Don’t be a wound dabbler: Proper wound care must be science based

August 19th, 2019

proper wound care

Ever wonder where clinicians come up with some of the treatments we unfortunately see in wound care today?

wound care

By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC

Does it leave you scratching your head or pulling out your hair? I am sure there are plenty of wound care examples we could discuss for hours (with plenty of laughs).

Yet that doesn’t solve the problem or change the hearts and minds of clinicians — or wound dabblers — who feel those treatments are proper wound care.

Here’s a look at a few “inappropriate” treatments I have come across in my years as a wound specialist.

Let’s dissect them to understand what the “rationale” may have been and discuss why common sense, logic and scientific evidence doesn’t support them as proper wound care.

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Skin and wound management course helps you prep smart

August 12th, 2019

skin and wound management course

“We should remember that good fortune often happens when opportunity meets with preparation.” – Thomas Edison

wound expert

Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS

As the inventor of the phonograph, the motion-picture camera and, of course, the electric light bulb, Edison took on plenty of challenges in his time.

For healthcare clinicians of today, one of the biggest challenges is chronic wounds, which include diabetic foot ulcers, pressure ulcers and venous, arterial leg ulcers. An estimated 67 million people are suffering with chronic wounds across the globe.

According to our co-founder Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS, “as of last count, 6.5 million chronic wounds are being treated in the U.S., at a cost of $11 billion — not to mention the pain and suffering for patients.”

The reason, said Morgan, is patients are living longer with chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

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Nurse expert witness impacts pressure injury case

August 5th, 2019

nurse expert witness

Many of you have provided expert testimony in lawsuits in your own state, or other states, concerning wound care and whether that care was consistent with the applicable standard of care and standards of practice in that situation.

wound care

By Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN

The following Arizona case — Rasor and Donald Miller, Wife and Husband, v. Northwest Hospital LLC — determined if a wound care nurse expert could testify to the cause of a wound sustained by the plaintiff (patient).

The female patient had open-heart surgery at the hospital and received an intra-aortic balloon pump “threatened through her femoral artery.” This required immobilization of her leg.

The patient was in the ICU for several days and the nursing staff discovered a pressure injury on her coccyx that reached stage IV and required 31 debridement procedures.

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Instructor takes wound care education across South Pacific

July 29th, 2019

wound care education

When Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS, began her career in wound care, she never imagined her work would someday take her to American Samoa.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

In June 2019, it did just that. Morgan, who co-founded the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), spent three days consulting with Samoan clinicians on specific wound patients and presented a one-day formal wound care class.

At the same time, she enjoyed a life-changing experience by connecting with her newly discovered people, culture and nation.

Adopted at the tender age of five days old, Morgan grew up an only child. Even though her adoptive parents were wonderful and Morgan said she felt blessed, as time went on she yearned to learn who her biological parents were.

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Study: Wound care certified nurses reduce pressure injury rates

July 23rd, 2019

pressure injury

Just how much of an impact do wound care certified (WCC) nurses and other clinicians have on their patients? More than you might imagine.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

A formal study was conducted under the auspices of a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) program known as the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN). The findings of the study revealed a correlation with the presence of onsite WCC staff and a reduction in pressure injury rates for patients.

More than 2.5 million people in the U.S. are affected by pressure injuries, and more than 60,000 patients die each year as a direct result of the condition, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The HIIN study was funded by a grant program through the CMS using civil monetary penalty funds. These funds are used to support projects that benefit patients and residents of nursing homes with the goal of improving the quality of care they receive.

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FIRST things first when evaluating wound healing research

July 18th, 2019

wound healing research

You hear more and more about evidence-based wound care. But what does that mean and how can you tell when a study is a good one?

wound care

By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC

To evaluate the reliability of wound healing research, you can use the acronym FIRST to help. Here’s what each step means.

F — Funding

Who funded the study? Was the data published for the financial gain of a company?

You should compare these studies to other existing data to determine whether the results are true or manipulated. Studies funded by a manufacturer, or those in which the researchers and authors have a financial relationship with the manufacturer, tend to be biased.

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Learn how written discharge instructions can protect your practice

July 16th, 2019

discharge instructions

Accurate, complete and defensive documentation is essential in all areas of practice, and wound care nursing is no exception.

wound care

By Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN

One component of documentation that is of utmost importance is written discharge instructions. In the following case, this was one of the central issues the federal court had to evaluate — Shelton v. United States, 804 F. Supp. 1147.

The patient sought treatment at a VA hospital after he was bitten on the tip of the middle finger of his right hand during an altercation with a female after they left a bar.

The wound was painful and bleeding.  He called 911, stating he had been shot. He would not allow the paramedics to examine his finger.

The ED admitting nurse noted on the admission form he had suffered “trauma” to his right middle finger. He was then seen by an ED physician, whom he told he was bitten and that he had been shot.

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How to persuade clinicians to change a wound care order

July 9th, 2019

wound care order

How can you convince an ordering clinician to consider a more effective wound treatment? Psychology offers some clues.

By Keisha Smith, MA, CWCMS

If you’re a knowledgeable, certified wound care clinician, receiving an outdated or illogical wound care order can be frustrating.

So, what can you do when you’re tasked with administering treatments you believe will be ineffective or harmful to a patient?

First, practicing substandard wound care can land you in legal hot water, even if you are following orders.

To protect your license, reputation and financial well-being, you need to speak up about wound care orders that contradict your knowledge and training.

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Learn about the cause and prevention of diabetic foot ulcers

July 2nd, 2019

diabetic foot ulcers

With more than 30 million people in the U.S. afflicted with diabetes, clinicians are very likely to encounter diabetic patients.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 15% of diabetic patients. And if you’re a wound care clinician, you’ll likely find yourself caring for patients with diabetic foot ulcers more often than not.

To learn more about the causes and how to prevent diabetic foot ulcers, we spoke with Don Wollheim, MD, FAPWCA, WCC, DWC, a board-certified surgeon of the American Board of Surgery.

He has 25 years of experience in general/vascular surgery and 13 years of experience as a wound care specialist and educator. Wollheim is also a medical-legal consultant, college science instructor and clinical instructor at the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI).

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Instructor named 2019 WOC Nurse of the Year for ostomy care

June 25th, 2019

ostomy care

On June 23, alumni of the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI) cheered to see a dedicated clinician, teacher and nursing entrepreneur receive recognition for her commitment to ostomy care and education.

By Keisha Smith, MA, CWCMS

The United Ostomy Association of America named WCEI Clinical Instructor Joy Hooper, RN, BSN, CWOCN, OMS, WCC, its WOC Nurse of the Year.

The prestigious award shines a spotlight on the many ways Hooper has touched lives with her commitment to teaching ostomy care.

“My father has always taught us the importance of helping people, and one of the most important people to help is the one you’re not expecting a thank you from or expecting anybody to know about,” Hooper said. “That is someone who you want to help. You won’t see this immediate reward, but you will be rewarded. UOAA and helping people have always been close to my heart.”

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