A qualitative description of current practice in the management of burn wounds
AbstractObjective: This article forms part of the findings of a thesis titled, The management of burn wounds by nurses. The purpose was to describe current practice to identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in this regard. Design: A qualitative, descriptive research design was used. Subjects and setting: The population included nurses providing care to patients admitted to a burn unit. Outcome measures: Semi-structured interviews were selected for data collection. Data collection took place from August to October 2012 and from April to June 2013. Data saturation was achieved after eight interviews. Results: The description of current practice identified strengths, weaknesses and gaps in current practice with regard to the management of burn wounds from the participants’ perspective. Conclusion: The interviews augmented the findings of structured observation. Certain hypotheses were proved and disproved, for example, that wound care is ritualistic as the same words were repeated by nurses to describe certain phenomena. Heating cleaning solutions and hand washing were identified as areas that needed development. Participants’ responses suggested a need for training, following assessment and diagnosis. The tissue, infection and inflammation, moisture balance and edge of wound (TIME) framework was not adopted for the management of burn wounds. The nursing process and the TIME framework were not used during documentation, which indicates a need for a more structured approach to reporting. These results indicate that guidelines on the management of burn wounds by nurses are required.
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