Written by: Angel Sutton, MSN/Ed, RN, CWCN, CCCN, CFCN
Pressure ulcers can be a challenge to treat and manage in the long-term care setting. Many skilled nursing facilities do not have a wound care specialist, or even a staff member trained in wounds. The lack of certified wound care professionals in these facilities can lead to an increase in the following:
* Complications from pressure ulcers.
* Prevalence of amputations.
* Risk of death.
Life Care Centers of America, Inc., (LCCA) is a long-term care community of over 200 skilled nursing facilities in 28 states from Boston, Massachusetts to Hilo, Hawaii. LCCA is dedicated to providing the most advanced care to the residents and is specializing in the field of wound care to better meet the needs of the resident for both long-term and short-stays. When considering solutions for staff education in relation to wound care, all options available were considered. After analysis, LCCA has chosen to invest in and to adopt the Wound Treatment Associate (WTA) Program to be the platform for wound care training across the country in all of our facilities. The WTA Program is recognized by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) to provide additional wound training and skills to staff that focus on direct care. The Society is shaping the future of nursing in the WOC area, it was a logical choice to ensure that our nurses, and other clinicians, would receive quality education in relation to prevention and treatment of all types of wounds.
Many other factors led to our decision to adopt the WTA Program as our standard education program for wound education. Life Care reviewed several other certification and wound training courses and decided that the WTA Program would best meet our needs since the course is completed online at the center. The course content allows flexibility in the scheduling to allow more associates to be able to participate in the course. The course content is applicable to our setting of long-term care and the course is taken by nurses, therapist, and some of our physicians. We felt that have a multidisciplinary approach to wound care training helped all team members learn the same content and helped with congealing the wound teams. The training course has greatly improved our skill level and confidence from our wound team clinicians by engaging many members of the team more interventions and treatment options have been reviewed and wound healing rates have increased.
LCCA began the WTA Program in July 2014 to provide additional wound training to its associates (which also include allied health clinicians and physicians) and to date has had over 450 participants. We have found the program to be an invaluable tool in equipping our staff.
Complete content presented through the following poster:
Sutton, A, & Greene, R.B. (2015). Advancing skill set for wound care in the long-term care setting WOCN/W.T.A. wound treatment associate program. Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, San Antonio, Texas.