During the 15th Annual Wound Conference on 11 March 2022, St Luke’s Hospital (SLH) and SUSS launched Singapore’s first micro e-learning course on pressure injury for caregivers. With this, caregivers can now pick up the basic know-hows of prevention and management of pressure injuries in the comfort of their home and on-the go.
This course on the SUSS UniLEARN online learning platform provides a one-stop educational resource where caregivers can easily access wound care knowledge anytime, anywhere and whenever they need it.
Understanding the needs of individuals who care for family members with pressure injuries, this inaugural course, comprising topics such as ‘Understanding Pressure Injuries’, ‘Preventive Strategies’ and ‘Management and Treatment of Injuries’, was specially curated to provide comprehensive care management for caregivers. Each topic contains a series of one-minute reads, short video clips and quizzes so that caregivers can quickly pick up the basics of pressure injury management.
By taking an upstream approach, SLH and SUSS hope to empower caregivers with the know-how to better prevent and care for pressure injuries, improving patient outcomes and reduce pressure injury-related hospital admissions, comorbidity and mortality.
“It is common to see patients being admitted for late-stage pressure injuries resulting from being in the same position for long hours. One possible cause might be, caregivers may not know that inactivity can attribute to the occurrence of pressure injury,” says Ms Yvonne Lau, Deputy Director, St Luke’s Community Wound Centre and St Luke’s Academy. “With the new module, we hope to equip caregivers with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them to provide a continuum of care for their loved ones at home. This will help prevent the onset or worsening of pressure injuries. Concurrently, it will also reduce caregivers’ stress with higher competency to administer care. Overall, it will improve the psycho-emotional well-being for everyone in the family.”
A pressure injury is an area of injured skin that happens when force is applied on the skin’s surface. This force can be a constant pressure on an area of skin or a dragging force between the skin and another surface. Pressure injuries usually happen over bony parts of the body, viz., hips, heels, tailbone, elbows, head and ankles, and can become life-threatening if it advances to a deep wound or becomes infected. People who are bed- or chair-bound have a higher risk of developing pressure injury due to long hours spent in the same position.
According to the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s National Survey of Senior Citizens 2011, 2.1% of Singapore’s population aged 75 years old and above are bedridden or require total physical assistance. As the Singapore population ages, it is expected that more people will likely be totally dependent on caregivers to take care of their health and daily activities.
To meet the ageing population’s needs to build up the capabilities of healthcare professionals in Singapore, SLH is an appointed Learning Institute by Agency for Integrated Care to support the community care sector. Wound care, including pressure injury, is one of its focus areas. SLH launched its first e-learning module for healthcare professionals with SUSS UniLEARN in April 2021 to enable more to access and upgrade wound care learnings during the current Covid-19 pandemic, and in its continuous pursuit of a higher efficiency course delivery mode.
Associate Professor Lee Wee Leong, Vice-President (Learning Services) of SUSS, said: “SUSS is privileged to partner SLH to build capabilities for the community care sector and caregivers through our e-learning expertise. As one of the leading pioneers in online learning committed to inspiring lifelong learning that creates an impact for the greater good, this initiative is a natural step for us. It underscores our commitment in giving back to the community.”
Interested caregivers and healthcare professionals can visit https://slh.unilearn.edu.sg/ for more information and to register for the respective wound care courses.