Published on October 14, 2013

Proper wound care at home leads patients to independence

Helping patients gain back their independence

After surgery or hospital treatment for illness or injury, some patients may need continuing care for wounds Mercy Home Health provides that care in the comfort and convenience of the patient’s own home.

“Any condition can be treated … post-surgical wounds, diabetic ulcers, burns, pressure ulcers, wounds from traumatic injury” explains Danica Melso, RN, WCC, Clinical Manager at Mercy Home Health. “The focus is on infection prevention and control as well as decreasing risk of re-hospitalization.”

Patients who require at-home wound care generally have been discharged from the hospital, ER, or skilled nursing facility, according to Melso.

Sometimes doctors specify treatment; for example, a podiatrist may prescribe a treatment plan for foot ulcers. For most patients, Mercy Home Health’s nurses prepare a treatment plan in coordination with the patient’s physician.

“We teach wound care techniques to the patient and/or family member and ensure their full understanding of the teachings through ongoing supervision and evaluation of how the wound is healing,” Melso says. “As the wound gets better, treatment can change. We stay involved until the wound is completely healed, with the ultimate goal being patient independence.”

How quickly a wound heals varies, Melso adds. Condition of the wound, other illnesses, and medications the patient takes all can affect the healing process.