Advise on wound care products and self-care

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to evaluate wound type and appearance, provide information to customers on suitable wound care products, and advise on self-care practices that will assist customers in wound care management.


This unit applies to community pharmacy employees working as pharmacy assistants or dispensary assistants. Pharmacy assistants work directly with customers and may suggest Pharmacy Medicines or unscheduled medicines for wound care management. In situations where customers require referral to a pharmacist for therapeutic advice, or where the supply of Pharmacist Only Medicines or products is required, the pharmacy assistant gathers information, refers the customer on, and then supports the pharmacist by finalising the supply of medicines and products.

A person undertaking this role is required to work under the supervision of a pharmacist.



Comply with infection control policies and procedures


Support the supply of Pharmacy Medicines and Pharmacist Only Medicines

Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

1. Develop knowledge of wound care and related products.

1.1.Recognise wound types and signs of infection.

1.2.Identify contributing factors and groups at risk of infection.

1.3.Identify and locate the pharmacy range of wound care medicines and products.

1.4.Identify and access sources of information on wound care.

2. Identify customer needs.

2.1.Follow pharmacy protocols and procedures to determine customer requirements.

2.2.Identify and act on triggers for referral to a pharmacist.

2.3.Interact with customer to identify wound type and appearance and level of improvement in wound healing.

2.4.Seek pharmacist advice where customer believes wound is displaying signs of infection.

2.5.Follow pharmacy procedures to respect and protect customer privacy.

3. Provide information on wound care products and management.

3.1.Finalise supply of scheduled medicines and products to customers, or after pharmacist provision of therapeutic advice where required.

3.2.Recommend unscheduled medicines, products, equipment and aids appropriate to wound type.

3.3.Provide the customer with directions for product use.

3.4.Recommend and comply with relevant conditions relating to supply of wound care products.

3.5.Identify and act on opportunities to suggest companion products relevant to desired health-care outcomes.

3.6.Identify and access sources of information, specialist services and practitioners.

Required Skills

Required skills

communication skills to:

interact with the customer to:

ask questions to identify and confirm requirements

provide information

confirm understanding

explain wound self-care practices

recommend and supply wound care dressings, medications, aids and equipment

provide advice on lifestyle, self-care practices, specialist services and practitioners

refer to a pharmacist

use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences

use and interpret non-verbal communication

learning skills to maintain personal currency of knowledge about wound care

literacy skills to:

interpret and explain product and self-care information

locate and interpret specialist information to support wound care management

planning and organising skills to organise work to meet customer service requirements

technical skills to:

assess wound care requirements

use equipment for home wound care

technology skills to access and use online systems to source information on wound care

teamwork skills to operate as part of a pharmacy team, providing relevant information and seeking advice from a pharmacist and other pharmacy staff as required

Required knowledge

basic understanding of anatomical structure of skin as it relates to healing stages and indicators:

inflammatory or defensive stage

reconstruction stage

maturation or remodelling stage

common factors that can contribute to the likelihood of wounds or exacerbate wound care problems and related lifestyle and self-care information

common wound types and causes of wounds and their associated care requirements, including:

acute wounds caused by:







chronic wounds, such as ulcers caused by poor circulation or medical conditions

contusion, bruising and soft tissue injury caused by:

blunt blow


knock or fall

penetrating wounds (puncture) caused by sharp objects

surgical wounds

bites and stings

burns and scalds

personal role boundaries, responsibilities and circumstances under which referral to a pharmacist or other pharmacy staff is required

pharmacy protocols and procedures relating to the sale of wound care medicines, aids, kits and equipment, including:

collecting information from customers

collecting and supplying information to an agent acting on behalf of a customer

identifying and acting on triggers for referral to a pharmacist

providing wound care advice

respecting and protecting customer privacy

sale of wound care products, aids and equipment

pharmacy range of wound care medicines and products along with basic understanding of their modes of action

relevant product and wound care terminology

sources of information, advice and specialist services relating to wound care

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the ability to:

apply pharmacy protocols and procedures when interacting with customers and assessing their wound care requirements

apply knowledge of common wound types and associated care requirements when recommending and selling wound care medicines, equipment, products and aids

provide information to customers in ways appropriate to customer needs and demonstrate techniques to confirm understanding

recognise and act on situations or requests requiring referral to a pharmacist

refer to relevant sources of information to assist the customer and maintain personal currency of knowledge.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure that competency is:

observed by the assessor or the technical expert working in partnership with the assessor as described in the assessment guidelines

demonstrated across a range of customers over sufficient time to include handling of a range of contingencies

demonstrated in a real or simulated pharmacy environment, which may include customer interruptions and involvement in other related activities normally expected in the pharmacy.

Assessment must ensure access to:

a range of real or simulated customers with different wound care requirements

a range of wound care products

pharmacy protocols and procedures

relevant documentation, such as:

wound care product and service information

self-care and lifestyle advice.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

observation of the candidate in the workplace:

consulting with customers to identify their wound care requirements

providing advice on wound care and supplying wound care medicines, products, equipment and aids

advising on self-care

written or oral questions appropriate to the language and literacy level of the learner to test relevant underpinning knowledge

review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance

role plays to confirm communication skills to meet diverse customer requirements.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Signs of infectionmay include:

localised heat in the area surrounding the wound



Wound care medicines and products may include:


anti-inflammatory medicines

antiseptic and saline washes

cold and hot packs

complementary medicines

Pharmacy Medicines

Pharmacist Only Medicines

Prescription Only Medicines

skincare products, such as:

skin cleansers



adhesive removers

surgical sundries

wound dressings, such as:

spray on dressings

gels, granules, pastes and beads

dry dressings

adhesive dressings

low adherent absorbent dressings

medicated bandages

non-stick pads

strapping, bandaging and sports tape.

Sources of informationmay include:

health-care information

pharmacy or supplier product leaflets, brochures and manuals

manufacturer information

industry and professional publications

medicines databases.

Protocols and procedures may include:

interacting with the customer to establish:

who the product is for


duration of symptoms

other existing health conditions

other medications being used by the customer

where the wound is

time of last tetanus shot where relevant to the wound

if they have seen a doctor


customer responses to questions

own confidence that the product or service requested by the customer or envisaged by the pharmacy assistant is right for the customer’s symptoms.

Customer requirements may include:

wound care services

wound care products, medications, aids or equipment

advice on wound management.

Triggers for referral to a pharmacist may include:

customer who is:

a child under 2

an aged person

pregnant or breastfeeding

taking other medicines

customer who has:

had the complaint for some time

other health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure

used the product before but is not satisfied with its efficacy

requested a large quantity of one or more medicines or products

customer appears to be:






under the influence of drugs or alcohol

pharmacy assistant is unsure and needs confirmation of the medicine selected, even if the product has been requested by name

request for Pharmacist Only Medicine.

Customermay include people:

from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying mental and physical abilities

visiting the pharmacy, contacting the pharmacy by phone, or in their own home

with special needs, such as:

the elderly


who are:

drug or alcohol affected

emotionally unstable

mentally unstable

physically unwell.

Directions for product use may include:

how to use wound care products and medicines correctly

how often to change dressings or use medicine

how to avoid infection

most common and important adverse effects

other lifestyle or management tips for the condition

to contact the pharmacy if the product or medicine does not help or the symptoms persist.

Conditions relating to supplymay include:

federal and state or territory legislation

industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines

pharmacy protocols and procedures relating to the sale of wound care medicines and products.

Specialist services and practitioners may include:



support organisations

other health-care specialists

relevant websites.


Community Pharmacy

Competency Field

Health Care Support

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

All relevant federal, state or territory legislation, Pharmacy Board of Australia Guidelines, and established practice and quality assurance standards are to be met.