Getting wound care right: evaluation of a week of intensive teaching on wound care for undergraduate nursing students
Tissue viability skills are essential for nurses, but education on this in undergraduate programmes can be inadequate. After approval of the Future Nurse curriculum in 2019, a small team of staff at the University of Salford developed a Getting Wound Care Right week to improve students' knowledge and clinical skills.
To evaluate the week, the 250 students who had participated in all activities were invited 6 months after the week to contribute a 250-word reflection for a case series. The aim of this was to understand the impact of the week on participants' knowledge, skills and confidence in caring for patients with wounds and whether it had sparked interest in further learning.
Four students contributed reflections, which were overwhelmingly positive. They described the knowledge attained, which included that on anatomy and physiology of the skin and wound healing, evidence-based assessment, treatment and management of wounds, and the impact of wounds on patients' quality of life. Skills gained included those in categorisation of wounds, wound assessment and pressure redistribution when seated. Responses on the impact on clinical practice focused on the importance of multidisciplinary working within wound care, seating provision for pressure ulcer prevention and management, and dressing selection. Negative comments related to students realising that clinical practice could be improved rather than indications that the format is ineffective or inappropriate. Limitations of the evaluation included the small number of participants and a lack of responses from every field of practice.
The Getting Wound Care Right week format is a viable approach to meeting Future Nurse curriculum requirements. The approach could be enhanced by a greater emphasis on the relevance of wound care teaching to children and young people's nursing students. The week improved students' clinical confidence on placements when caring for patients with wounds. Further robust evaluation of the module is needed to confirm the findings of this initial evaluation.
Tissue viability education has been an important feature of preregistration nursing programmes at the University of Salford since 2011. Historically, students could take two optional modules in their second year, one of which was tissue viability. This module was always oversubscribed, which meant that not all students could develop fundamental knowledge and skills needed for wound care practice. With the advent of the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC, 2018) Future Nurse standards and the development of a future nurse curricula, an opportunity to integrate tissue viability practice arose so that all second-year students, regardless of their field of practice, would have access to a structured wound care educational programme.
Using a case series approach, the purpose of this article is to evaluate the week of intensive teaching on wound care for undergraduate nursing students and make recommendations for future iterations.
It is widely recognised that wound care spans not only the life course of the population, but also the health and social care settings in which people may live, work and access. With rising numbers of people living with a wound or wounds and the resulting increasing burden on health and social care resources, research has focused on initiatives that lead to better patient management and product selection to improve outcomes and clinical effectiveness (Guest et al, 2015).
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