Physicians and nurses use the Braden Scale to assess the risk of developing a pressure ulcer. The scale involves observing the patient's tolerance for pressure, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The Braden Scale is comprised of six parts. Five of the parts are scored on a scale of one to four and one is scored on a scale of one to three. The total score can be a number anywhere from 6 to 23. Lower scores indicate low levels of pressure tolerance, which indicate an increased risk of developing pressure ulcers.
Doctors or nurses can administer the Braden Scale test on any part of the external body, according to the Rehabilitation Measures Database. Each portion of the scale is conducted separately. The sensory portion assesses how the patient responds to discomfort. The moisture portion evaluates patient response to moisture. The mobility portion assesses the patient's ability to relieve pressure. The activity portion evaluates how easy the patient can get up and move around. The nutrition portion measures how much food the patient can consume. Finally, the friction portion of the test assesses movement. During each portion of the test, the physician or nurse observes how the body reacts to pressure and discomfort.