If you have an open wound, one of the hardest tasks that you would have to comply with is the caring of your wound or that of your patient’s. If you are a nurse reading this, you are probably all-too-familiar with these tips, as you may have already come across them in nursing school. But what if you have a patient to take care of and you aren’t a nurse? Are you just going to give up your responsibility of delivering the best care for your patient? Definitely not.
As difficult and scary as it may seem to you, successful caring for the wound of your patient is doable, even if you’re not a nurse. To help you out, here are some of the best tips you can apply:
- Be Aware Of The Basic Wound Care Procedures
The foundation of excellent wound care is built upon the basic wound care procedures that you can apply. If you are a nurse by profession, you are already most likely aware of this. But if you aren’t, make yourself aware of the treatment options. Most of these you can apply should you have another family member in the future that suffers a wound.
Some of the primary treatment options for wounds include:
- Always start by cleaning the wound of any debris or dirt with soap and water
- Treat other conditions, too, such as Anemia and Hemophilia, which can interfere with the wound’s healing process
- Vaccinating affected areas in case of traumatic injury
- Relieving pain with basic pain relievers
- Wrap the wound appropriately with the right covers, such as a PICC line waterproof cover
- Be Very Alert About Visual Inspection
Wounds have so much to tell, even from the outside. By looking at an injury, you can already have an idea about its condition, and how you are going to go about its care. Hence, as you care for a patient’s wound, it is of paramount importance to carefully conduct visual inspection. Every day, take the time to look at the wound and compare it to how it was the previous day. If you are caring for multiple injuries in the body, you might want to take photos of it or write them down on a record book.
These are some of the details regarding the physicality of wounds that you have to take note of:
Doing this will also help you answer the doctor’s questions when you go to a follow-up checkup. Never try to take guesses, as even small wounds can be pretty dangerous, too. There can be terrible consequences when you fail to properly observe or describe a wound, as this can lead to infections that may also be serious.
- Know The Signs Of Infection
It is also essential for you to know the signs of an infection. If you have previously seen a doctor for the wound that happened to the patient, make it a point to ask about the potential signs of infection. As you do a visual inspection of the wound, be conscious about not missing out on the telltale signs that an infection might already be starting. When this happens, it is best to bring your patient to a doctor. It is the doctor who can prescribe the appropriate medication to help combat the infection.
In this regard, signs of infection can include:
- Wound enlargement
- Delayed wound healing
- Purulent discharges
- Inform Your Doctor If The Patient Is Non-Compliant
You may be there to help the patient recover from their wounds, but this is not only dependent on you. Your patient should also comply with whatever you or your doctor instructs. Remember that you aren’t going to be there 24/7 to treat your patient like an infant. For example, your patient was recommended to first stay away from sun exposure because of the open wound, but they did not listen to this, and went to the beach, and now came back to you with what looks like bacteria building up.
Tolerating this kind of behavior is only going to make your job harder, but it will also destroy the success of the care plan the doctor may have prepared for the patient. Therefore, if the patient has been non-compliant, it is vital that you inform your doctor of this right away.
For instance, these are some of the common barriers to wound healing:
- Mechanical damage
For instance, the wrong diet can slow down your wound healing. But incorporating natural anti-bacterial food in your diet can help speed up healing as well.
The basic rule to remember, along with these tips, is this: every phase of wound healing has its own corresponding care rules to follow. You can all learn these from a medical practitioner, and through applying these tips as well. However, keep in mind that whenever you are unsure, always ask for the advice of a nurse or a doctor, and be sure to comply with their advice in detail without missing anything.