NurseSim

Collecting a Wound Swab

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A wound swab is ordered by a medical officer and can be performed by all healthcare professionals, including nurses. A wound swab is ordered:

  • if infection is suspected
  • if a wound fails to heal within appropriate time limits and/or
  • to identify microorganisms within the wound to enable optimal treatment options to be determined (Koutoukidis & Stainton 2017).

Wound swabs are often performed at the same time as the wound dressing change and should be performed only after the wound has been cleaned with normal saline. Documentation of the procedure should be completed on all appropriate forms/charts, for example a wound management chart.

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