Photo: Waikato DHB’s Wound Care team Maria Schollum (left) with Karen Nixey.
Wound care is one of the oldest and earliest forms of healthcare practice. From caveman days to modern society people have always suffered from wounds caused by animals, accidents, fighting, and even self-inflicted wounds.
While many heal naturally themselves, the search for faster and more hygienic healing has been a focus of experimentation and research for a long time – and continues to be an important part of modern health practice.
Keeping wound care knowledge up-to-date has become a lot easier with the development of a new e-learning module by Waikato DHB’s Wound Care team. The Moodle module covers the assessment and management of wounds and skin tears. Over the next year or so, the team will add packages on pressure injuries, negative pressure therapy, and leg ulcer management.
The Moodle module blends the previously available self-directed learning package and workshop series for staff into a more engaging and easy-to-use package. Those who successfully complete the sections of the package receive a certificate.
It is also a useful resource for more experienced staff wanting a “refresher” or guidance on a particular wound issue.
The Moodle module is available now on the e-learning platform shared by the five Midland district health boards * and can also be used by many health professionals working in aged residential care, in GP practices and medical centres, and other primary care roles.
Maria Schollum, clinical nurse specialist with the Wound Care team and Karen Nixey from the DHB’s Professional Development Unit worked closely on the project with Ross Dewstow, instructional designer for organisational training modules like this one. Julie Betts, nurse practitioner: Wound Care, was involved in developing the business case and proposal, with sponsorship from Waikato DHB nursing and midwifery director Sue Hayward.
“Online training allows a much wider range of health professionals, in particular nurses, doctors and allied health staff, to access the information from work, home or wherever and whenever it suits them,” says Betts.
Online learning packages are particularly well received by staff who cannot easily attend traditional learning workshops, such as those on night shifts and weekend shifts, or in particularly busy services.
“We have split the package into a number of sections, which means people can do it in bite-sized pieces. It makes it easier to learn and retain the information,” she says.
The team has worked with Wintec over the past few years to develop undergraduate (level 7) and postgraduate (level 8) online wound care courses for nurses. The new Moodle module fills the need for a foundation knowledge course – the level of practice and understanding of wound assessment and management required to function “at the coalface”.
* Midland district health boards are Waikato, Bay Of Plenty, Lakes, Tairawhiti, Taranaki.