Skin Conditions/Skin Care

Holly Hovan's picture
Medical Device Related Pressure Injury

by Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Recently, one of my awesome staff nurses coined a phrase that stuck with me—Mr. DoctoR Pressure Injury (MDRPI), also known as medical device-related pressure injury. MDRPIs are a common yet usually preventable problem. We wanted to raise awareness of MDRPIs for World Wide Pressure Injury Prevention Day in November of 2018, and one of our staff nurses was quite creative in doing so! She thought of using a doctor’s briefcase with medical devices inside, many of which can and do cause pressure injuries. Being creative and using acronyms are great ways not only to engage staff, but also to be sure that they remember the information provided to them. Additionally, hands-on props and interactive stations require engagement, which appeals to many different types of learners.

Heidi Cross's picture
Skin Changes at Life's End

by Heidi H. Cross, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, CWON

"If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing." —Florence Nightingale

Ouch! What an indictment of nursing and, by extension, the facility in which the nurse works. We have a lot to thank Florence Nightingale for—a brilliant woman considered to be the founder of nursing and nursing standards and the first to ever put statistics to health care, among other valuable contributions.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Case Scenarios: Wound Documentation

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, CWCP, DAPWCA, FACCWS, CLTC – Wound Educator

Auditing documentation has always been part of my wound nurse role in some way or another. My first experience with auditing documentation with a fine-tooth comb was while working in the hospital wound center setting as a hyperbaric oxygen technician. Back then, hyperbaric oxygen therapy was more difficult to get reimbursed, and there were a lot of Medicare appeals. I would search through stacks of documentation to find validation for the diagnosis specific to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy indication. I quickly found out how ONE word determined reimbursement, and we are not talking pennies. The documentation is either there or it isn’t. Wound care documentation also requires the same impeccable documentation. Reimbursement is driven by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines. We must follow the rules, or we do not get paid.

Holly Hovan's picture
Skin Tear Protocol

Holly M. Hovan MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN-AP

Payne and Martin brought skin tears to the attention of wound and skin specialists and to the wound care community when they reported an incidence rate of 2.23% in individuals aged 55 years and older, living in a long-term care facility. A skin tear is "a wound caused by shear, friction, and/or blunt force resulting in a separation of skin layers." Skin tears may be partial- or full-thickness wounds, develop into chronic wounds without proper treatment and follow-up, and, most importantly, are preventable.

Margaret Heale's picture
Home Health Nurse

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

"Must Love Dogs (Cats, Lizards, Snakes, Birds, AND Arachnids)." This is a line that needs to be next to all job advertisements for home health care staff. You see, I am a dog lover, not because I love dogs but because I have a way of being able to adapt in order to survive. I work in home care as a clinical nurse specialist and have slowly learned to love dogs ever since I was reported to my manager for mentioning I didn't like them much. Shortly after this I was told not to visit a patient whose cat I had shooed away from my wound dressing field. While discussing this with a colleague, she told me of the bird that had landed on her head that morning just as she was probing the patient's foot wound with a Q-tip. Maybe everybody has had experiences like mine, but maybe not, so I would like to put mine to paper to entertain you in this season of good cheer.

Emily Greenstein's picture
Wound Care

by Emily Greenstein, APRN, CNP, CWON, FACCWS

"When I grow up, I want to be a wound care specialist." That's not something you hear kids going around saying. Sure, kids want to be doctors or nurses. But wound care specialist?

When you think about it, being a wound specialist is not a glamorous position, unlike being a neurosurgeon. The best quote that I ever heard from a colleague of mine was, "No one wants to do wound care; wound care isn't sexy." This may be true, but what is wound care then? To me it is ever changing, it is learning new things (most of which are not found in text books), and it is about helping patients heal both emotionally and physically from a chronic condition.

Janet Wolfson's picture
A Multidisciplinary Approach to Incontinence

By Janet Wolfson, PT, CLWT, CWS, CLT-LANA

My current job as wound coordinator has pulled me into the world of incontinence and the many disciplines that care for people challenged by this disorder. I was previously acquainted with the therapy side as I worked with therapists certified in pelvic floor therapy. My work with venous edema acquainted me with medications that caused continence-challenged people to resort to absorbent adult briefs. As I work more closely with physicians, I am more familiar with medications to support weakened or sensitive pelvic muscles and nerves. On the nursing side, I have researched support surfaces, incontinence pads, and barrier creams. I see patients and occupational therapists working together to regain continence independence through problem-solving mobility issues.

Cheryl Carver's picture
Terminology

By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, FACCWS, DAPWCA, CLTC

It is 2018, and health care professionals around the world are still debating what to call skin damage. I totally immersed myself in wound care because of losing my 47-year-old mother to what was then called "decubitus ulcers." I was young when my mother died, and I wanted to know why and how this could happen. My perspective is different from that of most clinicians because of my personal experience.

Cathy Wogamon-Harmon's picture
Veteran with Spinal Cord Injury

By Cathy Wogamon, DNP, MSN, FNP-BC, CWON, CFCN

Immobility and decreased sensation can cause major problems related to the skin in the patient with spinal cord injury. Even though the average age of the veteran with a spinal cord injury is increasing, there are still many younger veterans affected by spinal cord injuries. When skin issues arise in this population, the impact is not only physical but also emotional as skin issues sometimes make it difficult for the veteran to remain in their chairs, thereby decreasing mobility and socialization.