Skin and Wound Care

New Hire Orientation

New Hire Orientation Requirements

It is mandatory for all newly hired nurses within Nova Scotia Health to complete the following LMS courses as part of their orientation:

  • Pressure Injury Prevention
  • Wound Assessment

Nova Scotia Health Wound Care Education Programs

Nova Scotia Health offers multiple wound care education programs. Each program includes:

  • A self-directed learning component through LMS
  • A classroom component that aids the participant in consolidating their knowledge through case study work, hands-on practice, and group discussion

Wound Care Level 1

Wound Care Level 1 provides foundational learning for skin and wound care, including:

  • Preventative skin care practices
  • How wounds heal
  • Local wound care practices, from wound cleansing to wound product selection

Level 1 Objectives:

After completing Level 1, the learner will be able to:

  • Explain the skin and wound standards and how they are transferred to practice
  • Describe the factors that impact skin integrity 
  • Identify the components of a skin assessment
  • Discuss interventions to maintain skin integrity 
  • Recognize appropriate skin products and rationale for use
  • Describe the three types of wound healing
  • Explain the phases of wound healing
  • Recognize the potential reasons for delayed healing in each phase of wound healing
  • Discuss the procedure for collecting a wound swab
  • Identify the types of wounds appropriate or inappropriate for wound cleansing 
  • Identify the appropriate method(s) of wound cleansing based on wound assessment 
  • Distinguish between various wound cleansing solutions
  • Describe the practice of asepsis in wound care
  • Recognize the principles and rationale for wound packing 
  • Recognize indications and contraindications related to wound packing
  • Identify different methods and materials used in wound packing 
  • Describe the procedure for wound packing 
  • Explain the role products play in wound management 
  • Recognize common wound products on Nova Scotia Health's Wound Formulary 
  • Discuss wound product functionality for commonly-used products 
  • Develop a wound care plan, including management and treatment interventions for skin and wound care 
  • Demonstrate a wound dressing change, from cleansing to re-dressing 

Wound Care Level 2

Wound Care Level 2 goes beyond the basics of skin and wound care to include learning about specific wound etiology, including:

  • Management of pressure injuries
  • Prevention and management of skin tears and moisture associated skin damage (MASD), including:
    • Incontinence associated dermatitis (IAD)
    • Periwound maceration
    • Intertrigo and peristomal MASD
  • Prevention and management of surgical wounds
  • Application and management of negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT)

Level 2 Objectives:

After completing Level 2, the learner will be able to:

  • Develop a wound care plan, including management and treatment interventions for:
    • Pressure injuries
    • Surgical wounds
    • Skin tears
    • MASD
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use and application of NPWT
  • Describe prevention and management strategies for patients at risk of or with skin tears, pressure injuries, surgical wounds and MASD, including:
    • IAD
    • Periwound maceration
    • Intertrigo and peristomal MASD
  • Describe wound prevention and management considerations for patients with diverse cultural considerations and skin tones 

Wound Care Level 3

Wound Care Level 3 will build on Level 1. It goes beyond the basics of skin and wound care to include:

  • Prevention and management of wounds of the lower limb (arterial ulcers, venous leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers)
  • Lower limb assessment, including ankle brachial index (ABI) and compression therapy

Level 3 is currently in development, with more details to come.

Unregulated Care Provider Skin and Wound Education

Unregulated Care Provider (UCP) Skin and Wound Education will provide the foundational learning for the basics of skin and wound dressing changes for unregulated care providers. This includes:

  • Preventative skin care practices
  • Pressure injury prevention
  • UCP-appropriate wound dressing change education

This session is offered to Unregulated Care Providers, including CTAs (Care Team Assistants), CCAs (Continuing Care Assistants), PSWs (Personal Support Workers), and ACAs (Acute Care Aids), identified by their managers and/or CNEs (Clinical Nurse Educators). Please discuss attending this course with your manager or CNE.

E-Learning Courses

How Wounds Heal

  • ‚ÄčThis 25-minute course discusses the various etiologies of wounds, as well as the normal wound healing trajectory (hemostatis, inflammation, proliferation and remodelling) and reasons for delayed wound healing.

Wound Assessment

  • This 30-minute course reviews the key assessment parameters (wound location, wound measurement, wound bed, exudate (characteristics/amount), odour, wound edge and periwound skin) of a wound assessment.

Wound Cleansing

  • This 30-minute course discusses key learning points on how to perform wound cleansing (indications, contraindications, aseptic technique for wound care, procedure and documentation). This course also includes short videos on how to open a wound tray using aseptic technique and how to cleanse a wound.

Wound Packing

  • This 30-minute course discusses key learning points on how to perform wound packing (indications, contraindications, product categories, procedure and documentation). This course also includes a short video on how to pack a wound.

Pressure Injury Stage Training 

  • This 30-minute course reviews the definitions and picture examples of the stages of pressure injuries to increase learner knowledge on accurate PI staging.

Pressure Injury Prevention 

  • This course will review the current Pressure Injury Prevention policy. It includes the Braden and Braden QD documents, interventions, and algorithms for preventing pressure injuries.

Skin Care 

  • This 30-minute course provides an introduction to evidence-based skin care practice. It includes learning on the structure and function of the skin, skin assessment, and interventions to maintain skin integrity.

Wound Care Dressing Selection

  • This course provides an overview of the dressing selection process and commonly used products for local wound management.