Archive for the ‘Wound assessment’ Category

How a wound care app can complement your practice

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020
A doctor uses a wound care app on a tablet at the hospital

More wound care clinicians are using wound care apps when treating their patients.

Some clinicians use them on their own as an adjunct to the requirements of their employers. Others use a specific wound care app because it’s integrated in their employer’s electronic medical record systems.

Use of wound care apps is standard operating procedure and mandated when caring for wound patients.

Whatever category you find yourself in as a wound care clinician, here is a quick overview of three popular wound care apps for clinicians and one for patients.

These will keep you up to date on what’s out there in the world of wound care apps.

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Traumatic open wounds: Let’s define the types

Wednesday, December 25th, 2019
A girl has a Bandaid on her knee covering an open wound.

Learn the difference between the types of open wounds caused by trauma.

Open wound types include abrasions, excoriation, skin tears, avulsions, lacerations and punctures, according to our Skin and Wound Management course workbook.

Traumatic open wounds involve a disruption in the integrity of the skin and underlying tissues caused by mechanical forces. In other words, these wounds are caused by brief but forceful contact with another object or surface.

Differentiating the types of traumatic open wounds involves noting the shape and depth, as well as the nature of the mechanical force that caused it.

Below, we outline six acute, traumatic open wounds that are commonly confused.

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Adjunctive modalities apply when wound care basics aren’t enough

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
Clinicians discuss adjunctive modalities to treat a wound.

Have you ever felt like you may have run out of options to heal a wound?

We have all been there in our wound care careers. Before you throw in the towel or pull your hair out in frustration, take a step back and make sure you started the process in the correct manner.

First, ensure you have successfully addressed all the basics of wound healing:

  • Removed the cause
  • Provided moist wound healing
  • Removed the necrotic tissue and epibole
  • Managed the bioburden
  • Ensured adequate tissue perfusion
  • Ensured adequate nutrition

Then review treatments that can accelerate the healing process. You have to build your treatment plan on a solid foundation of basic approaches before considering more expensive, adjunctive modalities. 

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What’s all the fuss about wound dressing change frequency?

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
A clinician maintains a patient's wound dressing change frequency.

Let’s take a one question wound care quiz.

What is more important for wound dressing change frequency?

  1. Expert application of a dressing
  2. Frequency of the dressing change

The correct answer is the frequency. Now let’s talk about why.

I do not want to take away from the importance of properly applying dressings because that certainly has its own merits. But when it comes down to it, the frequency wins hands down. 

As we teach in class, wound healing is a dynamic process. As the wound progresses through the phases of healing, all kinds of cellular activity is happening.

From the neutrophils and macrophages to the growth factors and fibroblasts, each phase has a job to do for the wound to move to the next phase and ultimately close.

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What happens when orders don’t meet wound care standards

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019
standards of wound care

Does your ordering clinician’s wound care knowledge rest on outdated education and assumptions?

A wound care certified physician says his peers often ignore the scientific evidence on effective treatments that form wound care standards.

This is problematic because success in wound care requires understanding basic principles and evidence.

With this in mind, we developed our multi-disciplinary course in Skin and Wound Management to build the ranks of competent, certified specialists.

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

Monday, 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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FIRST things first when evaluating wound healing research

Thursday, 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?

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

Tuesday, 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

Tuesday, 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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Top 6 facts you need to know about pressure injuries today

Monday, May 27th, 2019

pressure injuries

Wound care is an exciting specialty that can sometimes prove challenging.

Carole Jakucs

By Carole Jakucs, MSN, RN, PHN

With various wound types and multiple wound care products and treatments available, clinicians strive to stay up to date on the best practices to ensure they are providing their patients with the current standard of care.

Managing pressure injuries is one area of wound care that many wound care professionals encounter regularly, as pressure injuries are pervasive across the healthcare continuum.

Whether you work in home health, acute care or long-term care, below are some of the top facts to know about managing pressure injuries today from Don Wollheim, MD, FAPWCA, WCC, DWC.

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