Home Health

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.

Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
Preventing Caregiver Burnout

Paula Erwin Toth, RN, MSN, FAAN
WOC nurse

November is National Family Caregiver Month. Family caregivers are the unsung heroes of the health care team. Without their loving care, hard work, and dedication our health care delivery system would crash and burn. They are the ones continuing our plans of care in the home. They are the nurse, physician, physical therapist, nursing assistant, home health aide, counselor, and social worker all rolled into one. They are expected to grasp complex care techniques that years ago were carried out only in the hospital.

Blog Category: 
Margaret Heale's picture
Clean Technique

By Margaret Heale, RN, MSc, CWOCN

Having read a recent article on clean versus sterile dressing technique, commenting again on this issue seems highly appropriate. The conclusion of the paper essentially is that a clean technique for acute wound care does not affect the incidence of infection.1 There is insufficient evidence in the literature relating to chronic wound care. I particularly appreciated the comment that nurses need to decide which approach to have by using critical thinking skills. I was reminded of a visit to a patient to utilize a fancy new dressing that I had never used before.

Blog Category: 
Margaret Heale's picture
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.

Blog Category: 
Terri Kolenich's picture
the-continuum-of-wound-care

By Terri Kolenich, RN, CWCA, AAPWCA

Have you ever confronted yourself with thoughts of how your role plays into the grand scheme of wound care? I am sure any wound nurse or physician would quickly answer "of course!" – since the role of a direct caregiver is so blaringly obvious.

Blog Category: 
Cheryl Carver's picture
Telemedicine Wound Care

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

Let's be frank: wound care telemedicine cannot replace a visit to a physician's office or the wound care center. Telemedicine was primarily developed to reduce visits and help serve people living in rural communities. However, telemedicine can supplement advanced wound care in many ways, and has been proven to be time saving and effective. Telemedicine in wound care has its pros and cons (like anything else), but with a protocol-driven approach, it is effective for wound healing.

Blog Category: 
Paula Erwin-Toth's picture
nursing issues and being a family caregiver

By Paula Erwin-Toth MSN, RN, CWOCN, CNS, FAAN

November marks the beginning of National Family Caregiver Month. Many of us are not only health care providers, but we are also family caregiver; some of us are part of the so-called sandwich generation. Caring for aging parents along with raising children can leave you feeling squeezed in the middle. While being a family caregiver can be incredibly rewarding, it can be a challenge physically, emotionally and financially. Caring for a loved one with a chronic wound can be especially daunting since the time, skill and dedication required can be overwhelming. This is especially true for family caregivers who suddenly find themselves needing to learn a multitude of health related skills.

Blog Category: 
Terri Kolenich's picture
creativity

By Terri Kolenich, RN, CWCA, AAPWCA

We all have hobbies outside of what we do for a living. At least, we all should have hobbies or interests outside of our careers. Our hobbies are our outlet for stress. I love to draw. I also enjoy painting. What I love most of all is acting and theater. I love being on stage, performing, and getting an emotional response from my audience. Everyone that knows me well knows how much I love acting on stage. Bringing a script to life exhilarates me. Just the thought of performing live, delivering memorized lines, and anticipating the reaction of my fellow actors stirs and motivates me. Most of all I crave the opportunity to use my improvising skills when a scene goes an unexpected direction.

Blog Category: 
Terri Kolenich's picture
Caregiver

by Terri Kolenich, RN, CWCA, AAPWCA

As a nurse who was once a caregiver for a family member, I have a unique and personal perspective on the needs of caregivers. I cared for my mother-in-law, who was also my best friend and mentor, during the last several months of her life. At the time I provided care for her, I hadn't yet started my education to become a nurse. Knowing what I know now as a nurse causes me to reflect often on the daily struggles I encountered performing the very basic elements of her care.