Wound Dressings

From the Wound Care series

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This Video Learning Activity (VLA) is designed for nurses working in acute care, aged care, outpatient departments, General Practice and domiciliary settings who manage people requiring a wound dressing.

Topics include:

  • The functions and limitations of wound dressings
  • The main classes and functions of wound dressings
  • The purposes and properties of common wound dressings
  • The components to consider in implementing a wound dressing regimen

Target audience:

This VLA will be of interest to all nurses working in a variety of health care settings who manage adults that require professional wound management.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this VLA you will be able to:

  1. State the functions and limitations of wound dressings
  2. Identify the main classes and functions of wound dressings
  3. State the purposes and properties of common wound dressings
  4. Explain the components to consider in implementing a wound dressing regimen


The purpose of this VLA is for nurses to enhance their knowledge and skills in regards to understanding the various categories and types of wound dressings available, their function and their use in clinical practice. This VLA will provide a broad overview of the most commonly used types of wound dressings available and will not explore all products available.


Wound dressings are a vital component where a wound requires management by a healthcare professional. There are currently a plethora of wound dressings available, with more being released every year. This can create confusion for nurses when trying to choose a wound dressing. There is a common misperception that wound dressings heal wounds. In practice, wound dressings assist in creating the ideal local wound environment to achieve the identified objective/s1. A lack of knowledge and confidence means the choice of wound dressings made by a nurse can be inappropriate and potentially delay wound progress or, at worst, cause harm to the wound. Wound dressings can also contribute significantly to resource use, related to the frequency of dressing changes, the time taken to change wound dressings and the cost of the dressings themselves. Education and training in wound dressings has been demonstrated to improve knowledge, product selection and reduce dressing change frequency2. Ultimately this improves patient outcomes.

Nurses in Australia are required to obtain a minimum of 20 continuing professional development (CPD) hours each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.


Citing this Video Learning Activity

  1. Using Harvard referencing style:

    Templeton, S 2016, 'Wound Dressings', Ausmed Education, viewed (insert date), https://www.ausmed.com.au/learning-centre/wound-dressings-description

  2. Using American Psychological Association (APA) 6th Edition referencing style:

  3. Templeton, S. (2016). Wound Dressings [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.ausmed.com.au/learning-centre/wound-dressings-description