Education of healthcare professionals can be tricky. All of us have a large body of knowledge from which we draw to treat our patients and must continue to expand that knowledge during our professional careers. We spend large amounts of time reading journals and books, learning from colleagues, and attending continuing education courses. Every medical organization to which we belong concentrates on providing professional education. Many healthcare professionals believe that their approach to chronic wounds is “just fine” or say “These therapies have worked well for my patients in the past, so why should I change them?” Unfortunately in wound care, many practitioners are treating patients with these “tried and true” therapies and do not realize their therapeutic methods are not the best available. Current wound care educational information does not seem to be reaching many grass roots wound care practitioners. Even if knowledge is made available, the person receiving it must be willing to change long-standing, comfortable practices. A famous man once said of education, “Don’t merely listen to words, do what they say.” This may not be easy for a number of reasons but we must be willing to do it. If we are to provide first rate, evidence-based care for patients with wounds, we must find better ways to distribute up-to-date wound care information so that providers at all levels will have access to it. In turn, the provider must be willing to adopt these new practices.
This month, Dr. Laura Bolton’s Evidence Corner presents an excellent overview of primary dressings used under compression for the treatment of venous ulcers. Her findings should be of interest to all who treat venous ulcers.
The articles in this issue provide important information for all practitioners regarding the continued discussion of silver-containing dressings, the validity of wound culture techniques, and an additional technique for treating patients with extensive lower extremity tissue loss.
Terry Treadwell, MD, FACS