Background: Nursing care has advanced over recent years due to changing professional boundaries, patient expectations and government initiatives. The tissue viability nurse specialist (TVNS) evolved as a result of the need for expert knowledge in the care of patients with compromised tissue integrity (Flanagan, 1998).
Objectives: A qualitative study utilising action research and critical social science was undertaken to examine nurses’ perceptions and understanding of the TVNS working in an acute NHS Trust in greater Glasgow. Data was collected through unstructured focus group discussion and three unstructured interviews.
Results: Thematic analysis of the data identified 12 core themes. The themes were both positive and negative but reflected what the nurses’ perceived and understood of the TVNS role and the rationale for utilising the service. The findings highlighted that the participants generally had a good awareness of the role of the TVNS, which they perceived as the provision of expert advice and direct patient care. The study also highlighted that the level of the nurse’s tissue viability knowledge influenced the level of support required by the TVNS.
Conclusions: The TVNS was considered to be of value but further investigation was required, which would assist in the evaluation of service provision and changes in practice.
Conflict of interest: None.