Special to OWM: Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ Offers Course/Designation for Nurse Wound Care Providers
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The WOCN® Society has developed the Wound Treatment Associate (WTA) Education Program to further empower wound, ostomy continence (WOC) specialty nurses to improve patient outcomes by enhancing their wound team.
Recognizing the increased demand for wound care across settings, including the military, the Society developed this program to increase the number of skilled wound care providers. The course and curriculum were developed by a taskforce of Society members, appointed by the Society’s Board of Directors, who are certified and experienced WOC nurse experts and wound care educators.
The WTA Program is not a certification program. It is a continuing education course geared to RNs, LPN/LVNs, and medics/corpsmen and offers contact hours upon completion. The WOCN Society recognizes three levels of wound care provider: WOC advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), WOC specialty nurse, and WTA; the Society endorses the appropriate utilization of each level of provider. The focus of the WTA education course is to prepare these designates to function collaboratively with the wound team under the direction of the supervising APRN, WOC specialty nurse, or physician.
vCourse participants will be expected to demonstrate knowledge and skills in the following areas: pressure ulcer risk assessment, pressure ulcer prevention, basic management of incontinence-associated dermatitis and skin tears, monitoring and documentation of wound status and response to treatment (including lower extremity wounds), principles and products for wound care, ankle brachial index (ABI) measurement, sensory testing with Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, and application of four-layer compression wraps. To receive the completion certificate and contact hours, learners must pass a written comprehensive post-test and satisfactorily demonstrate competency (ie, in clinical simulations) in selected related skills: performing risk assessment, pressure ulcer prevention, basic management of incontinence-associated dermatitis and skin tears, documentation of wound status, application of a four-layer compression wrap, and measuring an ABI.
The Society’s inaugural regional onsite WTA course was held May 7–11, 2012 at the Indianapolis University Health Methodist Hospital Conference Center in Indianapolis, IN. The WTA Online educational program, which will launch in the summer of 2012, will give WOC nurses the ability to coordinate a WOCN® Society-endorsed wound course in their own facility to enhance the knowledge and skills of their staff.
The WTA Online program can be presented in any setting under the direction of a WOCN® Society-approved WOC nurse. A facility, group, or individual can purchase a 2-year license to the course for $2,500, plus an additional $100 registration fee for every nurse that participates in the program. WTA participants will have 3 months to complete the online education module, skills instructions, online written comprehensive examination, and an evaluation of skill competencies. The didactic instruction will be presented online by WOC nurse specialists who are experienced educators. The local Course Coordinators will oversee the online program, assist in clarifying areas of the didactic content, address learner’s questions, and be responsible for the onsite competency skill evaluations.
Why introduce the WTA program to a facility? Patient outcomes improve with more skilled providers. WTAs can extend the services of the WOC specialty nurse to achieve such goals as eliminating avoidable pressure ulcers and preventing wound complications/infections through clinically effective and cost effective wound management by a highly skilled and coordinated team.