Margaret Heale's blog

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By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

In our point, click, fill-in-the -blanks world of ever increasing wound care algorithms and MOs, I have an ax to grind (straight into my so-called smart phone if I had the courage).

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Standardized Documentation

by Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Wound care can be so straightforward. The process starts with a comprehensive assessment, and then the wound care regimen can be planned and the frequency of dressing changes determined. A well-written order will include all of the relevant components of a wound care regimen listed below:

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Wound Research Data Review Including Outliers

by Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

The research lecturer's name was Terry, and he had my respect and attention. Many of the students were dreading the research modules but were cheered by the prospect of Terry taking us through it.

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home care nurse with patient

By Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

I watched a short PowerPoint DVD on the "bag technique" as part of our regular in-servicing the other day. The presentation started with the most important way to prevent cross infection—wash hands—which is fine. Then came the bag technique. I have no problem with the fundamentals of keeping your bag off the floor, only getting anything out of it after decontaminating your hands, and wiping before you store. I do have a problem with having to place the bag on a Chux or water-resistant wipeable or disposable surface, however.

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compression wrapping

By Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Wrapping wounds is an art, and hence, it comes easily to some and more difficult to others. This post won't make you a wound dressing artist, but it does provide some tips for good bandaging techniques. The word "bandage" (in the US) often refers to a primary dressing, so "wrap" better describes a bandage that is long, narrow, and may be used to secure a primary dressing or obtain graduated compression on a limb.

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dressing removal

By Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Wounds are dressed every day, and much goes into the choices that are made to properly apply wound dressings. The condition of the periwound skin should be a major factor in the decisions made, as injuring this area can extend the wound and cause considerable pain. Tape removal is one of the most painful areas of wound care.1

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Medical supply waste

Margaret Heale RN, MSc, CWOCN

Like many people, you might go to recycling every month or so and be proud to deliver a few black bags of rubbish, and recycle most everything else. Many of you may have a thriving compost heap (mine is frequented by the biggest and fattest groundhog in the universe who eats produce instead of garbage). Like me, you might think of yourself as a responsible dweller of planet earth.

Then you go to work.

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personalized medicine

Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

"Personalized medicine" is apparently a new concept that has evolved from taking good family histories, then adding a genetic testing component. The idea is to help assess the risk of specific traits that may be evident, and confirm with genetic testing so people can make lifestyle changes that reduce risk. It has attracted a huge amount of attention over the past few years.

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patient repositioning for pressure injury prevention

by Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

This past fall, I attended the New England WOCN Society regional conference. While I am still processing all the great information that I absorbed there, I'd like to share with you some of the important discussions that came up on the topics of pressure injury staging and patient compliance with repositioning protocols.

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