Task: Taking a Wound Swab


Top shelf

  • 2 kidney dishes with a cover( onecontaining cotton wool balls and gauze) 
  • A probe 
  • 2 galipots 
  • Dressing forceps (2) 
  • Dissecting forceps (2) 
  • A pair of Sterile gloves if the dressing will be done with the hands 
  • Sterile Specimen container with a swab stick

Bottom shelf

  • Mackintosh and towel  
  • Receptacle for soiled dressing 
  • Lotions for dressing e.g. povidone iodine, normal saline, hydrogen peroxide 
  • Face mask 
  • Scissors 
  • Bandage  
  • Face mask 
  • Disposable gloves 
  • Plaster


1. Explain procedure to patient and provide privacy
2. Puts on face mask and prepares trolley and takes it to the bed side.
3. Instruct assistant to:
a. Put patient in a comfortable position and protect bed linen.
b. Pour out lotion into galipot.
c. Expose wound area.
d. Remove plaster/ bandage
4. Washes and dry hands and put on gloves.
5. Removes soiled dressings with dissecting forceps and discards
6. Removes swab sticks gently from sterile container and swabs wound from the most 
discharging part.
7. Replaces stick into container and corks it to avoid contamination.
8. Clean wound, applies dressing and secures into position.
9. Thanks and makes patient comfortable in bed.
10. Discards and decontaminate instruments.
11. Removes gloves, washes and dry hands.
12. Removes screen and labels specimen.
13. Documents procedure and report on the state of the wound.
14. Ensures specimen is sent to the lab with the request form.

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