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Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence in the Canadian Home Care Sector: What Is Its Value?

What Is Its Value?

Approximately one-third of all home care patients have wound care needs. Home care patients tend to be older and have multiple chronic diseases rendering them at risk for developing wounds and impairing their ability to heal wounds. NSWOC’s have expertise in wound, ostomy, and continence care, and were recently recognized by the Canadian Nurses Association as a specialty practice. We completed a systematic review in order to identify and synthesize evidence about the value of NSWOC’s in the Canadian home care sector, focusing on wound care. A literature search was conducted, using 9 computerized library databases. Eight articles were identified for review; each was analyzed using qualitative content analysis. Two themes emerged from our analysis:

  1. Assessing the outcomes of NSWOC involvement in client care and
  2. Methods for using NSWOC expertise.
Within these themes, the benefits of NSWOC’s working in home care were identified:
  1. A decreased number of visits
  2. Reduced wound-healing times
  3. Successful healing
  4. Reduced cost of wound care
  5. Greater support for nurses and families
  6. Fewer emergency department visits
  7. Fewer hospital readmissions
  8. Increased interest in education in wound care among other nurses
  9. Standardized protocols for wound care

Although only 8 studies were located for this review, their findings provide evidence that NSWOC contributions to wound care are not only positive but also necessary in the home care sector.