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Professional development isn’t the only reason wound care specialists are seeking advanced education and certification; they also know their field is growing steadily and want to be the most qualified candidates for the jobs that will result from that growth.
The "aging of America" is one of the primary contributors to growth in the field, says Mike Freedman, administrative manager at the American Academy of Wound Management in North Bay Village, FL. "As people age, they tend to have more surgeries and more wounds," he says . "In fact, of the 50 million serious wounds sustained in 1995, 40 million were related to surgery."
As a result, post-hospital wound care programs, such as those in skilled nursing facilities, specialty units, and ambulatory care facilities, have been reported to be growing as much as 30% a year, as are outpatient wound care programs. But the home care market is growing fastest of all. This market growth and the need for increased knowledge show no signs of slowing in the next few years.
"The wound care trend is for real," says Freedman. He noted one study by the Frost and Sullivan Co. research firm in New York City that predicted the $1.74 billion market for wound management products will grow to $2.57 billion by the year 2002. "That, coupled with the fact that there’s so much scientific knowledge coming to the fore, makes this an exciting time in the industry."