If you’re a nurse, you’ve made a commitment to lifelong learning. From the evolution of best practices to new products and treatments, there’s always new information to absorb. This is especially true in rapidly advancing fields—like wound care.
Progress in wound care over the last two decades has been remarkable. Today, there are more educational materials than ever before to help you better treat chronic wounds.
But are all sources equally trustworthy? And given how demanding your work can be, do you really have the time and mental energy to read through complex medical documents?
Whether you’re an enterostomal therapy (ET) expert or a generalist home care nurse, it’s worth your while to stay informed. Luckily, there are ways to get yourself in the know—quickly, conveniently, and without hesitation.
Thanks to digital technology, there’s now plenty of information at your fingertips. In this post, we’ll look at four online wound care resources that are both authoritative and hassle-free.
1) Wound Care Canada (WCC)
Wound Care Canada is a national authority when it comes to information on chronic wounds and skin health. Published three times each year—in March, July, and December—the journal provides highly-credible information on some of the most critical issues in the field.
Experts cover topics in-depth through peer-vetted articles. But don’t expect dry and inaccessible content. Wound Care Canada is full of clear and concise writing, which is laid out in the style of a colourful magazine. As a result, it’s easy to pick up, skim, and (inevitsbly) read cover to cover.
If you’re an ET specialist or a generalist nurse, the articles in Wound Care Canada will have a broad scope of lessons to teach you. The latest issue covers topics as diverse as professional development, patient education, and the need for standardization in wound care education.
2) Connecting Learners with Knowledge (CLKW)
There are different types of learners. According to the popular VARK theory, your learning style might be visual, auditory, reading and writing-based, or kinesthetic. But there’s one thing we all have in common: during the learning process, we’re bound to have questions.
There are times when you just can’t overcome a challenge without connecting to someone who’s already faced it. Unfortunately, wound care is a relatively new field, which means expertise can sometimes be hard to come by.
British Columbia-based Connecting Learners with Knowledge (CLKW) offers nurses the opportunity to join its Skin and Wound Care Community of Practice. As one benefit, community members can learn from their peers in a forum that allows them to share resources—and experience.
On the site you’ll also find a list of decision support tools, guidelines for specific wound care procedures, product information sheets, and more. These documents are accessible to non-members.
Partners include provincial health authorities, lending a high level of credibility to CLKW.
3) Canadian Home Care Association
Home care nurses can certainly benefit from most, if not all, of the the high-quality wound care resources online. But there’s far less available for those who work primarily in home and community care environments.
Luckily, the Canadian Home Care Association has released a comprehensive document that looks at some of the biggest wound care issues in home environments. Though things have changed since the paper was released in 2012, much has remained the same. Case studies showcase some of the country’s most innovative (and just plain successful) solutions for challenges such as outcomes measurement and inter-professional collaboration.
Part of the “CHCA on the Issues” series, the organization’s wound care document can be referred to again and again by practitioners who need a refresher on some of the most pressing recurring issues in the field.
On the same resource page, you’ll also find two webinars that contain some rather startling wound management statistics.
4) South West Regional Wound Care
We’ve mentioned the program before on this site, but it’s worth looking at again. For wound care practitioners—and nurses with a keen interest in providing patient-centred wound care—the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) can offer guidance.
Ever wonder what an organized wound care program led by a provincial health organization would look like? How might such a program encourage evidence-informed practice—and the professional development of new leaders in the field? For answers to these questions, look no further than the South West LHIN.
Are you looking to facilitate a wound management program in your organization? Perhaps you’re a nurse who wants to act as a champion within your region. Either way, exploring the LHIN’s site may well serve you with inspiration.
All wound care-related pages are easy to navigate. These pages (the “toolkit”, as they’e called), contain useful reference information on wound bed preparation, ethology, anatomy, and more.
They also provide information on the program’s governance structure, as well as contact info for wound care champions and other key program players. In this way, they offer the accountability that some wound management programs lack.
Finding the Right Wound Care Resources
As the wound care field develops, the network of specialists available to help one another continues to grow. In the classroom and on the job, nurses are acquiring more in-depth knowledge of chronic wounds than ever before.
That said, the world has become increasingly digital.We’ve become accustomed to the quick convenience of the internet. In this new climate, practitioners need places to turn online for support.
This post has explored at a few high-quality wound care resources for Canadian nurses. But your options are far from limited. And online research is playing an increasingly important role for practitioners in the field.
Moving forward, look for marks of credibility such as partnerships with health authorities and relevant government organizations.
Feature image courtesy of Marcie Casas