The Use of Digital Images in Evaluating Homecare Nurses' Knowledge of Wound Assessment

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PURPOSEThe purpose of this study was to evaluate homecare nurses' knowledge of wound assessment using digital images and case studies.DESIGNA descriptive design was used.SUBJECTS AND SETTINGSubjects were a convenience sample of 33 registered nurses from a Washington, DC, metropolitan-based home health agency.METHODSParticipants were asked to complete a demographic data sheet and a wound assessment checklist, while viewing projected digital images of 10 different wounds. A case study accompanied each image and provided wound assessment data that could not be visualized. Frequencies were calculated to determine the percentage of homecare nurses who were accurate in their assessment.RESULTSThe most common error in staging was a lack of recognition of wounds that were not stageable. The majority of the homecare nurses were able to accurately identify wound bed and periwound characteristics; the greatest variability was found in the ratings for wound bed color.CONCLUSIONSDespite the difficulty of interpreting digital images of wounds, the study findings support the value of using them to evaluate nurses' knowledge of the visual aspects of wound assessment as a basis for educational programs.

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