevention education of wound care providers in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as an indicator of effectiveness of the mandated VHA PI Prevention Program.

SUBJECTS AND SETTING: A convenience sample of national VHA wound care providers practicing in VHA facilities was compiled from members of special interest groups and committees and by referrals from known wound care specialists and clinicians (N = 1726). The response rate was 24% (n = 410).

DESIGN: Cross-sectional, descriptive study.

METHODS: A 42-item online cross-sectional survey was administered via a blast-email of the survey link to the sample. The survey link was active for 1 month (March 3-31, 2014). The survey queried demographic data, PI experience and education, and their perceptions and preferences for PI education. Quantitative responses underwent descriptive analyses, and responses to open-ended questions were analyzed by content analysis.

RESULTS: The majority of the 415 respondents completed most of the questionnaire (n = 310, 74%). Half were board-certified providers with a mean wound care experience of 14.2 years (standard deviation = 9.8 years). Preference for type of wound training ranged from 17% for online gaming to 82% for face-to-face training. Training provided by facilities was perceived to be inadequate for wound care by 60% (n = 175) and inadequate for PI care by 49% (n = 142).

CONCLUSIONS: The 2 greatest areas of need in PI care identified by wound care providers were education and documentation. These same issues were identified as problematic by an audit of PI prevention and management at 47 VHA facilities that was conducted by the VA Office of Inspector General.

Linda Cowan, PhD, FNP-BC, CWS, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Nursing Innovations Center for Evaluation and HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Tampa, Florida.

Cynthia Garvan, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville.

Deborah Rugs, PhD, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Nursing Innovations Center for Evaluation and HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Tampa, Florida.

Lelia Barks, PhD, ARNP, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Nursing Innovations Center for Evaluation and HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Tampa, Florida.

Margeaux Chavez, MA, MPH, CPH, James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Nursing Innovations Center for Evaluation and HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Tampa, Florida.

Tatiana Orozco, PhD, North Florida South Georgia Veterans Health System, HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Gainesville, Florida.

Correspondence: Lelia Barks, PhD, ARNP, HSR&D Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (CINDRR), 8900 Grand Oak Circle (151R), Tampa, FL 33637 (Lelia.Barks@va.gov).

This research was funded by the Office of Nursing Services, Veterans Health Administration (PEC-13-430).

Lynn Dirk, MAMC, provided substantive editorial assistance.

Contents do not represent the views of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (JWOCNOnline.com).

© 2018 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.