By Paula Erwin-Toth MSN, RN, CWOCN, CNS
Now that summer is upon us we will soon be entering the orientation and entry of new residents, fellows and new nursing graduates in acute care. This is a terrific opportunity for you to reach out and engage the interest of these new clinicians in evidence-based wound care practice. Granted, they are overwhelmed with new information and new responsibilities, but prevention and management of wounds is knowledge they can apply to nearly all their patients and across all health care settings.
If you have a wound consult team, invite the new clinicians to make rounds with you, spend time in your wound clinic and make home visits or see residents in long-term care. The opportunity to see you in action in a variety of health care settings with a variety of patients, families and caregivers can make a significant impact on the clinical practice of these new health care providers. Wound care is often viewed by 'outsiders' as low tech, uninteresting and not very significant in the great scheme of health care. You know differently—and only you can share the knowledge and passion you bring to wound care with novice clinicians.
As I write this, we are still in the midst of the sequester and cuts to many services that may affect our patients. The governors and legislatures of several states are refusing to expand Medicaid coverage for low income citizens as outlined in the Affordable Care Act. The end result is no federal dollars will be sent to help support the state Medicaid program where the states have decided to 'opt out'. Regardless of your political standing this is going to have a huge impact on people who already receive Medicaid as well as those who are low income and have no health insurance. It is doubtful the states can self fund their own Medicaid programs and to date no one has said how they will manage. All patients receiving Medicaid services in those states not receiving federal dollars will be affected. Acute care, ambulatory care, home care and long-term care settings are going to feel the impact of this decision. It seems we are all involved in a melodrama and the writers are still working out the ending. These forthcoming changes are just another reason to invite new clinicians to learn what you have to share in your wound care practice. Knowledge is power and assisting these new health care providers in broadening their skills and experience will only help them become more adaptable to the inevitable changes to come. Stay tuned for more on this front!
About The Author
Paula Erwin-Toth has over 30 years of experience in wound, ostomy and continence care. She is a well-known author, lecturer and patient advocate who is dedicated to improving the care of people with wounds, ostomies and incontinence in the US and abroad.
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.