Journal Articles

The journey of lifelong learning in wound care — a road best taken

Share this article

The journey of lifelong learning in wound care — a road best taken

Samantha Holloway
18 June 2024

Recently, I have been dipping into Florence Nightingale’s book ‘Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not’. One of her statements has especially struck a chord with me: “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses … we must be learning all of our lives” (Nightingale, 1859).

However, I think this philosophy applies to all healthcare professionals and, in particular, those of us working in wound care. We must all engage in ongoing education to stay abreast of the latest research, treatments and best practices. The complexity of wound management – ranging from chronic wounds, such as diabetic ulcers, to acute traumatic injuries – requires an in-depth understanding of wound pathophysiology, pharmacology of latest, available treatments and an up-to-date knowledge of evidence-based practices. Continuous professional development through workshops, conferences and higher education ensures that wound practitioners can provide the highest standard of care. 

Technological innovation is a significant driver of change in wound care. New diagnostic tools, such as advanced imaging techniques, have revolutionised how wounds are assessed and monitored. Additionally, the development of novel interventions and therapeutic materials, offers enhanced treatment options. It is essential for wound care professionals to stay in step with these advancements. Engaging with technology through continuous education and training ensures that wound practitioners can effectively integrate new tools and treatments into their practice.

Further to this, wound care often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving collaboration among nurses, primary and secondary care physicians, podiatrists, dietitians and other healthcare professionals; in this backdrop, lifelong learning fosters an environment where each team member is up to date with their specific area of expertise, contributing to a holistic treatment plan. Understanding the roles and knowledge of other disciplines can also enhance communication and coordination, leading to more comprehensive care for patients. Finally, interdisciplinary education programmes and collaborative workshops can also help bridge knowledge gaps and foster a team-based approach to wound management.

Our ultimate goal of continuous learning in wound care is to improve the outcomes for people at risk of, or with, wounds. People with chronic or complex wounds often face significant physical, emotional and social challenges. By committing to lifelong learning, healthcare professionals can provide more effective, compassionate and person-centred care. This is because educated practitioners are better equipped to adapt innovative treatments, implement recommendations from current clinical guidelines and best practice recommendations, and tailor interventions to patient needs. This can, in turn, not only lead to faster healing times, reduced infection rates and overall improved quality of life for people living with, or at risk of, wounds, it can also help address the demands that wound care makes of our already-stretched healthcare force.  

A cornerstone of lifelong learning is the integration of evidence-based practice (EBP) in clinical routines. EBP involves critically appraising research and applying the best available evidence to clinical decision-making. For wound care professionals, staying informed about current evidence is essential. Regular engagement with latest scientific literature, participation in professional networks and involvement in research activities are ways through which wound care professionals can sustain and expand their knowledge base, and contribute to the advancement of the field. Lifelong learning is also a matter of ethical and professional responsibility for us: the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare, coupled with the complexities of wound care, places a moral obligation on wound practitioners to maintain our competence. Regulatory bodies and professional organisations often mandate continuing education as part of licensure requirements, underlining the critical importance of ongoing learning. By adhering to these standards, wound care specialists demonstrate commitment to ethical practice and professional excellence.

The healthcare sphere in the UK and around the world is also continually evolving, influenced by factors such as policy changes, emerging diseases and demographic shifts. For wound care professionals working in this ever-changing environment, adaptability is key to improved outcomes for patients. Lifelong learning equips practitioners with the skills to navigate these changes effectively – the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted rapid adaptation as a critical need and skill for all healthcare professionals. By fostering a culture of continuous education, wound care specialists can remain resilient and responsive to both changes and challenges.

Florence Nightingale’s views on learning reflect the notion that the journey of learning never ends. For those of us working in wound care, this principle is particularly pertinent. Continuous learning ensures that we remain proficient in the latest clinical practices, adept at utilising new technologies, effective in interdisciplinary collaboration and capable of achieving the best outcomes for our patients. Through lifelong learning, wound care professionals can uphold the highest standards of care, embodying the enduring spirit of Nightingale’s legacy.

In this Wounds UK issue, there is so much new learning available: for example, look out for a case report of an unusual presentation, new techniques in managing people living with arterial and venous disease, considerations for masculinising genital affirmation surgery and so much more! The breadth of content is reflective of the specialist nature of wound care and, certainly for me, highlights that my own learning is not yet finished. 


Nightingale F (1860) Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not. 1st edn. Harrison of Pall Mall, London. Available at: (accessed 03.06.2024)

Free for all healthcare professionals

Sign up to the Wounds Group journals

By clicking ‘Subscribe’, you are agreeing that the Wounds Group are able to email you periodic newsletters. You may unsubscribe from these at any time. Your info is safe with us and we will never sell or trade your details. For information please review our privacy policy.

Are you a healthcare professional? This website is for healthcare professionals only. To continue, please confirm that you are a healthcare professional below.

We use cookies responsibly to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your browser settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website. Read about how we use cookies.

I am not a healthcare professional.