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I read Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, and since then I have been paying more attention to my instinctive reaction to certain wounds. I saw a patient getting a compression bandage change (who was not my patient), and the first thing that popped into my head was, “He needs prednisone.” I didn’t know anything about him except for the brief look I got of his wound, but it was SCREAMING that he needed systemic steroids. I am not even sure how I know that, except that I know it. There’s some algorithm we have in our head that we aren’t even aware of. It makes me realize that most of what I do in wound care is pattern recognition. I don’t think I am particularly intelligent – but I do recognize patterns. I wonder if it is like the cowboy working with my daughter’s horse, who knew he didn’t like the bit on his bridle.

Wounds “talk” to us, and lately I have been wondering how we could help practitioners “listen” to them better. I thought from time to time I might point out some of those.

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