Where can clinicians find good wound care pictures?

wound care pictures

When working as a wound care clinician, having access to relevant wound care pictures is an integral part of practice.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Whether searching for photos for your own research, to identify a wound or to educate others in your organization, finding good wound photos can prove challenging.

One strategy wound care professionals can use for accessing wound care photos is to consider starting their own collection.

“Over the years I have built a library of pictures that I have received from my colleagues in the industry,” said Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, clinical instructor with the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) and owner of Infinitus LLC, a wound care instruction and consulting company in Santa Claus, Ind. “Over time, I will reuse and recycle the pictures as needed.”

Conducting a Google search can yield many great wound photos. However, you need to know if the photos are copyrighted.

“Placing copyrighted photos into educational programs can become problematic if the owner of the photo finds out that you are using their photos without their consent,” Richlen said.

Still, accessing photos from the Internet for viewing alone is alright.

“If one is just looking at wound care pictures online to show examples, there would not be a problem,” Richlen said.

Another option for wound care professionals is to look into working with clinics that may be willing to share photos with you and your organization that are also HIPAA compliant, Richlen said.

Some websites that offer a variety of wound photos include:

The websites listed above are useful in finding wound photos, Richlen said.

“However, one usually has to pay a monthly subscription or fee to access and use these photos,” he said. “The photos can be very helpful and certainly relevant to teaching and training other clinicians.”

Good wound care pictures are essential for instruction and learning

Quality wound care pictures can help clinicians become more familiar with specific wounds and their characteristics, which can assist in providing better wound care at the bedside, Richlen said.

“I find photos to be absolutely necessary when teaching wound care,” he said. “Photos can be used to provide a visual example of a type of wound or type of tissue in a wound, so that clinicians can see the difference and be able to better recognize them in real life. Wound care assessment and treatment is a very visual process. Showing photo examples visually of the different concepts one is teaching, reinforces the learning process and retention of the material.”

Adding photos to a PowerPoint presentation — even if the photo does not have anything directly to do with the material presented on the slide — still adds a visual value and will sometimes prompt a conversation and discussion, Richlen said.

“Slide presentations with just words, graphs and charts are absolutely boring,” he said. “You will lose interest from the audience very quickly.”

A visual element is key to demonstrating wound concepts, said Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS, cofounder and clinical consultant with WCEI.

“There is a picture on practically every single slide that we use to teach off of at the Wound Care Education Institute,” she said. “Photos also help relay information regarding the different colors, textures and lesions — all of which helps clinicians conduct a comprehensive wound assessment, which is the foundation of all the wound care plans.”

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Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN, is a full-time freelance writer. Her background in nursing includes tenures in healthcare management and as a care provider. She has worked in med/surg/telemetry, pediatric emergency department and college health. She’s a health and fitness enthusiast, studies dance and enjoys cooking.

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