Physical Therapy Aide Demo


Demo Lesson

Chapter 1


Chapter 2

Causes of Pressure Ulcers

Chapter 3

Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers

Chapter 4

Staging of Pressure Ulcers

Chapter 5

Treatment of Pressure Ulcers

Chapter 6

Prevention of Pressure Ulcers

Chapter 7




Did you know that a sore can kill a person? You may have heard the term bedsore and thought, "That doesn't sound too serious. How bad can a sore be that someone gets in bed?" Unfortunately, these sores (more accurately called pressure ulcers) can cause incredible suffering, be difficult to treat, and even become life-threatening. Because of this, every health care professional, including physical therapy aides, should know about pressure ulcers. Because pressure ulcers cause so much suffering, we're going to devote a whole lesson to this important topic.


Pressure ulcers develop because pressure has damaged underlying tissue. They often result when pressure on soft tissues (skin and muscles) occurs over bony structures. This pressure compresses (pushes on) capillaries and reduces the blood flow to those tissues. When blood flow is reduced, the tissues become deprived of oxygen. If the pressure isn't relieved, the tissue will die. The scientific term for this is anoxic necrosis.


In this lesson, you'll learn basic information about pressure ulcers. We'll cover their common locations and what makes people more likely to get them. You'll also learn how health care professionals describe their severity, and I'll send you to a Web site where you can view actual photos of the four stages of pressure ulcers. We'll also talk about the treatment of pressure ulcers. You won't decide how they're treated, but you should be familiar with this information as you might assist a PT who's responsible for some aspect of their treatment. If you work with at-risk patients, you'll play an important role in their prevention, so that information will be an important part of this lesson.


To get started, please read pages 301 to 306 in your text, Principles and Techniques of Patient Care. You'll start with the heading Pressure Ulcers on page 301 and end when the section on Peripheral Vascular Conditions starts on page 306. There's some fairly technical information in these pages, so I'm only going to test you on the material in the online text of this lesson.


Here's your checklist for this lesson:


  • Read Chapter 1: Introduction to Pressure Ulcers.
  • Read pages 301 to 306 in Principles and Techniques of Patient Care, starting with the section titled "Pressure Ulcers" and stopping when you get to the section titled "Peripheral Vascular Conditions."
  • Read all of the boxes on these pages.
  • Read Chapter 2: Causes of Pressure Ulcers.
  • Activity 1
  • Activity 2
  • Read Chapter 3: Risk Factors for Pressure Ulcers.
  • Activity 3
  • Read Chapter 4: Staging of Pressure Ulcers.
  • Activity 4
  • Activity 5
  • Read Chapter 5: Treatment of Pressure Ulcers.
  • Read Chapter 6: Prevention of Pressure Ulcers.
  • Activity 6
  • Read the Chapter 7: Conclusion.
  • Do the assignment.
  • Take the quiz.