New research conducted among UK nurses has revealed the need for greater education and resources on the management of patients with scarring following surgery or trauma.
The survey, conducted by JFHC Professional exhibitors Bio-Oil, demonstrated the volume of support nurses are being asked to provide by patients with scarring, with one in five (20%) being asked for advice on a weekly basis.
Find out more: Natalia Wieclaw, Bio-Oil Skincare Expert, will discuss Empowering Healthcare Professionals and Patients to Manage and Care for Scarring and Stretch Marks at JFHC Professional - book £10 tickets here
This demand is coupled with a clear recognition by nurses that they are best placed to provide support to these patients, with 98% agreeing that nurses should be providing advice about scar management.
Adele Atkinson, Associate Professor, School of Nursing said: "The survey conducted by Bio-Oil demonstrates a clear demand from patients, and a clear recognition by nurses, that scarring is an issue we regularly need to address. Support for patients with scarring extends far beyond wound care, and providing optimal advice and guidance to patients at key times can help to ensure patients have realistic expectations and are confident enough to self-care for their scars, taking pressure off healthcare professionals."
Scarring has been shown to have a significant impact on patients’ lives with psychological strains also negatively affecting the quality of life for patients, with the majority (56%) considering themselves to be ‘abnormal’ due to their scars.
One in two women suffer ongoing psychological issues as a result of scars and stretch marks, and many feel under-supported, with 40% of patients believing that they did not receive enough advice and support from their healthcare professional.
Interestingly, the survey also revealed that nurses believe all scarring has a psychological impact (71%), as opposed to 38% believing that more visible scarring such as facial would be most impactful. When asked why scars have such a psychological impact, the majority of nurses (77%) said that there is too much pressure on people to have flawless bodies. Also featuring highly were unrealistic expectations of patients on how wounds will heal (62%), and the reminder of an unpleasant experience (63%).
Nurses identified the barriers they face when managing patients with scarring as:
• Lack of printed information to give to patients (60%)
• Lack of knowledge on scarring (59%)
• Lack of training (59%)
• Lack of tools to support advice giving (45%)
• Lack of time (44%)
To aid nurses in the management of patients with scarring, Bio-Oil has worked collaboratively with UK healthcare professionals to launch a new quick reference guide for use during consultations with patients. The SCAR guide provides a succinct resource to work through with patients, focussing on the key considerations that should be addressed. Download a copy at www.bio-oilprofessional.co.uk/professional-areas/nurses.