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Assignment 1: Application – Diagnosing and Treating Skin Wounds

Skin wounds are sometimes challenging for health care providers to diagnose and treat as many have similar presentations. For advanced practice nurses, being able to identify various types of skin wounds, including whether a wound is a colonization or an infection, is critical because it impacts recommended patient care. In your role, you must be able to evaluate skin wounds, determine the diagnosis, and develop an appropriate treatment and management plan according to current evidence-based guidelines.

To prepare:

  • Review Chapter 46 of the Resnick text, as well as the Burr article in this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Consider how to properly diagnose skin wounds in frail elders, including how to distinguish between a colonization and infection.
  • Select a type of skin wound, such as bumps, bruises, shingles, herpes, bullous pemphigoid, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, etc. Research the guidelines for treatment of the skin wound you selected. Reflect on how you would treat and/or dress this wound.
  • Think about factors that might contribute to the development of the skin wound you selected. Consider strategies for the prevention and improvement of this type of wound.

To complete:

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Write a 2- to 3-page paper that addresses the following:

  • Explain how to properly diagnose skin wounds in frail elders, including how to distinguish between a colonization and infection.
  • Describe the type of skin wound you selected.
  • Explain how you would treat and/or dress this wound based on guidelines for treatment.
  • Explain factors that might contribute to the development of the skin wound you selected. Include strategies for the prevention and improvement of this type of wound.


Assignment 1: Application-Diagnosing and Treating Skin Wounds

Diagnosing Skin Wounds in Frail Elders

Changes occur in the skin tissue at specific ages which make the skin weak and prone to injuries in old age. The healing process is always slow due to the staggering metabolic activities and weak immune system. Because of this sufficient care must be provided to the elderly in case they get injuries to aid in the healing processes. It is essential to identify whether a wound is colonized or an infected before treatment begins. Presence of bacteria on an organism without causing disease is colonization (Franck & de Gouveia, 2018). On the other hand, infection is the invasion of an individual with disease-creating bacteria. Skin provides natural protection from diseases causing organisms. In case a skin tissue tears, bacteria colonize the wound and if not cleaned and treated in time, they move on to infecting it.

A wound is declared infected if the patient starts feeling pain, heat, edema, increased odor and when the healing process does not progress normally. The wound spreads the redness to other areas, and swelling is realized. Before all this happens, the wound is just colonized by bacteria and should be treated fast to avoid infection (Blume-Peytavi et al., 2016). There are several types of skin wounds which include bumps, bruises, herpes, and shingles.


Most elderly are affected by shingle wounds, which are always painful and very difficult to heal. It is an illness with very painful blisters that affect an individual’s body. A rush erupts as many small red patches which later develop into blisters. Blisters then open up eventually begin to dry then crust. It is created when the varicella zoster virus reactivates. It is the same virus that leads to the eruption of chickenpox.  Shingles can only be developed in old age with those individuals who had chickenpox earlier in their lives (Keating, 2016). Weak immune systems persons have the highest probability of contracting shingles. For instance, HIV infected individuals have the highest chance of getting the disease. Psychological stress also plays a part in the development of shingles in an individual.

Signs and symptoms

It starts with burning and itching in the area where the rush will later develop. People can also experience headaches, fever, nausea and swollen lymph glands (Greenhalgh, 2015). It is better to be identified when still in this stage and prevention medication administered.

Treatment Due to the weak immune system of the elderly, they require admission to health centers to be treated with specialized medical personnel. Antiviral drugs used to combat viral infections are administered to the patient to fight the zoster virus. Treatment must start seventy-two hours after the appearance of the rush to be more effective (Keating, 2016). Due to the pain this infection causes, pain medications are necessary…

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