Wound care for home health is a skill every nurse will use. Improperly treated wounds have the potential to cause severe infections and worse. Following are some helpful tips:
1. Make sure you have necessary supplies:
2. Accurate assessment of the wound: is it 'full thickness' or 'partial thickness'? What is the size, location, tissue type, drainage, odor, surrounding tissue and presence of pain?
3. All wounds are classified based on how long it takes to heal: ACUTE wounds heal within 12 weeks; CHRONIC wounds take longer than 12 weeks.
4. There are standardized evidence-based wound treatments to consider for particular types of wounds: covered and moist wounds rapidly start their healing process where new cells and tissues repair the damage part of the body. Therefore, it is recommended that you cover the wounds with advanced wound dressings like films and hydrogels.
5. Pain in wound management is under-estimated and ineffectively managed. Pain assessment should form an intrinsic part of wound assessment. Strategies to improve wound pain can be pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological. Assessment of pain in wound care should be an ongoing process. Distraction therapy can be particularly useful with children.
6. It is always better to clean the wound with mild solutions. Strong antiseptics can damage or destroy body tissues.
7. To minimize scarring always keep the wound clean; use petroleum jelly to keep the wound moist. For large wounds, it may be helpful to use hydrogel or silicone gel sheets. Apply sunscreen to the wound after it has healed. Sun protection may help reduce red or brown discoloration and help the scar fade faster. Always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF or 30 or higher and reapply frequently.
8. Call the physician if..
- There is foul odor from the wound
- Pus or other drainage coming out of the wound
- Redness and tenderness around the wound
- Skin close to the wound is warm and/or swollen
9. The best exercises for wound healing are...
- Strength training - this form of exercise is so important that the American Diabetes Association said it was one of the most beneficial for all people with diabetes. Whether people are using small weights or basic calisthenics such as lunges, sit-ups, and planks, the risk for injury is quite low. Also called resistance training, this form of exercise has been proven to not only build muscle but also lower blood pressure and increase a person’s insulin sensitivity. It takes just two strength training sessions per week to see positive results for wound care.
- Arm and Leg Lifts - These simple but effective exercises are great way to get your body moving without increasing damage to a wound site or causing other complications. The arm lift is simple, requiring you to lift your arm as high as possible for 90 seconds. The leg lift, meanwhile, involves elevating the limb up to the hip joint and holding it in place for a few seconds at a time. Both exercises are especially important for patients with a high risk of bed sores, as they are easy to perform with mobility issues and give your skin necessary time to move and stretch.
10. The following herbs are recognized for natural therapeutic effect on wounds: turmeric, calendula, tea tree oil and aloe-vera. Turmeric has the properties for being anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and astringent.