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Forging a communication bond with prescribers

By T. Michael Britton, RN, NHA, WCC, DWC

As wound care professionals, we’ve all experienced a time when we felt that our patient didn’t have the appropriate wound treatment orders. However, the physician, nurse practitioner, or other prescriber wouldn’t follow your recommendation. This situation is not only frustrating but can delay the healing process. This article explores why a prescriber might not follow your recommendation and offers solutions. It focuses on physicians, because I’ve had the most experience with them. (more…)

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Wounds on the Web: Accessing the best online resources

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

Knowledge is exploding online, making it essential that you’re comfortable using the Internet. You can also go online to save time and find a job, among other tasks. (See Online value.)

However, you also need to keep in mind that anyone can put information on the Internet. As the caption of a cartoon by Peter Steiner, published in The New Yorker says, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” (more…)

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From the Editor – Wound care superhero

by Donna Sardina, RN, MHA, WCC, CWCMS, DWC, OMS

What an honor it is to be the wound care “superhero”—the guru, the healer, the go-to person. Unfortunately, this honor may be accompanied by wound care overload—too much to do in too little time.

Once someone is crowned the superhero specialist, others may try to transfer every aspect of wound and skin care to that person—all treatment plans, assessments, documentation, prevention, education, and accountability. Superheroes don’t cry, so they don’t complain about the workload. Yet, the overload must be controlled. (more…)

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Understanding stoma complications

By Rosalyn S. Jordan, RN, BSN, MSc, CWOCN, WCC, OMS; and Judith LaDonna Burns, LPN, WCC, DFC
About 1 million people in the United States have either temporary or permanent stomas. A stoma is created surgically to divert fecal material or urine in patients with GI or urinary tract diseases or disorders.

A stoma has no sensory nerve endings and is insensitive to pain. Yet several complications can affect it, making accurate assessment crucial. These complications may occur during the immediate postoperative period, within 30 days after surgery, or later. Lifelong assessment by a healthcare provider with knowledge of ostomy surgeries and complications is important. (more…)

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Compression therapy for chronic venous insufficiency, lower-leg ulcers, and secondary lymphedema

By Nancy Chatham, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, CCNS, CWOCN, CWS, and Lori Thomas, MS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA

An estimated 7 million people in the United States have venous disease, which can cause leg edema and ulcers. Approximately 2 to 3 million Americans suffer from secondary lymphedema. Marked by abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the interstitium, secondary lymphedema eventually can cause fibrosis and other tissue and skin changes. (more…)

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What’s causing your patient’s lower-extremity redness?

patient lower extremity redness

By Robyn Bjork, MPT, CWS, WCC, CLT-LANA

The ability to understand or “read” lower-extremity redness in your patient is essential to determining its cause and providing effective treatment. Redness can occur in multiple conditions—hemosiderin staining, lipodermatosclerosis, venous dermatitis, chronic inflammation, cellulitis, and dependent rubor. This article provides clues to help you differentiate these conditions and identify the specific cause of your patient’s lower-extremity redness. (more…)

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