Exploring the role of the Tissue Viability Nurse

Karen Ousey, Jeanette Milne, Leanne Atkin, Val Henderson, Nigel King, John Stephenson

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Abstract

Aim: To explore the role and identify key responsibilities of the Tissue Viability Nurse (TVN) in the UK. Methods: Mixed methodology using questionnaires distributed via SurveyMonkey and semi-structured interviews. Results: 261 respondents completed the online questionnaire and seven participated in semi-structured interviews. Of the 261 respondents to the questionnaire, 63.7% were employed as TVNs. Almost all respondents claimed to have access to a tissue viability service and the mean TVN team size was 4.7. Some 81.9% of respondents stated they had a team vision, with 75.9% stating that their service had set criteria for referrals. Analysis showed a statistical significance (χ2 (1)=16.6; p<0.001) between TVNs’ and non-TVNs’ knowledge of the referral criteria, with the latter being more aware. There was a variety of other titles used for the role, with interviewees affirming this was poorly understood by patients. Discussion: The results of this study identified that there is no national job title for the TVN role. Data identified that patients do not fully understand the title ‘Tissue Viability Nurse’. The TVN role is complex and not just about the management of a wound. However, what is also clear from the analysis of the data is that there are no clear criteria, or educational level, for the role. Data also suggest that review of current service provision, including partnership working with the multidisciplinary team and industry, is required to develop national competencies, guidance and quality assurance measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalWounds UK
VolumeWUK EWMA Special 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2015

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Ousey, K., Milne, J., Atkin, L., Henderson, V., King, N., & Stephenson, J. (2015). Exploring the role of the Tissue Viability Nurse. Wounds UK, WUK EWMA Special 2015, 36-45.