From the Editor-in-Chief
The WOCN Society's WTA program has generated considerable interest, along with spirited and ongoing discussion, and a healthy side of controversy. Much of the discussion is focused on who is being trained, how they are using this knowledge and whether they are complementing and extending WOC specialty practice, or replacing WOC nurses with (presumably) less expensive alternatives. I have monitored this important program and I am delighted to pass along comments from Cynthia Walker and her colleagues, A. Rahman, T. Gipson-Jones, and C. Harris who report a needs assessment and evaluation of perceived barriers among a group of hospitalists (physicians and advanced practice nurses) related to wound care in critically ill patients.
I was not surprised to learn that these hospitalists identified a lack of knowledge about prevention and management of chronic wounds as the number 1 barrier to delivering effective care, followed by a lack of communication with nurses; and especially WOC nurses resulting from difficulty finding the WOC consultation notes on the electronic medical record. What solution was suggested for resolving such barriers? The authors suggest completion of the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Wound Treatment Associate (WTA) training program. I concur with this valuable strategy; the WTA training program extends well beyond educating clinicians to apply specific treatments such as negative pressure wound therapy. Instead, it is a viable and attractive solution for a variety of players in our interdisciplinary care team including the physician and advanced practice care providers (NPs and PAs) charged with operationalizing recommendations from a WOC into a patient's overall plan of care.
I assert that encouraging others on your team to complete a WTA training program, followed by active communication as to how participation strengthens the entire team is more likely to enhance and extend your value rather than threaten it!
Mikel Gray, RN, PHD, FNP. PNP. CUNP, CCCN, FAANP, FAAN