Wound/incision assessment frequency

  1. What is the general standard of care regarding a wound with a dressing? Today my clinical instructor wanted to know about my assessment of my patient's wound, but I thought we weren't supossed to look at it unless the dressing was soiled through or a dressing change was scheduled so that possible contamination through the air would be minimized.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    You just got your first dose of reality. In order to assess a wound you have to remove the dressing and reapply a new one. I wouldn't in a million years wait for a dressing to become soiled through in order to change it. Be nosy. What if it never got soiled through? Would you leave a smelly old dressing on for a week? You'd have some pretty good explaining to do, especially if it got infected. The only time I've never messed with a wound dressing is if it was the original dressing put on in surgery and this was the day of surgery, or the doctor was very specific about saying "Do not disturb the dressing under any circumstances". Even then. . .
  4. by   solumedrol
    i totally agree with you Daytonite. but some nurses don't really remove the dressing and assess the wound. as long as they see the wound dressing to be dry and intact they don't touch it. saves them some work to do. they just document that the wound dressing is dry and intact. it's up to the next nurse at the change of shift to change the dressing if its soiled. lol. not a very good practice but it happens.
  5. by   Achoo!
    At the hospital I had my clinical, if it is a fresh surgical you don't change the dressing for 24 hours. Just note if the dressing is dry and intact.
  6. by   crb613
    Quote from Daytonite
    You just got your first dose of reality. In order to assess a wound you have to remove the dressing and reapply a new one. I wouldn't in a million years wait for a dressing to become soiled through in order to change it. Be nosy. What if it never got soiled through? Would you leave a smelly old dressing on for a week? You'd have some pretty good explaining to do, especially if it got infected. The only time I've never messed with a wound dressing is if it was the original dressing put on in surgery and this was the day of surgery, or the doctor was very specific about saying "Do not disturb the dressing under any circumstances". Even then. . .
    I totally agree especially w/the do not disturb part.....

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