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The Challenges of Caring for the Obese Patient: “What are those things we don’t think about?”


Susan Gallagher, PhD, RN

Rhonda Turner, MSN-LD, CSPHA 

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The prevalence of obesity in the US, trends in care, and in particular, the challenges faced with caring for the hospitalized obese Covid-19 patient are addressed in this webinar.  The care of the obese patient is multi-faceted.  Often size-appropriate equipment and devices are overlooked which can lead to poor outcomes and complications including falls and pressure ulcers.  Key strategies such as mobilization, require special planning and equipment that are critical to reducing complications and shortening the length of stay.  A focus on planning, understanding, and utilizing size-appropriate devices and equipment will improve the patient experience and care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe the prevalence of obesity in health care and the implications for the optimum care

  2. Discuss the special planning and often overlooked size appropriate devices that can lead to minimizing   complications

  3. Explore common challenges associated with mobility practices among obese patients


Faculty Bio:


Susan Gallagher

Dr. Gallagher is certified in Bariatric Nursing and is a Certified Safe Patient Handling Professional. She is immediate past-President of the Association for Safe Patient Handling Professionals, Associate Editor for Workplace Health and Safety (AAOHN) and has been(is) on the editorial boards of both JWOCN, OWM and the J of Bariatric Nursing and Surgical Patient Care. She serves on a number of international boards and is a recognized speaker on skin and wound care, outcomes, bariatrics, ethics, risk and loss control across the globe.

Rhonda Turner 

Rhonda is the Nurse Operations Support Specialist focusing on the Medical Surgical Service Line specifically, education, onboarding and leadership at Banner Health. SPHM and Fall Prevention has been a large part of her life and has inspired her to become involved as a leader in her facility, region, system, national and international levels. She is an active ASPHP Board member since 2019. Rhonda has been an integral part of the trends nationally and internationally, with SPHM, fall prevention, caring for patients of size, and early mobility.

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