The aim of this reflection is to describe my personal experience in wound care and its management. Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle has been adapted in order to provide structure to the reflection process.
At the care home I had to nurse many client’s who had developed pressure sores. One particular wound stands out from the rest, it belonged to a lady in her late 70’s who was immobile and suffers from incontinence and slight dementia.
Her wound was extremely large on her sacrum, black and very hard. At this point was extremely discoloured (black) but the skin was intact and only had a light exudate. However there was evidence of full thickness skin loss which was masked by the necrotic tissue, so classified as a stage 3.4 (The sterling pressure sore severity scale). After a few days the wound had softened and started to debride at the corner and the necrotic tissue was deteriorating, there was also a potent off putting smell.
On first viewing her wound I was extremely shocked, I was conscious that I did not have enough knowledge or experience to deal with this type of situation. I felt a little out of my depth and did not know how to help. I am aware that as a student I’m not expected to care for patients without the support of qualified staff. The NMC can guide me in these types of situations saying that I must recognise and work within the limits of my competence (NMC 2008).
This was the first time I had seen a pressure wound so severe. I felt rather disgusted and taken aback, however I did not show any signs of this to my client. As a professional I knew that I had to stay detached from the sight and smell and work on cleaning and dressing the wound.
On one occasion when going into her room I was greeted by her husband and daughter they asked me ‘how was her wound’. It was obvious that they where quite anxious about her condition. The code of ethics for nurse’s states that it’s the nurse holds in confidence