Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Nancy Hudson-Rudd

Second Advisor

Shirley Perry

Third Advisor

Andrew Yung


The purpose of this historiographical nursing study was to explore Australian Burn Wound Care from a nursing perspective, at two periods of time. It was the intention of the author to explore practices at the inception of specialised burns units, from the 1950's, presenting an historical perspective, and at the present time, May 1995. Eleven burns units across Australia participated in the study. There were 22 participants in the research sample. Each burns unit identified the first Charge Nurse (n =11) and the current Clinical Nurse Specialist (n =11), to be involved in the data collection process. The conceptual framework for this study incorporates the Reflective Cycle (Gibbs, 1988) succinctly incorporating the 'who', 'where', 'why', 'when' and 'what' aspects of the historical method of inquiry. An interview guide, used in conjunction with three photographs depicting burn wounds, provided interview structure for the data collection. A variety of historical data were gathered and analysed. These included scientific medical and nursing texts, foundation minutes, reports and conference papers of Australian and New Zealand Bums Association, to gain perspective of Australian Bum Wound Care. However, the data collated from 1950 to 1996 uncovered no written material on bum wound care. The information available was obtained exclusively from the indepth interviews. The data collated for the current perspective included hospital/ burns unit protocols and indepth interviews with key nursing personnel. A field trip facilitated the data collection, enabling semi-structured, audiotaped interviews in person and the opportunity to visit hospital libraries. The findings of the study have been organised to show bum wound care practices endorsed by Australian burns units, at the inception of specialised facilities, and at the present time.

Included in

Nursing Commons