A Wound and Ostomy Nurse cares for patients with wounds caused by medical treatments, diseases, or injuries. They also provide post-surgery treatment and care for patients with ostomies, which are surgical openings that allow for the elimination of bodily waste. These nurses often work with a healthcare team, assessing patients, managing wounds, and monitoring healing.
A wound is a disruption of the normal structure and function of the skin and skin architecture. An acute wound has normal wound physiology and healing is anticipated to progress through the normal stages of wound healing, whereas a chronic wound is defined as one that is physiologically impaired
To ensure proper healing, the wound bed needs to be well vascularized, free of devitalized tissue, clear of infection, and moist. Wound dressings should eliminate dead space, control exudate, prevent bacterial overgrowth, ensure proper fluid balance, be cost-efficient, and be manageable for the patient and/or nursing staff. Wounds that demonstrate progressive healing as evidenced by granulation tissue and epithelialization can undergo closure or coverage.
Many topical agents and alternative therapies are available that are meant to improve the wound healing environment and, although data are lacking to support any definitive recommendations, some may be useful under specific circumstances