Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Countdown

3 Exams left: practical exam this afternoon, cumulative (gack!) final for my health assessment course tomorrow and a final exam for my principles and applications of nursing technologies class on Friday.

The practical exam this afternoon is on bandaging (v. nursey, no?). There are three main types of wound dressings: tunneling, moist-to-moist and moist-to-dry. Moist-to-dry is the most disturbing: you place wet gauze on a wet wound and cover lightly (bake on high at 350 for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally....). You cover the wound lightly so that the gauze packing the wound dries out. This way, when you remove the bandage, the wound exudate will come off along with the gauze. By "come off," I mean "rip painfully away." We're advised to pre-medicate the patient before changing this type of dressing.

Moist to moist is fairly standard and tunneling is awful only because it involves using a Q-tip to pack thin gauze into sinuses and tunnels that sometime develop in deep wounds. We're told these tracts can go on for over 4 cm. Ick.

Wounds are classified by depth and color. The colors are Red (good), Yellow (not-so-good) and Black (bad).

The best things about wounds are the new words we've learned to describe them. Black wounds are covered by "eschar". Yellow wounds have "slough," and wounds that split open after being stitched up are "dehisced". Great words.

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