As wound care professionals, we all want to believe that we are having an active and positive effect on the healing of a wound under our care. None of us would like to think that the wound would close just as quickly if we were not involved. And all of us would hate to think it might actually heal faster without our input.
Yet, for years throughout history the healthcare professional has had, a best, a neutral effect on wound healing outcomes. This is not because earlier medical professionals did not care about their patients, or because they were not as clever as we are, but simply because they did not have the evidence to show them the best way to manage wounds. The pursuit of evidence-based medicine is one of the greatest triumphs of recent medical history and allows us to refine our medical practice according to what has been shown to work and not what we think might work.
Dry Wound Theory
It might be difficult to believe it now, but for many years it was believed that a wound had a better chance of healing if it was allowed to dry out completely. Wounds were either left to dry out naturally or were encouraged to dry by applying a wet-to-dry dressing. The evidence now available very clearly shows that an optimal moisture balance must be maintained for effective wound healing, and the concept of a moist wound environment is now included in all management protocols.
Improper Antiseptic Use
Other past examples of bad wound management include the indiscriminate use of antiseptics in open wounds. This is now known to have a detrimental effect on the wound, and the excessive use of whirlpool therapy which once was standard practice and is now known to be contraindicated in clean wounds.
Resistance to Change
Although evidence continues to guide our practice, there will always be individuals who remain reluctant to change their practice, preferring to continue with the traditional methods. It is important for wound care professionals to be alert to examples of inappropriate wound management and to address this as a priority if such a case is observed.
Studying for a certification in wound care can be a valuable way to avoid bad wound management and learn more about evidence-based medicine. Show your commitment to keep up to date with all the latest thinking and research. Wound care certification also helps you stand out from your colleagues when you are looking for a promotion or a new position and demonstrates your commitment to wound management in all patients.
Learn More With Our Wound Care Education Options
Interested in learning more about wound care certification? Browse through our wound care certification courses for information on our comprehensive range of education options to suit healthcare professionals across the full spectrum of qualifications and experience.
Myers BA. Wound management principles and practice. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson; 2008.