By Miranda Henry, WoundSource Managing Editor
There are opportunities for health care providers at all levels to become experts in the field of wound care. This multidisciplinary field is comprised of a wide range of health care professionals including nurses, dietitians, surgeons, gerentologists, podiatrists, physical therapists…the list is expansive!
With these areas of specialty comes opportunities to join a professional organization. While there are often annual fees associated with membership, there are a number of benefits to joining a professional wound care organization, which may include access to educational materials, complimentary publications, discounts on organization products and events, and participation in organization forums and community spaces.
Benefits of Joining a Professional Wound Care Organization
Membership to a professional wound care organization offers some other perks. Following are a few more reasons you should consider getting involved:
1. Professional Edge:
Belonging to a wound care organization, especially if you’re new to the field, is a great way to show a future or prospective employer that you are committed to your specialty. Joining a wound care organization may also lend itself to volunteer opportunities as well as give you easy-access to educational materials to help you further your field knowledge.
Membership to a professional organization may also be a way to open career pathways through networking and exclusive job boards.
2. Networking Opportunities:
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of a particular aspect of wound care by pursuing a career change or furthering your education, look to your organization to help connect you with field experts who can guide you on your journey. Many organizations will assist you in connecting with a mentor, or have other professional support services.
Organization sponsored meetings and conferences are a great way to meet face-to-face with other members and peers in the field, in addition to attending expert-lead sessions to keep your skills and practical knowledge of wound care up-to-date.
3. Involvement in Advocacy:
Every organization in wound care has a mission in serving the health care community. Spend time researching the various organizations out there and find one that resonates with your own personal and professional objectives. Each discipline in wound care has a unique platform for members to get involved. For industry members interested in supporting patient access and driving regulatory issues, you may be interested in joining the Alliance of Wound Care Stakeholders. If you have a clinical background, look to a number of nursing organizations or other specialty disciplines to join in their conversation and movements to advance the field.
Each organization has a unique stake. Do your research. See what’s happening in the organizations that appeal to you by visiting their websites, and speaking with a representative or member to see if their objectives are in line with your own professional goals and interests.
Webinars, conferences, educational downloads, resource libraries, and even grants and scholarships…your membership to a professional organization will include a number of benefits including free or discounted access to materials and opportunities to learn. A number of professional organizations provide a portal to education and training supporting certification (or recertification) in a particular specialty.
These are just a few benefits of getting involved in a professional organization. In wound care, there’s something for every health care professional, whether you have a background in nursing or have a stake in advancing a specific area of patient care, such as pressure ulcer prevention (look no further than the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel for involvement in this cause - again, there's a voice and a place for everyone in wound care!)
In doing your research, determine how your professional goals align with those of an organization’s offerings and find out how to get involved once you’ve found your fit.
About the Author
Miranda Henry is the managing editor of WoundSource.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author, and do not represent the views of WoundSource, Kestrel Health Information, Inc., its affiliates, or subsidiary companies.