Certified wound care comes to Mercy in Cassville, Aurora

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Certification allows for more accurate care, management

When life takes unexpected twists and turns, Mercy Hospitals attempt to provide quality, innovative care to help patients heal and get back on their feet quicker.

This time, they are providing a new standard of wound care to patients with a unique certification that nurses at Mercy Cassville and Mercy Aurora have completed.

Pam Rupp, RN at Mercy Hospital Cassville, and Barbara Thompson, RN at Mercy Hospital Aurora, became certified wound specialists through the American Board of Wound Management.

The certification allows for more accurate identification, assessments and comprehensive treatment plans and interventions for wound management. Certified wound care associates are expected to meet the highest standards in wound care.

"Only about 3,700 people in the nation have this certification," Rupp said. "Before, we relied more heavily on doctors who write the orders to treat a patient. Today, we can go in with a lot more knowledge, adjust treatment plans and get them healed quicker.

"We're able to treat patients faster for things like foot or pressure ulcers, burns, post-operation wounds and infections from surgeries. We also have the capacity to administer antibiotic therapy as well."

Accidents or medical conditions can happen at anytime, and current conditions can worsen.

Cassville patient John Baumgardt, who is also a doctor, did not have an accident, but developed a nasty sore on his upper heel, where his shoe rubbed against his skin. After receiving treatment at Mercy, he said the wound healed rather quickly.

"The wound specialists applied a foam pad and wrapped my foot and ankle in such a way that the wound was protected and healing started almost immediately," Baumgardt said. "In a few days, there was no trace of the injury."

Aletha Smialek, of Mount Vernon, twisted her ankle after walking to her car one night.

"It was one of those freak things," Smialek said. "I was heading to my car, and I turned my ankle just enough to lose my balance. My fall broke the skin and I developed an infection."

To compound the problem, she'd just had her knee replaced a few months earlier, and was ready to get back to work at the Aurora and Marionville police departments, but her wound wasn't healing properly. Fortunately, she said, she was able to get wound care assistance at Mercy.

"They put a wound pump on it to keep pressure off so it wouldn't get inflamed," she said. "My doctor ordered regular wound care sessions. Luckily, Mercy offered that in Aurora so I didn't need to drive all the way to Springfield."

"We helped her get a jump-start on her healing process," Thompson said. "It's been a pleasure watching her get better, and we're pleased to offer this service to more people than ever before."

"I was very impressed with the amount of care Mercy's team gave me," Smialek said. "They were very cautious, clean, and I was able to take off the pump after a month. I'm doing great, and the wound has been getting smaller and smaller."

"We're proud to bring this level of care to small communities like Aurora and Cassville," Thompson said. "In the past, people like Aletha would've had to travel several miles. Now, she's recovering quicker and back on her feet."

Wound care requires a doctor's referral. Those needing assistance caring for a wound may call Mercy Hospital Cassville's wound care team at 417-847-1461.

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