Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2017

Document Type





Background Pressure ulcers, also known as “decubitus ulcers”, “pressure injuries” or more commonly “bed sores” occur when a patient is sitting or lying on a pressure point for an extended period of time, resulting in skin breakdown (Cutugno et al. 2015). Pressure ulcers can occur in any age group but most commonly occur in the geriatric population, especially those who are bed- or wheel-chair bound (Venes 2015). Being a preventable issue, pressure ulcers are a huge problem and cost our healthcare system billions of dollars annually (Cutugno et al. 2015). Pressure Ulcers also cause patients to experience embarrassment, anxiety, depression, and an increased risk of death by five times in the geriatric population (Aljezawi, Al Qadire, and Tubaishat 2014 p.6). Certified Nurses’ Assistants (CNAs) and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) are the primary caregivers in long term care facilities to geriatric patients. CNAs and PCAs have the responsibility to assist with preventing pressure ulcers as well as documenting and communicating with nurses about the new formation of pressure ulcers. Objective The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge level of Certified Nurses’ Assistants (CNAs) and Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) related to pressure ulcer prevention technique and interventions. Design This is a quantitative convenient sample study with a sample size of 37 participants. Method Two long term care facilities were selected in West Central Montana. One facility was an assisted living facility and the other was a nursing home. Approval from the Administrators and Directors of Nursing at each facility were received to participate in the research. The research was then approved by the Carroll College International Review Board. Prior to each presentation, written informed consent was obtained from each participant. Next, participants were encouraged to draw a number out of an envelope to ensure anonymity with responses to each test. Each participant then took a 10 question pre-test, taking no longer than 5 minutes to complete. The pre-tests were then collected into a folder labeled “pre-test.” After the pre-tests were collected, the participants listened to a 10 minute presentation about pressure ulcers and prevention practices. The participants were then asked to complete a 10 question post-test with the same questions as the pre-test in no longer than 5 minutes. The post-tests were then collected in a separate folder labeled “post-tests”. The pre- and post-tests were stored in a locked box until the data was compiled into a paired T test. Once the data was compiled, the tests were destroyed. Discussion There was no significant change noted between the pre- and post-test results for either facility. Further studies might be encouraged to choose from a larger sample size to determine if the data is significant or not. Future studies might also consider looking at pressure ulcer rates in the facilities before and after presenting to determine if the interventions made an impact on pressure ulcer prevention practices done in the clinical setting.