Ousey, Karen, Milne, Jeanette, Atkin, Leanne, Henderson, Val, King, Nigel and Stephenson, John (2015) Exploring the role of the Tissue Viability Nurse. Wounds UK. pp. 36-45. ISSN 1746-6814

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.

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