Four Steps to Better Wound Care Assessment

Wound Assessment

Wound care assessment, defined as the documentation of information obtained via observation, questioning, physical examination, and clinical investigations, is a fundamental aspect of wound management. Without wound assessment, it is not possible to gauge healing progress and therefore to determine whether or not a current intervention is effective and should be pursued or modified.

Initial Wound Assessment: Be Thorough

  1. The first step of better wound care assessment is to always assess a wound thoroughly on initial presentation to provide a baseline against which healing progress can be measured.  The wound assessment should include details of the patient history and a full systems review to identify risk factors and underlying disease processes, and determine patient and caregiver educational needs. Wound characteristics that should be documented include wound location and size, and any sign of tunneling or undermining, as well as an assessment of the wound bed, wound edges, wound drainage, periwound and associated skin characteristics, appendages, edema, and temperature.

    Assess the Wound Regularly

  2. The second step of better wound care assessment is to assess the wound on a regular basis in order to determine the effectiveness of current treatment.  According to Medicare requirements, measurement of wound healing should be performed at least monthly, although best practice dictates that assessment of wound status should be performed weekly or even more frequently.

    Careful & Consistent Tool Selection

  3. A third and important consideration is the selection of an appropriate tool to perform and document wound assessment.  A number of tools for evaluating wounds are in general use, each of which has its own merits and drawbacks. The tool that is used in practice is likely to be determined by the protocol at an individual healthcare facility. In fact, the precise tool that is used probably matters less than the fact that it is used consistently. Assessing the same wound using a different tool at different time-points will lead to confusion and lack of a clear direction.

    Continuous Documentation 

  4. Finally, the fourth step of better wound care assessment is to document the findings accurately and fully. An individual wound may be seen by a number of healthcare professionals over the course of weeks and months, and each needs to be able to understand readily the history of the wound and the effect of previous interventions.

Learn More With Our Wound Care Education Options

Interested in learning more about wound care and certification? Browse through our wound care certification courses for information on our comprehensive range of education options to suit healthcare professionals across the full spectrum of qualifications and experience.


  1. Laura,
    First and foremost let me compliment you on one of the best educational presentations and material provision that I have ever experienced. As a Nursing Educator for the last 10 years in addition to being an APN, I can tell right away who has it and who does not in reference to education.

    I have been intrigued by this new area of nursing related to wound management and infection control since beginning my Dr. Public Health in Epidemiology but with my years of experience as a nurse finding the right course and mentors is imperative. I have 25 years in OB/GYN though wounds do occur here as well I need to learn as if I was a new nurse once again. It is good to be humbled again in our career pathways.

    1. I am really curious about the certification pathways available from the different companies I’ve reviewed. Any comments on the way to go after completing our course? I am an APN and would like to pursue the advanced practice wound direction.
      Any help would be helpful from you.

      Dana Widdison

      1. As an APN, we highly recommend that you pursue either the CWS certification ( or CWCN certification which will differentiate you further since they are only offered to those with a Bachelors degree. The online interactive educational programs are convenient and will prepare you for the nationally accredited ABWM wound care certification examination( The BSN-NP wound certification course will prepare you for either of those exams.

    2. Dana,
      Thank you for your kind words about our course! We attended the SAWC wound convention two weeks ago and many attendees complimented our course as well. Our philosophy is to first “educate” and then certification will be the final result. Stay in touch

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.