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Do nurses know enough about wound care?

  • Comments (4)

Do nurses know enough about wound care?

An international, multidisciplinary study has highlighted the need for all health professionals to receive a basic level of education about wounds in undergraduate and postgraduate education programmes.

The researchers identified the research and education priorities in wound management and tissue repair. The top items that were consistently ranked in both research and education as priority areas included: pressure ulceration, diabetic foot ulceration, dressings and wound infection. Significantly, these priority issues were closely related to an ageing population with increased risk of long-term conditions and wound care requirements.

  • Comments (4)

Readers' comments (4)

  • Anonymous

    Definately not. Unfortunately, the evidence speaks for itself; 1:10 patient in hospital developing some form of pressure damage, the number of diabetic foot amputations varying substantially based on where you live or are treated, only 30% of venous leg ulcers managed by GP's receiving graduated compression therapy (the gold standard) and less than 10% of venous leg ulcers healing in under 12 weeks in primary-care (research shows that with appropriate care this should be 40-60%)

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  • Anonymous

    Wound Care is an absolute Minefield - I feel I have a lot of experience due to a particular post I held in a Dressing Clinic and we had a wide range of dressings/wounds. What I still find is Nurses who have preferences to certain dressings - I do too if I think it is the most appropriate - but unfortunately, cuts have drastically reduced the choice of dressings and cost influences the decisions for a treatment plan. I get so frustrated as they do not usually end up as cost effective, prolongs the healing process and causes more discomfort and incapacity for the patient. There is so much evidence/research for many wounds and preferred dressings, but in practice it seems to come down to cost, and I can only see this getting worse. It is heartening to work with Nurses who have a great knowledge of wound care and the healing of wounds who will be the Patient's Advocate and literally have to fight for the most effective care. Wound Care is very much under rated. I always have to smile when a wound heals with no complications!

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  • I would have expected that healthcare staff do get a basic understanding of wound care.... we certainly did when I trained, including PAM's. Is this not still the case?
    Probably most important is if you have a responsibility for teaching others then you must be scrupulous about ensuring they are exposed to the evidence base and not just your personal preferences. A lot of what I know about wound management was learnt "on the job" from an expert role model.
    I saw an audit result of tissue viability knowledge and application a couple of years ago. It was notable how many experienced nurses used their clinical judgement and dressing of preference instead of evidence based practice.
    I guess this is generally not a big problem because the nurses could argue articulately why their choice of dressing was the best for the patient and this was validated if the outcome was a wound that healed quickly and well.
    However the TV nurse saw several patients, some of whom had been attending dressing clinics for 18 months or more without evidence of significant progress in healing. To teach by example he assessed, dopplered and dressed them himself and healed them in 6 weeks.
    So, what is my point? You can use your clinical judgement and experiential knowledge ( we used to call this "sister knows best"), but be ready to reassess and take expert advice if the wound is not healing.

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  • Matthew  Carr

    Are there wound care Nurses? Nurses that just deal with wounds? I know of Tissue Viability but thought they were more about preventing than dressing and healing.

    Sure is interesting and I like the area.

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