Archive for the ‘Wound Care Careers’ Category

Wound Consulting Business: How to Get Started

Friday, August 18th, 2017

It’s time to make your wound consulting business a reality. Here’s what you need to know.

So, you’ve been thinking about starting that wound care business you’ve always dreamed about. What’s next?

First, start by taking a look at Wound Consulting Business: Do You Have What It Takes?, to see what factors you should consider before taking the plunge. It’ll help you decide if you’re cut out to be your own boss. Then, if you still think being a wound consultant is for you, let’s talk about getting started.

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Wound Consulting Business: Do You Have What It Takes?

Friday, July 28th, 2017

Thinking about starting your own wound care business or becoming a wound consultant? Here’s what you need to know.

(Editor’s note: this is Part One of a two-part series on starting your own wound consulting business. Part Two will explore how to get started.)

Being a wound consultant is a dream for so many clinicians. It can be exciting and rewarding to start a wound care business, but it can also be overwhelming, confusing and risky. So before you take the plunge, here are some serious questions and factors to consider.

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Wound Care Champions: A Nurse and a Five-Star Company

Friday, June 2nd, 2017

What does it take to build a five-star home health agency? Wound care education – and a credentialed staff – are a big part of it. 

We know how wound care education helps transform the careers and lives of individuals. We also know that it can positively affect entire facilities, make a difference in communities, and drastically influence the lives of patients and professionals. That’s why we love to share success stories when we hear them.

Take, for example, Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC (DMHHSS), a five-star nonprofit (and stand-alone) home health company in Philadelphia. It is known for excellent care, an exceptional staff, and wound care education advocacy. But it didn’t happen overnight. It did happen, however, with very specific goals in mind: to heal patients and treat them like family; forge relationships; and promote wound care education.

A Nurse Is Born

When did Stanley A. Rynkiewicz III decide to be a nurse? It was in high school during what was supposed to be a carefree Senior Week. One of his best friends suffered from a spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) right in front of him, and he helplessly stood by as an emergency medical team came to the rescue, inserting a chest tube and saving his friend’s life.

It also happened to be in the middle of a national push to promote the field of nursing – especially male nurses. And with that, Stanley knew what to do. “I saw first-hand the need for people to give back through the health care system, and that was it for me,” he said.

Today, Rynkiewicz, RN, MSN, WCC, DWC, NHA, is the administrator (and founder) of DMHHSS, and works with a staff of over 150 (including nurses, therapists, aides and support staff) in this premier agency known for excellent care and an exceptional staff.

Wound Care Education at Work

As a provider of home health services, it was obvious to Stanley’s team from the beginning how significant wound care education would be. Most of their patients have chronic comorbidities, and regularly suffer from chronic wounds or open sores that won’t heal. In addition, most patients live alone and often have caregivers who don’t know how to properly care for wounds, which leads to a diminished quality of life and longer healing times.

As a result, Stanley and his Clinical Director and Assistant Administrator Irene Dudley, RN, BSN, WCC, OMS, initiated a comprehensive wound care program early on to enhance care and ensure consistency and dependability. Today, all full-time staff are credentialed, and their robust education program includes:

  • Hosting WCEI® courses and a variety of training events.
  • Inviting community professionals to participate and collaborate.
  • Spreading the word about related activities and events, like the free diabetic foot-screening clinics they hold every year.
  • Being active on social media to promote events, services and health care, and engage with radio and television stations with press releases and guest appearances.

They also stay current with new techniques and products in the industry. For example, in 2015 they implemented the use of Tissue Analytics – a software application that takes pictures of wounds and automatically measures things like chronic wounds, burns and other skin conditions.

“There is so much in wound care that doctors don’t necessarily know,” Stanley said. “Supporting our staff’s continuing education and helping them grow and learn new skills is a way to give back – to them and to the community.”

DMHHSS Wound Certified Clinicians -  Wound Care Education

(L to R) Irene Dudley, RN, BSN, WCC, OMS, Clinical Director DMHHSS; Dawn Boggs, RN, WCC, DMHHSS Nurse Case Manager; Stanley Rynkiewicz, RN, MSN, WCC, DWC, CCS, NHA, DMHHSS Administrator; Gina Grosh, RN, WCC, HCS-D, DMHHSS Oasis/Coding Manager; and Susan Sellecchia, RN, MSN, WCC, DMHHSS Nurse Case Manager.

Investing in People

“Investing in your people is crucial,” said Stanley. “They should feel like they’re part of something .”

With a low professional staff turnover rate, Stanley credits the facility’s strong wound care program and employee advocacy. For example, his team emphasizes:

  • Celebrations – Taking the time to celebrate achievements and events is important, like the party they held recently after being named a Medicare Home Health Compare five-star home health agency.
  • Recognition – Point out the good things and make a big deal of them. For instance, Stanley recently asked a state representative to give each staff member an official five-star citation in honor of the agency’s status.
  • Advocacy – Employees should feel important and taken care of. “I try to take care of my employees the best I can,” said Stanley. “Whatever is within my power, I advocate for them.”

Fostering Relationships

From the moment Stanley decided to be a nurse, he knew that forging and nurturing relationships would be key. “I am very passionate about what I do,” he said. “You hear horrible stories every day about how sick people – especially the elderly – are treated, whether it’s by a caregiver or an unqualified clinician. I’ve always aimed to treat all our patients just like family, with courtesy and kindness.”

Stanley also stresses the importance of developing working relationships with hospitals, and post-acute care facilities, and being involved with community organizations and healthcare initiatives. He serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, is very involved with WCEI®, and was awarded the WCC® Outstanding Community Outreach for the Prevention and Treatment of Diabetes-Related Wounds Award in 2008. As a former Captain in the United States Air Force, he is also involved in the Veterans History Program, funded by the Library of Congress. He and a staff member interview veterans, listen to their stories and record them for posterity.

“It’s all about giving to others,” Stanley said. “In health care, we’re talking about people’s lives. Treating other people with respect and dignity, and being there for others the way you hope someone will be there for you is what it’s all about.”

Who Are Your Wound Care Champions?

Do you know a good wound care story? Is there an individual, team or facility that is a champion of wound care you’d like to tell us about? We’d love to hear more – please leave your comments below.

To learn more about Deer Meadows Home Health and Support Services, LLC visit www.deermeadowshomehealth.org.

Wound Care Education Institute® provides online and onsite courses in the fields of Skin, Wound, Diabetic and Ostomy Management. Health care professionals who meet the eligibility requirements may sit for the prestigious WCC®, DWC® and OMS national board certification examinations through the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy® (NAWCO®). For more information see wcei.net.

Home Care Nurse’s Passion Leads to Drainage Bulb Holder Invention

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Drainage bulbs can be frustrating for patients and caregivers. But they don’t have to be, thanks to an innovative R.N., her mother and a sewing machine.

As a wound care professional, you’ve probably had at least some experience with patients who need drains as part of the post-procedure healing process. But what you might not be familiar with are the feelings of angst and frustration that often plague patients and caregivers when they are faced with managing the drains successfully. Thanks to a determined nurse and some creative problem-solving, we now have solutions.

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Why I Became a Wound Care Certified Nurse

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Wound Care Certified

An interesting question has been posed of me recently, and when I reflected upon it, I realize now that I’ve been asked this question thousands of times. The question was “Why did you become a Wound Care Certified Nurse?” Wow, its a good question. The answer has many components to it and many levels of reasoning. I’ll explain…

Many people have become nurses for various reason; they want to change the world, they like the challenge, they like the pay (compared to other jobs they had), their guidance counselor told them the job outlook was good, they knew someone who was a nurse and they thought they looked good in scrubs…Who knows? But for those of us that got into nursing for  a deeper reason or interest, you know what I mean.

My journey began way back in high school when I worked in between my sports as a student athletic trainer. I would work with the other student athletes when they were injured. I thought I would eventually become a Certified Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist. I did the same in College in off season. I remember working a Cross Country meet and a participant sustained a head injury that caused extensive bleeding and subsequent loss of consciousness. Assisting in the stabilization of this patient and accompanying him to the Emergency Room in a Philadelphia City Hospital, I was exposed to a new world of health care. It just so happened that there were a few male nurses there who I erroneously thought were doctors. It turned out they were nurses. As the dust settled and the opportunity to converse with these nurses played out, I realized that there was something I may be interested in pursuing.

A few years later, my father became ill with lung cancer. His hospitalization was short as we brought him home on Hospice. The hospital staff nurses were awesome to my father. They made him comfortable when we knew there wasn’t much time. They did some cool things and taught me some things that at the time I didn’t know. They helped me understand better what was happening.

Fast forward a few years into my nursing career. For some reason, I was always pulled into helping with changing the bandages of some of the most involved wounds. Back then it seemed there was no method to the madness (treatment orders). I saw it all. Packing dressings with BARD, Milk of Magnesia dressings, Heat Lamps…..the list goes on. I came to have a reputation for ‘enjoying’ doing the dressing changes and had an interest in doing this type of work. I took pride in seeing the various traumatic and surgical wounds heal as the days, weeks and months passed.

As the career path became work clear and evident, I sought out becoming official and getting specialized training. I attended any and all types of inservices and meetings concerning wound care. Then it hit me. I learned about the Wound Care Education Institute’s Wound and Skin Management Course. Behold, you can become Wound Care Certified in One Week! I said to myself “I’m totally doing this!”

Wound Care Certification

I remember my class like it was yesterday. I had two instructors. Cindy Broadus RN and Scott Batie PT. I sat in the front row to the right and it was awesome! These instructors rocked! They had a plethora of knowledge that they transferred to me that is invaluable. All of these individuals have so many initials behind their names that would amaze you as to their experience and clout. They are truly amazing people. To date, there are over 9000+ WCCs (Wound Care Certified) Professionals. The number is more close to 10,000. The people at the Wound Care Education Institute are responsible for teaching the teachers and clinical experts out there that are touching the lives of countless names and faces of patients that are cared for in the United States and beyond. Yes Beyond!!! Many of the WCCs are treating patients Internationally in places like Haiti and Ethiopia. I’m certain there are more places  but you get the idea.

Intrinsically, there is something that is of value to be able to physically see and measure improvement of a healing wound.  To know that you have something to do with the resulting healing wound gives extreme satisfaction.  On a superficially level, its like winning a game or knowing the directions to a destination of which you are the one that has that knowledge. When you transfer that knowledge (like WCEI has done for me), and you see the results before your eyes, the reward is priceless. It helps to see the smiles on the faces of the patients we care for, wouldn’t you say?

Drew Griffin

For me, I am taking it in a bit of a different direction. Although I still see and treat patients in a Hyperbaric Oxygen Wound Clinic setting, I think there is an amazing opportunity to share the knowledge I’ve gained online. Some of you may have attended the Wild On Wounds National Conference the past few years and had the opportunity to catch one of my presentations on Social media and Wound Care.  One of the things we do as Wound Care Nurses (and Professionals) is educate our patients, their family members and colleagues about the wound healing process. The internet provides a medium for a digital version. Through Blog posts such as this one, Audio and Video Podcasts (YouTube and iTunes),  Micoblogs (Twitter), Social Networking (Facebook and LinkedIn) and more, we can converse and add value to our communities by teaching and consuming content that enriches our knowledge and the education of others. Its another way that we can help and extend our wound care education for ourselves and that of the communities we serve.

What about you? Why did you become wound care certified? If you are not certified yet, why would you like to be?