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16 November 2023
Today is Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day. In recognition of this awareness day, we spotlight one of our experts who works with our patients and staff every day.
Trish Carew is a Clinical Excellence Lead for pressure injury prevention at Austin Health.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Trish Carew. I love spending time with my friends and family, and finding great places to brunch, especially ones with indoor playgrounds for my one and half year old daughter to burn some energy in, whilst I enjoy a much needed cappuccino.
How long have you been at Austin Health? Can you tell us a bit about your role?
I have been at Austin Health for over 6 years. I am currently one of the Clinical Excellence Leads for Standard 5 Comprehensive Care with the Patient Safety and Clinical Excellence unit. I started on Ward 8 West as a Registered Nurse and worked my way up to ANUM. Along the way, I also became a Wound Resource Nurse (WReN) and Health and Safety Representative among other roles on the ward. I recently obtained my Clinical Nurse Specialist certificate.
Today is World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day. What is a pressure injury and what does this awareness day mean to you?
A pressure injury is a localised area of tissue destruction that develops when soft tissue is compressed over a bony prominence, as a result of pressure, shearing forces and/or friction, or a combination of all of these factors. Pressure injuries are often an avoidable complication that can extend hospital length of stay and negatively impact quality of life in many ways.
Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day puts a spotlight on this and helps increase awareness. I am passionate about working with clinicians, nursing staff and allied health to ensure we take all precautions to avoid pressure injuries and get our patients back to enjoying their normal lives.
What is the role of a Clinical Excellence Lead for pressure injury prevention in comprehensive care?
Pressure Injury Prevention Committee provides a forum to plan, discuss and support pressure injury prevention initiatives, strategies, research and policy across Austin Health. As the Clinical Excellence Lead, part of my responsibilities includes assisting the management of projects and implementing proposed changes made by the Pressure Injury Prevention Committee, as well as facilitating the monthly meetings.
What is a common misunderstanding when it comes to understanding Pressure Injury Prevention?
Pressure injuries are usually seen to be a wound that only happens to the elderly and frail. While this demographic makes up a high proportion of pressure injuries sustained in hospitals, pressure injuries can happen to anyone at any age or body size. We implement evidence-based guidelines and techniques to reduce the risk of sustaining a pressure injury at Austin Health.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love taking steps to create a positive change in the way we care for our patients and developing systems that are in both the patients' and clinicians' best interests. It is very fulfilling to see the work my team and I do translate into a positive change. Being able to put it into practice myself while on the floor is fantastic.
In recognition of Worldwide Pressure Injury Prevention Day, we held a Nursing Grand Round at Austin Health, with a multidisciplinary panel of experts to answer questions, as well as a quiz with prizes handed out to winners.