Understanding the elements of a holistic wound assessment
Intended for healthcare professionals

Understanding the elements of a holistic wound assessment

John Docherty Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, School of Nursing, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your awareness of the factors that can affect wound healing and management

  • To refresh your knowledge of the components of a holistic wound assessment

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Wounds have become a significant public health challenge and consume a large amount of healthcare resources. Wounds can have severe negative effects on patients’ quality of life, causing psychological and social distress, and may lead to significant periods of lost employment, resulting in financial loss. For nurses to manage wounds effectively, they need to be competent in undertaking holistic wound assessments. This article supports nurses’ understanding by providing information on various types of wounds and their differing aetiologies. It also outlines the elements of a wound assessment and discusses some of the challenges that may be encountered during this process.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11540

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Docherty J (2020) Understanding the elements of a holistic wound assessment. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11540

Published online: 21 September 2020

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