Turning the World Upside Down: Changes in Wound Care that Resulted from the Establishment of the West Australian Wound Care Association (WAWCA)
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Postgraduate Medicine
In 1990 a group of nurses interested in wound care joined together to organise a study day to improve the quality of woundcare in Western Australia by highlighting recent changes in the management of wounds. Following the enormous success of that study day, and the expression of support and interest from practising nurses, the West Australian Wound Care Association (WAWCA) was established. The philosophy of that association stated that all people with wounds were entitled to receive appropriate wound management that was supported by current, validated research. The association set out to: promote and increase awareness of wound management by establishing a network of persons with expertise in wound care; provide ongoing education into current prevention and management of wound care; and facilitate continued research into wound management. Following the establishment of WAWCA, wound management protocols in Western Australia underwent a rapid change. After 3 years, an international conference was organised which led to the formation of a national, multidisciplinary wound management association, and Primary Intention, The Australian Journal of Wound Management. Difficulties are often expressed concerning the utilisation of research in nursing practice. This paper will identify and describe the strategies used by WAWCA that successfully altered practices and improved the management of wounds within Western Australia. The history of WAWCA provides insight and direction for the integration of practice, research and education.