The aim of this assignment is to analyse the role of the nurse in relation to Risk Management, In order to do this effectively, recognised risk assessment tools will be utilised, various measurements have been put in place to minimise the risk to patients who come into contact with health services in both primary and secondary care settings, the specific subject the author will explore is pressure ulcers, definitions will be offered throughout the assignment to assist the readers understanding of terms such as risk and risk assessment, as well as the importance of nutrition and the detrimental effect malnutrition can have on pressure ulcers, the causes and the aims of preventing them through the use of appropriate assessment tools, along with statistics, policies and guidelines, including the five steps that should be taken to carry out efficient risk assessments. Harrison (2003) describes risk assessment as “an assessment that can identify those at risk”, so that steps can be taken to provide appropriate therapeutic treatment.
The National Health Service (NHS) 2010 describe a pressure ulcer as a “decubitis ulcer a bedsore, ulceration of the skin due to pressure”, which can cause interference with the blood supply to the area, however the European Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (EPUAP) describe it as “An ulcerated area of the skin caused by the continuous pressure on part of the body in a bedridden patient”. As these definitions clarify, a pressure ulcer is a universal but
potentially an avoidable condition presenting most often in high risk patients such as elderly and those with physical impairments, therefore carrying out risk assessments could potentially prevent them, the author was also surprised to find that 60% of patients within hospital wards were unaware of the effects nutrition can have on their wounds. While Williams and Leaper (2006) agree that good nutrition facilitates healing, malnutrition delays, inhibits and complicates the process. Nutritional support is fundamental to patient care and needs vary on an individual basis, therefore the rationale for the author choosing this specific topic is, no matter what clinical setting the author has been placed in, pressure ulcers were always present, as well as patients with dangerously low BMIs.
Health and Safety Executive (2006) and NHS wellbeing at work (2010) both agree that for the nurse to perform a sufficient risk assessment there are five steps to ensure a thorough investigation has been done. The first step being to identify serious hazards from the trivial ones and then once these have been established, the second step would be to make a decision on who these may effect this will include anyone e.g. Patient, relative, or staff, the third element of a risk assessment is to evaluate the level of the risks that have been found, a qualitative assessment can be carried out in most cases which would enable...