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Accurate chronic wound assessment in the community setting

The community nurse may come across a range of wounds in the community setting, particularly with the rise in comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease due to unhealthy lifestyles and an ageing population. Accurate assessment is the key to identifying the most appropriate wound treatment programme; one that will promote healing and/or relieve symptoms associated with chronic wound healing. Product choice is secondary to getting the assessment process right and accurate assessment and methodical documentation not only help protect against legal challenges, but also aim to reduce waste, dressing change frequency (and thereby nurse time), and patient discomfort. The community nurse should always seek to match their wound-healing knowledge with what they see in the wound bed and the patientís history, which in turn will enable the nurse to make informed therapy choices and provide expert patient advice.