6 Ideas for Virtual Wound Care Education
Article originally featured on WoundSource
The third Thursday in November is a highly recognized day within many hospital systems and wound care programs. This day is recognized nationally as World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day, highlighted by the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPIAP). The third Thursday in November is a time to bring awareness to pressure injury prevention, treatment, and research. Each year, we highlight this day a little bit differently, but this year definitely looked much different from years past.
Virtual Wound Care Education
As we continue to socially distance and limit interactions, meetings, and large gatherings during the pandemic, continuing education in the medical field is still important. Therefore, much of our education has moved to a virtual format. Without hands-on interactions, face-to-face discussion, and in-person enthusiasm, it can be difficult to engage your audience. With that said, we have to be creative with our virtual platforms. This year we used virtual presentations with audio, video, and interactive games (virtually) to engage our audience for World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day. Some examples from our presentations included:
Wound and fistula management with demonstration of pouching and care: crusting technique, perifistular skin management, tips and tricks, and discussion on oral intake and how this relates to output and overall nutritional status
Medical device–related pressure injuries (trends, prevention, NPIAP recommendations): presented using a family feud game where participants could type answers into a chat box feature or unmute their microphones to discuss
Certification: the importance of having a certified wound specialist, the value of certification, types of certification, and panel discussion including our current certified nurses and those enrolled in programs
Terminology change from Kennedy terminal ulcer or injury to skin failure: skin failure bundle—which signs or symptoms at end of life point to skin failure, palliative performance scale and how this relates to skin failure, and evidenced-based practices and bundles that point to skin failure; presented using a “map quest” and treasure hunt, in which we virtually mapped our way to skin failure, and surrounding discussion, including how skin failure differs from a pressure injury
Nutrition and wound healing: discussion from one of our registered dietitians on how protein relates to wound healing, including food sources versus vitamin supplementation of essential vitamins and minerals, as they relate to healing chronic wounds
Upcoming pressure injury and wound research at our facility and our quest to further evidenced-based practices over the next 5- and 10-year increments
Each presenter used unique tactics to keep the audience engaged, including virtual games, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations. There was time for Q&A, along with a chat feature and voice feature within the presentations. Games were interactive and allowed participation from everyone on the call through the chat box feature or verbal discussion.
Although it is difficult to replace in-person interaction and face-to-face discussion, difficult times call for flexibility and creativity. As health care professionals, we are used to adapting to change, being flexible, and helping one another! This is just a reminder to continue evidence-based practices, continuing education, and expanding wound care knowledge, while engaging our peers —even, virtually!
About the Author
Holly is a board-certified gerontological nurse and advanced practice wound, ostomy, and continence nurse coordinator at The Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. She has a passion for education, teaching, and our veterans. Holly has been practicing in WOC nursing for approximately six years. She has much experience with the long-term care population and chronic wounds as well as pressure injuries, diabetic ulcers, venous and arterial wounds, surgical wounds, radiation dermatitis, and wounds requiring advanced wound therapy for healing. Holly enjoys teaching new nurses about wound care and, most importantly, pressure injury prevention. She enjoys working with each patient to come up with an individualized plan of care based on their needs and overall medical situation. She values the importance of taking an interprofessional approach with wound care and prevention overall, and involves each member of the health care team as much as possible. She also values the significance of the support of leadership within her facility and the overall impact of great teamwork for positive outcomes.