My Scope of Practice: Skin-Saving CNAs — Power in Leadership and Education
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If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself. — Henry Ford
Susan Logan, RN, BSN, ET, CWS, FACCWS, has built a remarkable 30-year career tirelessly advancing best practices in wound care. As a Clinical Consultant since 2008, Susan has championed Kindred Healthcare’s (Louisville, KY) Wound Care division. On a daily basis, she advises, assists, and supports Kindred Hospital locations nationally in operational implementation of wound care standards and wound programming. Susan spearheads Kindred’s Wound Program and Change Development, chairs the Wound Care Advisory Council, and works closely with the hospital division Medical Director to ensure evidence-based best practices and regulatory compliance in wound and skin care throughout the division.
Susan was the valedictorian of her graduating class at the Central Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She also made her mark while earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Carlow University, graduating summa cum laude. Currently, Susan applies her wealth of knowledge to long-term acute care (LTAC), specifically LTAC hospitals and acute care hospitals specializing in the treatment and rehabilitation of medically complex patients who require an extended stay in a hospital setting. Through her work, Susan affects patients in more than 85 Kindred hospitals across 40 states by promoting educational opportunities to her clinical peers based on best practices. “Knowledge is power,” says Susan. “Sharing your knowledge can affect many lives.”
In 2009, Susan put her philosophy into practice at Kindred’s inaugural Clinical Impact Symposium, which was themed “Wound Management: Setting Standards for Care.” Susan was invited, along with many nationally respected wound care experts, to offer the latest evidence-based information to Kindred’s wound care specialists. Clinicians in attendance were encouraged to return home and share the knowledge and skills, furthering Kindred as a clinical excellence provider in wound care.
In 2010, Susan’s efforts led to the introduction of the 2010 Skin Saver Initiative to Kindred’s Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). The initiative sought to combat pressure ulcers, which, according to the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), 1 million people develop each year. The initiative discovered that CNAs are often nearly 33% of the direct productive workforce and spend approximately 60% of their time at the bedside. Susan and her team were determined to maximize this significant amount of patient care time to enhance skin and pressure outcomes. The team’s goal became empowering CNAs to recognize their role in preventing pressure ulcers.
Susan and the team sought to accomplish their goal through education. Additional objectives of the initiative included providing monthly activities and education to all CNAs; working with CNAs to develop effective methods to enhance communication with licensed staff regarding patients’ skin integrity; working with CNAs to improve and develop tools to enhance their skin and pressure ulcer prevention observation and care; providing a quarterly 30-minute educational webinar with the National Wound Care Clinical Consultant; and developing an annual clinical recognition program for CNAs, entitled “Skin Savers,” which included the selection of National Skin Saver Champions from each region. Like Kindred’s symposium, the educational aspect of the program was introduced through a trickle-down dissemination of knowledge via clinician ranks — first, the Wound Care Advisory Council introduced the program to district peers, the Wound Care Coordinators (WCCs), who then discussed the program with their Director of Education and staff nurses. The Wound Care Council then developed the CNA recognition/awards criteria.