Reflective accounts

Reflective account – Minor traumatic wounds

A CPD article improved Emily Davis’ knowledge of minor traumatic wounds and their management.
Cleaning a leg wound

A CPD article improved Emily Davis knowledge of minor traumatic wounds and their management

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article focused on the management of minor traumatic wounds. It provided an overview of the techniques used in the care of patients with minor wounds, and discussed the recommended anaesthetic agents when debriding and irrigating wound beds. The article considered the benefits of using staples, sutures and glue, with the aim of reducing scar formation.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article emphasised the importance of understanding the anatomy and physiology of the skin to ascertain if damage has occurred to surrounding structures, such as nerves, muscles or tendons.

It explained how each layer

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A CPD article improved Emily Davis’ knowledge of minor traumatic wounds and their management

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article focused on the management of minor traumatic wounds. It provided an overview of the techniques used in the care of patients with minor wounds, and discussed the recommended anaesthetic agents when debriding and irrigating wound beds. The article considered the benefits of using staples, sutures and glue, with the aim of reducing scar formation.


Picture: Alamy

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article emphasised the importance of understanding the anatomy and physiology of the skin to ascertain if damage has occurred to surrounding structures, such as nerves, muscles or tendons.

It explained how each layer of the epidermis has a unique role in protecting the body against invading pathogens by stratifying keratinocytes to ensure protection against injury from external sources. If damage occurs to any layer of the skin, its normal function is impaired and the body is exposed to harmful microbes.

I have learned that there are four stages of healing: haemostasis, inflammation, proliferation and remodelling, and each stage of the healing process must be completed before a new phase begins.

Dressings applied to wounds facilitate these phases by providing the optimum environment for healing. For example, iodine is applied to wounds with mild exudate to help keep the wound bed dry. As the skin layers appose, the tensile strength of the skin increases resulting in the closure of the wound bed.

I have learned that the ideal technique for wound closure ensures rapid application that is low risk to the clinician and the patient. The article discussed the benefits of a variety of therapeutic interventions such as analgesia, irrigation and debridement. It stated that the depth of the wound dictates whether bulb syringes or needles are the most appropriate methods of irrigation.

How did you change or improve your practice?

As a nursing student, I have had the opportunity to care for patients with a range of minor traumatic wounds. After reading the article, I have a comprehensive understanding of the rationale for the wound closure techniques I have observed. I increased my awareness of the appearance of the wound bed and can now identify the phase of healing of the wound. By improving my knowledge of the management of minor traumatic wounds,

I have been able to educate patients about wound cleansing, dressing changes and analgesia regimens. This has helped them to remain independent throughout the healing process. It also enables patients to care for their wounds and ensure they have sufficient nutritional intake to promote healing.

I have improved my practice by using a bulb syringe around the wound site to remove potential foreign material instead of gauze, thus reducing infection risk.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

The management of traumatic wounds is relevant to the theme of practising effectively.

By adhering to recent literature regarding care, effective practice is demonstrated and patients receive holistic support throughout their recovery. There is also a reduction in post-procedural complications and negligence if healthcare professionals ensure procedures are adhered to and patients feel safe when accessing services.

Emily Davis is a nursing student at Kingston and St George’s University, London


This reflective account is based on NS866 Bonham J (2016) Assessment and management of patients with minor traumatic wounds. Nursing Standard. 31, 8, 60-69. The questions are the same as those on the NMC templates that UK nurses and midwives must use for revalidation.

Write your own reflective account

You can gain a certificate of learning by reading a Nursing Standard CPD article and writing a reflective account. To write a reflective account for Nursing Standard, use the NMC reflective accounts form

Complete the four questions about the CPD article you have just read, writing about 800 words in total. Details of how to submit your reflective account are available here

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