Cheryl Carver's blog

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

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and with the staggering statistics of one in four adults living with mental illness, I immediately was motivated to write a personal blog. I previously shared my son’s experience here in 2020, in “Wound Management Challenges in Prison Populations,” and discussed the importance of establishing a quality of wound care. I started thinking about the high number of incarcerated people with mental health issues, and it prompted me to conduct a bit more research. Given my son's dual diagnosis of schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I recall having a conversation with him during this time about debridement methods because advanced wound care would become extremely complicated. I immediately started educating him on possible dressings and debridement methods that could be used on his wound. This gave him an idea of what to expect and allowed him to decline certain treatments if he so preferred.

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By Cheryl Carver, LPN, WCC, CWCA, MAPWCA, FACCWS

Many of us will eventually take on a caregiver role in one form or another. According to the 2020 update, the number of family caregivers in the United States increased by 9.5 million between 2015 and 2020. More than one in every five Americans is now a caregiver in their own home. Because of our aging population, there is an associated increase in demand for caregiving, and there should be an emphasis on education and support for this population.

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

The purpose of this blog is to bring special attention to common dermatologic conditions connected with drug addiction. Although drugs are well known for their significant impact on all body organs (liver, bladder, stomach, and kidneys), various physical manifestations of drug use are often unknown or underrecognized. Many clinicians and even dermatologists fail to see the many symptoms of drug misuse in the skin. Skin lesions caused by substance use may be induced by the drug itself, an allergic reaction, the drug administration method, or any contaminants or infectious agents that may have been mixed in with the drug. It is possible to identify substance users based on the shape and pattern of their skin conditions. Clinicians can learn these signs to better help patients.

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For the past two decades, I've had a deep interest in wound care, but my son's wound care experience in 2020 shifted my attention to a largely overlooked population. As a mother, as I prepare to face his third incarceration, I am an even stronger advocate for transforming families and the lives of those who have been incarcerated. I have recently become a Prison Fellowship Justice Ambassador. In my perspective, we must never lose sight of the fact that the prison population is a subset of the general population.

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Fairground

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

My approach to wound care education with patients, providers, and nursing staff the last 20+ years has always been to make learning fun while emphasizing that wounds are a serious topic. My strong passion drives me to motivate anyone and everyone who wants to learn. If they don’t want to learn, then I’ll figure out the best way to motivate them! Everyone learns differently; however, hands-on training with added fun usually wins. Education should be ongoing and engaging, and it should create fun ways to experience more of those “aha” moments. We want to impact that long-term memory storage! Every care setting has variances, but my blog will provide you with some ideas that you can alter to fit your needs.

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

I have again been inspired by my son to blog on a not so talked about topic, scar tissue pain. I have had patients through the years report scar pain, and I admit I did not know too much about it. I decided to dive into this topic a bit more when my son started experiencing frequent pain in his chest. He had a traumatic injury to the chest 14 months ago that healed in six weeks. There is a large amount of thickened traumatic scar tissue because of the depth of the injury. The pain started approximately two months after the wound healed, and he described it as a sharp stabbing pain that would take his breath away.

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Let’s face it, dressing selection can be overwhelming for clinicians because of the plethora of products that are in the wound care market space. If only there were a multifunctional smart-dressing that could be used on every wound etiology. It would make managing wounds much easier. Practical knowledge of dressing categories, functionality, appropriateness, and reimbursement is key in dressing selection.

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

I am into my 20th year working as a wound care specialist. I must admit, I never thought much about wound management in the prison population until my son's wound care experiences during his incarcerations. I am quite transparent with this blog, and after you finish reading it, I hope you will have a different perspective on wound care in prison populations. I want to point out that this was my son's experience, which he encouraged me to share to help others. This blog is my view and does not define correctional nurses or wound care management in all prisons. I have the utmost respect for correctional nurses because I know that I could not do it. Through my son's experience, I identified various gaps in education and factors affecting quality of wound care that led to my interest in researching this area of wound care.

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Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day

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

Worldwide Pressure Ulcer/Injury Prevention & Awareness Day is November 21st. This day is considered pretty much a holiday at my home. I have Stop Pressure Ulcer tee shirts, and I order a cake or STOP sign cookies every year from the bakery in memory of my mother. To some it might sound crazy, but my life was strongly impacted forever in 1996 after my mother passed away in my arms at only 47 years old because of complications of diabetes and what was called at that time "multiple decubitus." The image and smell will never leave my mind. It changed my life forever as a daughter, a caregiver, and later as a wound nurse. I needed more answers to heal my heart. How could my mother acquire such horrible wounds while at the hospital to get better? My mind was twirling nonstop with the 5Ws. Who, what, when, where, why? So, then it began. I wanted to learn everything I could. This ended up being sort of my therapy, which transitioned into my passion and purpose.

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Skin and Wound Management with Substance Abuse

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

The challenges for all clinicians associated with substance abuse and addiction are at an all-time high. We are seeing more and more overdoses and skin and wound issues. There needs to be less judgment and more education. Not every person with substance abuse issues is addicted due to a poor choice. Reasons for abuse can be related to unmanaged mental illness, self-medication and family genetics, to name a few. Compassion is lacking for this group of folks. I have seen it firsthand. This topic hits close to home as I have a son in recovery. This problem is an epidemic and needs to be talked about more. I live in Ohio, and we are one of the top five states for heroin and methamphetamine (meth) abuse.

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