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Required wound care content for nursing curricula in Australia: A Delphi Study

Clegg, Holly (2022) Required wound care content for nursing curricula in Australia: A Delphi Study. Masters by Research thesis, Murdoch University.

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There is evidence in the literature that there is a lack of knowledge related to wound care among entry to practice nursing students, which can influence nursing students’ confidence and competence. The research exploring the content and delivery of wound education is limited but does demonstrate that the nursing curricula between university programs internationally, and nationally within Australia, varies significantly. To reduce the inconsistencies and improve the quality of wound care education in undergraduate nursing curricula, it is important to identify what wound care content should be delivered and how this content should be scaffolded across the nursing program.

The central aims of the research were to ascertain what experts identify as important wound care curriculum content for a three year Bachelor of Nursing program and in which year students should first be introduced to each topic.

A Delphi technique was used to establish consensus for a list of wound care topics (n=74) as to when they should be first introduced to nursing students. The wound care topics were taken from the Standards for Wound Prevention and Management (Wounds Australia, 2016) and divided into three categories: ‘anatomy and physiology’, ‘assessments’ and ‘treatments/therapies’ within the survey. Seventeen registered nurse wound care experts in Australia were recruited to take part in the three round Delphi survey and a response rate of 100% (n=17) was obtained in all three rounds. A consensus of >70% for the year that each topic should be first introduced was required.

The Delphi process achieved consensus on the year that 65 wound care topics should be first introduced, with only nine topics not reaching above 70%. There were 19 topics nominated for year one and year two, 15 topics for year three and 12 topics that were nominated for post graduate study. There was a clear allocation of topics by the expert participants that enabled development of knowledge and skills over the three years across the conceptual areas of wound theory (includes anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology), physical assessment, psychosocial assessment, wound care skills, wound care planning, patient education and wound prevention.

Reducing the inconsistencies in wound care education and improving the standards of knowledge and skills in graduate nurses, is essential for the safe, effective and evidence-based care of individuals with wounds to improve their wound healing outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Nursing
Supervisor(s): Wei, Ruth, Fetherston, Catherine and Batterbee, Robert
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