By: Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS
Years ago, when I first started out in the wound care specialty, the only way to learn about new products and what was going on in the field was to “go to conference” (wound care conference). All year long, planning and excitement continued to build for our big trip. Not going wasn’t an option; our facility, patients, and administrators needed us to attend. If we didn’t, we’d be way behind our competition in regard to cutting-edge, hot-off-the-press wound care treatments and techniques.
Besides being a forum for displaying new wound care products, conference is an opportunity to network, to see what others are doing—what’s working and what isn’t— and to hear firsthand from researchers.
Living in the digital age has changed things for us. We’re blessed to have innovative information at our fingertips whenever we connect to the Web via computer, smartphone, or tablet. Manufacturers’ websites, government guidelines, and social media sites can keep us informed of what’s hot and happening if we just take the time to check them.
But as glorious as the Web is, I still believe in the power of attending conference. Some things are just meant to be seen, touched, and experienced—live and in person. Being in a convention hall with hundreds or even thousands of clinicians who love the same icky, yucky, stinky, and sometimes-nauseating challenge of wound management is something you just can’t experience on the Web. The power of passion, excitement, and inspiration from others is so contagious.
It’s understandable that money and time constraints play a big part in decisions to attend conference. Nonetheless, I believe all wound and ostomy experts should figure out a way to go to conference every year, or at least every other year. Here are some creative ideas for funding your conference expenses:
- Educational grants from suppliers
- State or local educational grants
- Employer’s tuition-reimbursement program
- Combining your annual family vacation with the conference trip
- Holiday or birthday gift from your family
- Simple negotiation with your employer.
Currently in the United States, we can choose from several wound conferences, including the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy cosponsored event Wild on Wounds (WOW). I encourage all wound and ostomy experts to support and advance our specialty by continually educating and updating ourselves—and one way to do this is to go to conference.
Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS
Wound Care Advisor
Cofounder, Wound Care Education Institute
DISCLAIMER: All clinical recommendations are intended to assist with determining the appropriate wound therapy for the patient. Responsibility for final decisions and actions related to care of specific patients shall remain the obligation of the institution, its staff, and the patients’ attending physicians. Nothing in this information shall be deemed to constitute the providing of medical care or the diagnosis of any medical condition. Individuals should contact their healthcare providers for medical-related information.