Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) perform a wide range of duties, from bedside care and medication administration to administrative tasks and support with activities of daily living. Among the capabilities required to support doctors and nurses and perform this complex job, wound care is an important skill. Wound care is just one of the many skills you’ll learn as a student in Prism Career Institute’s Practical Nursing program. Here, we’ll take a closer look at LPN wound care best practices.
Wound Care Tips to Remember
An LPN may see many types of wounds in the course of their work, including skin tears, pressure wounds, diabetic foot wounds, and more. All of these require specialized care, but some general best practices can help you deliver the highest quality treatment possible. As you assist doctors and registered nurses (RNs), keep these tips in mind.
Know Your Limits
LPNs typically require the supervision of an RN or physician to perform many wound care tasks. Always consult with your supervisor, and abide by all state regulations to ensure you’re acting within the appropriate limits of your job.
Evaluate with the HEIDI Mnemonic
You must fully understand a patient’s condition before cleaning or dressing a wound. To do so, LPNs can use the following mnemonic device to thoroughly evaluate the situation:
- History: Learn the patient’s medical history, any medications they’re taking, and how they came to be injured, if relevant.
- Examination: Perform a careful examination of the patient and the affected area.
- Investigation: If necessary, consult with an RN or doctor about any tests that should be ordered, such as blood work, diagnostic imaging, or tissue samples.
- Diagnosis: Confirm the type of wound with assistance from a supervisor as needed.
- Implementation: Put an appropriate, approved treatment plan into action.
Consult with others whenever assistance is required in any of these steps to ensure best outcomes and adherence to all regulations.
Connect with the Patient
Patients receiving wound care may be uncomfortable and anxious or struggle to explain their concerns. An LPN should always aim to be consistent, trustworthy, and compassionate, putting patients at ease while providing quality care. Be sure to ask questions, listen carefully, and show empathy whether assessing, cleaning, or dressing wounds.
Make Careful Observations
As part of a wound care team at a clinic, hospital, or care facility, you play an integral role in patient health. When observing the condition of a wound for assessment or monitoring, take careful, detailed notes and precise measurements. It’s important to record dressing changes and other interactions as accurately as possible. Your attention to detail will help other team members and patients alike.
Practice Good Communication Skills
You serve as a key line of communication between patients, other nurses, and doctors. If asked to provide education about at-home wound treatment and follow-up care, do so in clear, simple terms that patients will understand and remember. Be sure to listen carefully, whether receiving instructions from colleagues or learning more about a patient’s condition. These details will be extremely important in every situation.
Prepare for Your Career as an LPN
Whether working in a skilled nursing facility, hospital, or a specialized clinic, all LPNs must be capable and confident in the performance of wound care. For a comprehensive education that includes LPN wound care and many other essential skills, apply to the Practical Nursing program at Prism Career Institute. For more information about our programs in Egg Harbor and Cherry Hill, New Jersey or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, contact us today.