Introduction: Despite the recent advances in ulcer treatment and management, and the immense advancements in technology, pressure ulcers are still a major challenge for nurses and doctors who are responsible for their management.
Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the knowledge, practices and attitudes of nursing staff in a large public hospital regarding prevention and management of pressure ulcers.
Methods: This study is a research cross-sectional study which involved all nursing staff (nurses and nursing assistants) working in medical and surgical wards of the General Hospital of Nikaia “St Panteleimon”. The questionnaire used for data collection has been developed by Gouda et al. (2014). The reliability of the questionnaire was high (Cronbach a=0.714) and the response rate was 76.7%. Statistical analysis was performed with the SPSS for Windows (21.00) statistical software.
Results: The sample of the study consisted of 92 nurses aged 40.5(± 7.9) years. A total of 41 (44.6%) participants were nurse assistants, 33 (35.9%) had graduate from applied science universities, 14 (15.2%) had postgraduate degree and 4 (4.3%) had a university degree. The participants’ working experience was 15.1(± 9.1) years, while 45 (48.9%) nurses were working in surgical departments and 47 (51.1%) in medical ones. Of the total sample, twelve (13.3%) nurses have claimed that training seminars on prevention and management of pressure ulcers have been organized in the hospital that they are working. In a total of 27 questions, the correct answers given by the respondents were 18.59(±2.8) or 68.6% (±10.4%) with a minimum of 12 (44.4%) and a maximum of 25 (92.6%) correct answers. Participants with a higher level of education and those who had attended educational seminars [18.7(±2.8) versus 17(±2.6)] answered significantly more questions than those with a lower level of education (p <0.05).
Conclusions: The nursing staff working in the medical and surgical wards had moderate levels of knowledge and high level of knowledge for the definition and classification of pressure ulcers. It is proposed that clinical protocols be drawn up concerning the staging, prevention and management of pressure ulcers, as well as a more organized continuing training of nursing staff.
Keywords: Knowledge, nursing staff, pressure ulcers, prevention, staging, treatment.