Post-op Wound Care

The category of Post-op Wound Care contains topics that cover generalized post-operative wound care to promote healing and prevent infection. Medical-surgical nurses are usually responsible for changing dressings, monitoring vital signs, looking for signs of complications, and administering medications.

Photo: "The Many Faces of AMSN Members," taken at a recent annual convention.

Question: What is the best-practice regarding positioning of a patient for removal of a JP drain?

Answer: ...the patients' positioning in the removal process of a JP drain vary, mainly being dependent on the location of the drain, patient comfort, and provider preference...

Question: What is the best practice to remove sutures/staples from a surgical site? Specifically, should cleansers or antiseptics be used prior to removing the staples/sutures?

Answer: Most members of the Clinical Practice Committee (CPC) have stated that RNs do not routinely remove staples/sutures at their facility. After considerable investigation...

Question: ...regarding a general surgeon stating that it is the nurses’ responsibility to complete the first dressing change... do you have any evidence to affirm or not affirm this practice?

Answer: We were unable to find literature supporting the practice of the surgeon changing the first surgical dressing, versus the nurse. It is typical that the surgeon prefers to perform the first post-op dressing change, but this is neither supported nor recommended in the literature. What is supported is that the dressing change be performed using aseptic technique.