The Importance of Wound Care Nurses

« Back to All Blogs
Published:  June 1, 2024

Wound Care Nurses Offer Expert Care and Education to Families

The Traditions Health home health team brings important services to you and your loved ones when and where you need them most—in the comfort of your own home.

This caring team of clinicians includes a director, registered nurses (RNs), and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs)—all trained and highly skilled to care for wounds. To learn what makes this care team special, hear from Megan Duncan, MSN, RN, clinical team leader of Home Health specializing in wound care in Longview, Texas.

Q) Tell us about the care your team provides to patients.

A) We’re in the home with our patients offering wound care, medication management, and education at their bedside. Following best practices that are evidence-based, we not only offer high-quality care but care that’s focused on doing what’s best for each person we treat.

Many of our patients have hard-to-heal wounds; some that haven’t healed for a year or longer, even after working with their doctor or doing what they can on their own. That’s where we step in, providing wound care at home, where it’s most convenient for them—and where they’re most comfortable. We schedule visits throughout the week but can even accommodate Saturday and Sunday visits if needed. It’s our goal to make sure our patients receive the most well-rounded care possible.

Q) Do you see patients for new wounds that haven’t been treated by a doctor?

A) Yes, when patients have a pressure injury, skin tear, or any other type of wound, we’ll start by photographing and measuring the wound. Next, we perform basic first aid. Then, we notify the doctor for instructions on how to treat it. Our nurses have basic wound care supplies on hand. If a doctor orders a specific product to be used, we will add it to the patient’s individualized supply list. Once we have a complete supply list, an order is placed for direct shipment to their home. That way, when we visit next, all the supplies we need will be there and the patient’s wound can be properly cared for per the doctor’s orders.

Q) Explain how you partner with other wound care services.

A) In some cases, the doctor may choose to refer a patient to a wound clinic. And we partner with several, including mobile wound services. Working together, we can provide continuity of care. As a patient’s wound is being treated, we stay in close contact with our partners. That’s just one way we can ensure our patients get the best possible care and give them peace of mind, knowing they’re being cared for from all angles.

Q) Do you educate patients during home visits?

A) We teach patients to care for their wounds on their own as much as they can. After all, our main goal is to help our patients achieve autonomy and independence.

A good example is the way we care for patients with diabetic ulcers. Being a diabetic and having an open wound is like a double whammy. Because diabetics have difficulty maintaining their sugar levels, proper blood supply isn’t getting to that wound as easily. So, it’s especially hard to get those types of wounds to heal. Our skin is our main defense and requires an adequate supply of blood flow with the proper nutrients to heal. The longer the wound remains open, the higher the risk an infection will occur if not treated properly. In addition to teaching our patients about wound care, we also help them learn to manage their diabetes overall.

Q) Why is wound care so important?

A) As the biggest organ in your body, your skin is your first line of defense. If you don’t protect it, then a lot of other problems will follow. But even more importantly, living with open wounds that go untreated can be so painful it keeps patients from being able to tend to their everyday needs or enjoy the quality of life they deserve. Beyond healing their wound, we work hard to help them become functional again and get back out into their community.

Q) What are the dangers if a wound isn’t treated properly?

A) Left untreated, non-healing wounds can lead to very serious medical conditions like gangrene or sepsis, both of which can lead to amputation or even death.

If you have a wound that won’t heal, reach out to your physician right away. Make sure you explain to your physician exactly what’s going on. Most likely your physician will want you to come in for an office visit so they can assess the wound and treat it properly. Wounds can progress very quickly. So, it’s important to know what to look for, to act quickly, and to stay on top of it.

Q) What are the signs to watch for with a wound?

A) If you have a wound—even a skin tear on your arm—you’ll want to watch for:

  • Drainage (especially if it has an odor)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Moderate to high fever
  • Pain at or around the site
  • Redness or warmth at or around the site

These signs could mean that you have an infection, regardless of whether you have diabetes or any other type of comorbidity. And, if your physician can’t see you right away, you may need to go to an urgent care or emergency room to be assessed appropriately and quickly. If a provider thinks you’re a good candidate for home health services, we’ll be contacted directly to help.

Find Convenient, Complete and Connected Care

At Traditions Health, we believe in whole-person care that extends to the whole family. That means we’re ready to help you with every aspect of your health, so you can live your very best life. We know you aren’t the only one going through the experience. Your family may need to be involved in your care. And in some cases, they may need a little extra support. Complete a request care form online to learn more about how we can support you and your loved one.

If you or a loved one have a wound that won’t heal, especially if there are any signs of infection, call your doctor right away or head to the nearest urgent care or emergency department. They can make a referral to Home Health for ongoing assistance.

Share with a patient, family member or colleague