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Stop the Pressure: Leeds University

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This student-run event aims to increase awareness of pressur ulcer prevention, assessment and treatment

While treatment for pressure ulcers costs the NHS £3.8million per day, research shows that 95% of pressure ulcers are preventable. It’s with the help of Leeds students Sarah Weaver and Katy Williams that many student nurses will learn the fundamentals of preventing them at the Stop the Pressure conference.

The conference will take place at the University of Leeds on 23 June 2014. The event is aimed at second and third year student nurses from the university who are in placement across the Leeds area. The goal is to share best practice for avoiding and treating pressure ulcers. The two co-ordinators were inspired to run the conference after a similar conference at the University of Lincoln. Ms Weaver hopes this conference will do the same.

“Personally, I hope it inspires students to do something similar in their area and take the messages back with them,” Ms Weaver says. “I hope they think about another aspect that they haven’t heard of before or something that’s not covered in their university.”

There should be around 350 attendees including adult student nurses, care makers and representatives from Leeds teaching hospital.

“We have a variety of speakers from the trust and from the university, as well as some researchers,” Ms Weaver says.

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the conference, the two students plan to do a survey at the beginning and the end.

“I hope the students from Leeds can come away with something new and with a different perspective,” she says.

The main goal, however, is to promote the prevention of pressure ulcers and accurate assessment of pressure damage. Pressure ulcers can be avoided by simple actions from frontline staff, patients and users, and the two co-ordinators hope to train the student nurses to know prevention techniques and boost awareness of the issue.

“We want them to understand pressure ulcers from a patient perspective,” Ms Weaver says. “They need to know what’s important to the patient so they can accurately assess the issue.”

The University of Leeds’ Care Makers will be present on the day to try to inspire other students to embrace the 6-Cs of nursing. Other Care Makers from across England have also been invited to attend in order to take back key messages to their universities and organisations.

“I’m hoping the conference provides a way to get a message out to students,” Ms Weaver says. “If that’s the case, hopefully the university will encourage future students to do it as well.”

She says they involved second year students in the event so they will hopefully take it forward as an annual event.   

“We hope to improve their knowledge in one small intervention,” Ms Weaver says.

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