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Current thinking on caring for patients with a wound: a practical approach

14 March 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 5


Wound care is increasingly nurse led. This article describes the types and causes of wounds, the six domains needed for systematic wound assessment and the principles nurses can apply to ensure evidence-based wound care. The author argues for the importance of a patient-focused approach in the care of people with chronic and acute wounds. It highlights, when specialist referral may be needed and presents a case study explaining the difficulties of managing a patient with a wound at the end of life. Nurses care for people with wounds in a broad range of clinical settings and it is a real challenge to provide optimum patient outcome (wound healing) and a positive patient experience.

Patients requiring wound care can belong to any age group and are found across all areas of health care: in nursing homes, health centres, inpatient services or at home (Guest et al, 2015). Holistic wound care draws on the skills of a broad range of healthcare disciplines but depends most on nurse-led assessment and treatment (Guest et al, 2015). Nurses are central to ensuring optimal patient outcomes, positive experiences and the best use of resources for people with wounds (NHS England, 2016). To deliver on these triple aims nurses are required to understand types and causes of wounds and their assessment (Adderley et al, 2017), the evidence base which supports nursing care, and the physiology of wound healing (Fletcher and Anderson, 2013).

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