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Words on Wounds

A forum to discuss the latest news and ideas in skin and wound care.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Wound Care Around the World

I just returned from China after a 12-day lecture tour in 5 different cities. It was a great honor to be invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the National Wound Care Nursing Conference that was held in Chengdu this year. As in the rest of the world, Chinese wound care nurses encounter many challenges in their day to day care for patients with chronic wounds. These are some of my impressions from my travels:

1. Access to advanced wound care products: The regulatory bodies in the country impose strict policies for approving wound care products, limiting the availability of many advanced technologies. The growing expense in health care services has created an impetus to critically evaluate the type of products and how they are used. Although this strategy may reduce overspending, tight control may stiffen innovation.

2. Lack of universal wound care: The disparity between the rich and the poor in China is growing, as with most developed countries. Unfortunately, many patients with low income are not receiving optimal care.

3. Interprofessional approach to wound care: This is a truly global problem. In China, nurses are primarily responsible for wound prevention and care; many hospitals do not have a wound care team that includes other professional groups such as physiotherapists, dietitians, or occupational therapists. Sound familiar?

4. General wound care knowledge: Although there are many excellent nurses with specialized knowledge in wound and ostomy care, the basic wound care knowledge of most providers at the bedside is poor. The turnover rate of nursing personnel is high; novice nurses are struggling to provide better care for their patients.

5. Evidence-based wound care: The Chinese medical community places heavy emphasis on advancing wound care and evidence-based practice. The challenge is for clinicians to gain access to information from the rest of the world because of internet access issues and the language barrier. There is a need to create a common place where knowledge exchange can occur between China and the rest of the world.  

​Some of these situations may seem very familiar to you. As with all travel, the more places I go, the more I realize we are all the same!