(716) 829-7701 ThePulse@dyc.edu

As an established expert in the development of programs that enable healthcare organizations to enhance the care given to patients with chronic disease, I was invited this month to travel to London, UK and present two sessions at the International Advanced Surgical Wound Management Expert Meeting: Challenging Surgical Wounds.

During the first session, I presented collaboratively with my colleague Dr. Jan Stryja from the Czech Republic, an expert renowned in the vascular surgical community for his work with infection in surgical wounds using Best Practices. Together, we presented best practices in the assessment and management of infection in surgical sites and our individual research with results verifying our work. During the second session, I presented unaccompanied on the Treatment and Prevention of Surgical Wound Dehiscence (SWD ), exploring the risk factors and infections associated with SWD. This was from the International Consensus document on the prevention of SWD’s which I co-authored and just went to publication in January 2018!

Although I have been presenting at conferences for over fifteen years, my process in preparing my presentations, sessions and workshops has remained the same. The most important component of my presentation is reinforcing best practices supported by evidence into practice.

As clinicians, the work we do within healthcare must be based on best practices supported by evidence. The clinicians that present at these meetings, conferences and workshops often have many years’ experience, both clinically and academically – but we continue to present evidence and the practices associated with evidence as the forefront of our collaboration and contributions to each other and the larger academic and clinical community.

A community exists. And a community will exist in every area that you practice. That community might be your fellow nurses and clinicians, it might be an academic community or it might be colleagues you meet along the way. You will have a community of people around you who are practicing for the same purpose – to use your knowledge to provide the best care possible to your patients. This practice may extend beyond the bedside. It may involve presentations or journal articles or an opportunity to teach. But whatever you do and wherever you practice, you must – as a nurse – continue to advocate for the best care possible for your patients. Whether you are attracted to emergency care, or chronic disease management or academics, the objective remains the same – you must depend on your knowledge base, your experience and the evidence that supports both to provide the best care. This is the only way that the community of nursing will grow.

I am honored to be a nurse. I am honored to be able to teach you. I am humbled to be an International speaker and a distinguished leader within the nursing community and I expect you to do the same. With all the confidence I have as your teacher I expect to one day be attending a conference and see you presenting or to see you in a clinical setting and observe you use the teachings you have learned here combined with your own experience to provide the best practice evidence based care you can to your patients. Off to Australia next!

Submitted by Professor Theresa Hurd