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WOCN: Around the World in 40 Years
Date:4/7/2008

oughout the world. While people were surviving longer, they were also afflicted with chronic conditions related to aging. The demand for health care professionals trained to address the needs of the aged who were being treated for a host of wound, ostomy and continence issue spiraled.

The 1990's also saw the introduction of more practices to contain health care costs. To contain costs, teaching became crucial and the WOC Nurse was the professional to guide the patient through the process and prepare him for discharge to ensure that he was emotionally and physically capable to adapt outside the hospital setting.

Internationally, the WOCN Society is committed to increasing the presence of WOC Nurses across the globe. In China, WOC nurses were taught about the role of the WOC Nurse in the hospital setting where nurses were introduced to methods of changing surgical dressing and other aspects of the specialty. The Society has also sent to delegates in other areas across the world to ensure proper patient care techniques are being taught.

In the 1990's, the primary importance of the WOC Nurse was acknowledged when the IAET changed its name to the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Society.

A New Century

With the dawn of a new century came new challenges for the WOC Nurse. Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq produced casualties whose injuries and survival were impacted by advances in technology and medicine. The survival rate among those injured in Iraq and Afghanistan is more than 90 percent. While improvements in the field of medicine have saved more lives, the injuries sustained are more severe due to advanced weapons. The combination of these developments are presenting new challenges for WOC Nurses treating the wounded.

But war is not the only development making demands on the WOC Nurse. In recent years, obesity has been the focus of numerous health studies and is reaching epidemic proportions in developing countries. In America, two out
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SOURCE The WOCN Society
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