Chapter 4: Wound Care

4.8 Staple Removal

Critical Thinking Exercises: Questions, Answers, and Sources / References

Critical thinking questions are in bold type, and the answers are italicized. Additional resources or references are provided below.

  1. You are about to remove your patient’s abdominal incision staples according to the prescriber’s orders. As you start to remove the staples, you notice that the skin edges of the incision line are separating. What would be your next steps?

Stop. Steri-Strip the wound. Notify the prescriber. Further assess for factors that increase risk of delayed healing and intervene appropriately.

  1. Your patient informs you that he is feeling significant pain as you begin to remove his staples. What would you do next?

Further assess the wound for S&S of infection. Give the patient time. Implement distraction/relaxation techniques. Analgesic only if absolutely necessary.



Potter, P., Perry, A., et al (2019). Canadian fundamentals of nursing (6th ed.). Elsevier; Mosby.