Role of rehab in wound care

 By Bill Richlen, PT, WCC, DWC, and Denise Richlen, PT, WCC, DCCT

How many times have you heard someone say, “I didn’t know PTs did wound care”? Statements like this aren’t uncommon. The role of physical therapists (PTs), occupational therapists, and speech therapists in wound care is commonly misunderstood by and even a mystery to many clinicians. Sometimes the therapists themselves are confused about reimbursement or what their role on the wound care team can be. (more…)

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Healthcare reform and changes provide opportunities for wound care clinicians

By Kathleen D. Schaum, MS

Qualified healthcare professionals (QHPs), such as physicians, podiatrists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and clinical nurse specialists, are taught to diagnose the reasons that chronic wounds aren’t healing and to create plans of care for aggressively managing the wound until it heals. Wound care professionals—nurses and therapists—are taught to implement those plans of care. All of these highly skilled wound care professionals know how to manage chronic wounds from identification through healing. (more…)

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Helping Sandwich Generation nurses find a work-life balance

By Kari Olson Finnegan, BSN, and Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

If you have at least one parent age 65 or older and are raising children or financially supporting a child age 18 or older, you’re part of the Sandwich Generation. Coined in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller, the term originally referred to women, generally in their 30s and 40s, who were “sandwiched” between young kids, spouses, employers, and aging parents. While the underlying concept remains the same, over time the definition has expanded to include men and to encompass a larger age range, reflecting the trends of delayed childbearing, grown children moving back home, and elderly parents living longer. The societal phenomenon of the Sandwich Generation increasingly is linked to higher levels of stress and financial uncertainty, as well as such downstream effects as depression and greater health impacts in caregivers. (more…)

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What to do when someone pushes your buttons

By Laura L. Barry, MBA, MMsc, and Maureen Sirois, MSN, RN, CEN, ANP

Why is it that some things don’t bother us, while other things catapult us from an emotional 0 to 60 mph in a heartbeat? We all know what it feels like when someone says or does something that gets our juices flowing. We feel it in our bodies, emotions, and mood. We have an overwhelming urge to react. We may express it in words at the time or take our frustrations out later on someone else. It just doesn’t feel good. We want to explode, set the record straight. (more…)

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Creating effective education programs on a shoestring budget

By Jennifer Oakley, BS, RN, WCC, DWC, OMS

It’s time again for annual staff education, and you, the certified wound clinician, need to teach the staff at your organization. You dream of staff entering a state-of-the-art classroom with computers at each station, mannequins, wound anatomy models, and enough products for each student to do hands-on demonstrations. But when you open your eyes, you’re sitting in a room with ordinary tables and chairs, your laptop, a screen, a brain full of knowledge, and a very tight budget. (more…)

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Confronting conflict with higher-ups

By Pam Bowers, RN, and Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Conflict in the workplace is a fact of life, and dealing with it is never easy. Sometimes it seems easier to ignore it and hope it will take care of itself. But in healthcare organizations, that’s not a good strategy. Unresolved conflict almost always leads to poor communications, avoidance behavior, and poor working relationships—which can easily affect patient safety and quality of care. (more…)

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Successful documentation of wound care

By Cheryl Ericson, MS, RN, CCDS, CDIP

Providers are often surprised at how pages upon pages of documentation in a patient’s health record can result in few reportable diagnosis and/or procedure codes, which often fail to capture the complexity of the patient’s condition. However, providers need to be aware of the implications of coding. As healthcare data become increasingly digital through initiatives such as meaningful use, coded data not only impact reimbursement but also are increasingly used to represent the quality of care provided. Here’s a closer look at how documentation and coding work in the context of wound care. (more…)

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Eating better to help manage chronic stress

By Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, and Dana Marie Dillard, MS, HSMI

Like many clinicians, you may experience stress frequently, both on and off the job. Chronic stress can alter your equilibrium (homeostasis), activating physiologic reactive pathways that cause your body to shift its priorities. Physiologic effects of stress may include:

  • slowed digestion
  • delay in reproductive and repair processes
  • priming of survival mechanisms (respiratory, cardiovascular, and muscular) for immediate use
  • depletion of the body’s nutrients.


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I’m going to conference!

By: Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

Years ago, when I first started out in the wound care specialty, the only way to learn about new products and what was going on in the field was to “go to conference” (wound care conference). All year long, planning and excitement continued to build for our big trip. Not going wasn’t an option; our facility, patients, and administrators needed us to attend. If we didn’t, we’d be way behind our competition in regard to cutting-edge, hot-off-the-press wound care treatments and techniques.

Besides being a forum for displaying new wound care products, conference is an opportunity to network, to see what others are doing—what’s working and what isn’t— and to hear firsthand from researchers. (more…)

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Medicare reimbursement for hyperbaric oxygen therapy

hyperbaric oxygen therapy

By Carrie Carls, BSN, RN, CWOCN, CHRN, and Sherry Clayton, RHIA

In an atmosphere of changing reimbursement, it’s important to understand indications and utilization guidelines for healthcare services. Otherwise, facilities won’t receive appropriate reimbursement for provided services. This article focuses on Medicare reimbursement for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). (See What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?)

Indications and documentation requirements


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