1. Salcido, Richard "Sal MD"

Article Content

AS I RETURNED HOME from the recent 18th Annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care in Chicago, I reflected on the educational cornucopia I had just participated in. I thought about all the cutting-edge techniques and products we had been exposed to during lectures from the faculty, at breaks when networking with colleagues, and during the exhibits of skin and wound care products.


I felt so wonderfully educated.


But how long would it last? How on earth would I and my fellow attendees absorb, retain, and use this vast knowledge base to educate other health care professionals and effectively manage the patients we serve?


No One-Shot Deal

The answer is that we could not view the education we had just received as a one-time thing. Instead, we had an obligation to consider it part of the ongoing process we engage in-lifelong learning.


This concept, of course, is not unique to the skin and wound care field. The American Society for Training and Development estimates that three quarters of the American workforce will need some kind of retraining within the next 5 years to keep pace with industry needs and increasing global competition.


With the dizzying array of new products launched each year and the constant advances in our understanding of wounds reported in the literature, skin and wound care professionals need to actively participate in this lifelong learning process to stay up-to-date in their knowledge and skills. Advances in Skin & Wound Care is dedicated to helping further lifelong learning through the journal and all its branches: the journal's Web site,; our continuing-education program for physicians and nurses; and, of course, the annual Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care led by Sharon Baranoski, MSN, RN, CWOCN, APN, FAAN.


All Around Us

Lifelong learning is happening all around us, in many forms. In fact, that is my definition of lifelong learning: the opportunity to learn from a variety of sources in whatever format works for the individual.


In some cases, lifelong learning is mandatory. For example, like many other professions, the medical profession mandates regular and frequent training and education across the career span to meet regulatory and professional licensure requirements. In other cases, lifelong learning is a personal quest, as in the desire to learn another language. Society values this type of avocational learning endeavor that expands an individual's knowledge base.


Style and Substance

As I mentioned, lifelong learning does not take only one form. We all possess unique adult learning styles. Some learn by doing, some by reading, and still others by listening. We also learn by experiential and analytic methods.


Personally, I learn the most from my colleagues and mentors. I especially enjoy reading a published work or a book written by someone in my circle of influence: It is as though I were able to have an extended visit or tutorial with that person.


For example, I am impressed by the breadth of topics covered in the new book, Wound Care Essentials: Practice Principles, by Sharon Baranoski and Elizabeth Ayello, PhD, RN, APRN,BC, CWOCN, FAAN. My colleague Cathy Thomas Hess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, the Clinical Consultant for Advances in Skin & Wound Care, is hard at work on the fifth edition of her book, Clinical Guide to Wound Care, a useful and timely guide to skin and wound care products. JoAnn Maklebust, MSN, RN, CS, CNP, and Mary Sieggreen, MSN, RN, CS, CNP, have covered the management of patients with pressure ulcers in extraordinary depth in their book, Pressure Ulcers: Guidelines for Prevention and Management. Besides these books specific to wound care, I also treasure the many autographed books in my library that were written by my colleagues in the field of physical and rehabilitation medicine.


Navigating the Sea of Learning

Advances in Skin & Wound Care and its associated learning vehicles would not be possible without the visionaries at Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Matt Cahill, Vice-President of Nursing Journals; Susan Doan-Johnson and Kathleen Phelan, Editorial Director and Publisher, respectively, of this journal; and Karyn Cousart, the manager of the Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care. They provide us with the means to navigate the great sea of knowledge in our quest to learn on a continuous basis.


Happy holidays, and have a great and prosperous new year.