Wound Care Certified

An interesting question has been posed of me recently, and when I reflected upon it, I realize now that I’ve been asked this question thousands of times. The question was “Why did you become a Wound Care Certified Nurse?” Wow, its a good question. The answer has many components to it and many levels of reasoning. I’ll explain…

Many people have become nurses for various reason; they want to change the world, they like the challenge, they like the pay (compared to other jobs they had), their guidance counselor told them the job outlook was good, they knew someone who was a nurse and they thought they looked good in scrubs…Who knows? But for those of us that got into nursing for  a deeper reason or interest, you know what I mean.

My journey began way back in high school when I worked in between my sports as a student athletic trainer. I would work with the other student athletes when they were injured. I thought I would eventually become a Certified Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist. I did the same in College in off season. I remember working a Cross Country meet and a participant sustained a head injury that caused extensive bleeding and subsequent loss of consciousness. Assisting in the stabilization of this patient and accompanying him to the Emergency Room in a Philadelphia City Hospital, I was exposed to a new world of health care. It just so happened that there were a few male nurses there who I erroneously thought were doctors. It turned out they were nurses. As the dust settled and the opportunity to converse with these nurses played out, I realized that there was something I may be interested in pursuing.

A few years later, my father became ill with lung cancer. His hospitalization was short as we brought him home on Hospice. The hospital staff nurses were awesome to my father. They made him comfortable when we knew there wasn’t much time. They did some cool things and taught me some things that at the time I didn’t know. They helped me understand better what was happening.

Fast forward a few years into my nursing career. For some reason, I was always pulled into helping with changing the bandages of some of the most involved wounds. Back then it seemed there was no method to the madness (treatment orders). I saw it all. Packing dressings with BARD, Milk of Magnesia dressings, Heat Lamps…..the list goes on. I came to have a reputation for ‘enjoying’ doing the dressing changes and had an interest in doing this type of work. I took pride in seeing the various traumatic and surgical wounds heal as the days, weeks and months passed.

As the career path became work clear and evident, I sought out becoming official and getting specialized training. I attended any and all types of inservices and meetings concerning wound care. Then it hit me. I learned about the Wound Care Education Institute’s Wound and Skin Management Course. Behold, you can become Wound Care Certified in One Week! I said to myself “I’m totally doing this!”

Wound Care Certification

I remember my class like it was yesterday. I had two instructors. Cindy Broadus RN and Scott Batie PT. I sat in the front row to the right and it was awesome! These instructors rocked! They had a plethora of knowledge that they transferred to me that is invaluable. All of these individuals have so many initials behind their names that would amaze you as to their experience and clout. They are truly amazing people. To date, there are over 9000+ WCCs (Wound Care Certified) Professionals. The number is more close to 10,000. The people at the Wound Care Education Institute are responsible for teaching the teachers and clinical experts out there that are touching the lives of countless names and faces of patients that are cared for in the United States and beyond. Yes Beyond!!! Many of the WCCs are treating patients Internationally in places like Haiti and Ethiopia. I’m certain there are more places  but you get the idea.

Intrinsically, there is something that is of value to be able to physically see and measure improvement of a healing wound.  To know that you have something to do with the resulting healing wound gives extreme satisfaction.  On a superficially level, its like winning a game or knowing the directions to a destination of which you are the one that has that knowledge. When you transfer that knowledge (like WCEI has done for me), and you see the results before your eyes, the reward is priceless. It helps to see the smiles on the faces of the patients we care for, wouldn’t you say?

Drew Griffin

For me, I am taking it in a bit of a different direction. Although I still see and treat patients in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Wound Clinic setting, I think there is an amazing opportunity to share the knowledge I’ve gained online. Some of you may have attended the Wild On Wounds National Conference the past few years and had the opportunity to catch one of my presentations on Social media and Wound Care.  One of the things we do as Wound Care Nurses (and Professionals) is educate our patients, their family members and colleagues about the wound healing process. The internet provides a medium for a digital version. Through Blog posts such as this one, Audio and Video Podcasts (YouTube and iTunes),  Micoblogs (Twitter), Social Networking (Facebook and LinkedIn) and more, we can converse and add value to our communities by teaching and consuming content that enriches our knowledge and the education of others. Its another way that we can help and extend our wound care education for ourselves and that of the communities we serve.

What about you? Why did you become wound care certified? If you are not certified yet, why would you like to be?

Diana Ramirez-Ripp

Diana Ramirez-Ripp is Manager of Education Services at Relias.

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