Nurses know how difficult and complex care can be for patients who have hard-to-heal wounds. Whether the result of surgery, chronic illness, immobility, trauma or accidents, the healing process they require is fraught with suffering, complications and delays that challenge the nursing and medical staff.
According to one study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Evidence-based Practice Center, Baltimore, and published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2014, national healthcare expenditures for chronic wounds have been estimated to be as much as $25 billion annually.
More important than statistics is patient pain and suffering, which wound care nurses are called upon to deal with, using their knowledge and expertise. With advanced education, training and certification in this growing nursing specialty, they’re able to provide skilled care and treatment needed to promote healing and prevent recurrence.
In addition to all the specialized care these nurses bring to their patients, there’s a need for wound care centers and the services they can provide for both acute and home care patients — and in this issue you’ll read about both.
We’ve included a Q&A with a perioperative nurse focusing on the challenges she overcame in pursuing her graduate degree and the recommendations she has for others interested in advancing their education. Finally, we look at how wound care nurses — with their special healing touch — work with patients who have diabetes, and how they help these patients deal with multiple challenges.