SGCMH wound care services update
Last year, over eight million people suffering from chronic wounds were treated in the United States and that number continues to grow. As the prevalence of complicating conditions such as diabetes, obesity, vascular and heart disease rises, so do the numbers of associated chronic wounds.
Patients with slow or non-healing wounds from these conditions can benefit from the wound care services provided by certified wound specialist Regine Politte, MSN, FNP-BC (pictured at left) and Sheila Kinkeade, RN at Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital.
When Regine began at SGCMH, wound care was a new interest for her. “It is very exciting when a patient’s wound starts closing and is getting better. That’s really rewarding.”
Regine passed her wound care specialist certification last fall. Board certification in wound management is achieved only through a rigorous process by the American Board of Wound Management. SGCMH and Regine work to provide the highest standards of specialty care in our community.
“Our goal is to significantly increase patients’ wound healing rates and improve patients’ quality of life,” said Regine.
She explained that many times patients have a non-healing wound, not because they aren’t managing things well, but because there are a multitude of things that contribute to a wound not healing.
“Our wound care services in general work very closely with infectious disease, podiatry, vascular services and diabetic specialists to benefit our patients who have wounds,” she said. “We provide a variety of treatment methods to help heal wounds including skin grafts.”
The wound care clinic works with primary care physicians and specialists to assist patients with evaluating and monitoring wounds, pressure sores, and skin breakdown among other services.
“People like that we focus and specialize on their wound management and healing,” stated Regine. “These types of wounds are debilitating. Patients become isolated from friends, family, and their normal life style. When their wound is healed, people feel so much better both physically and emotionally. Their quality of life is dramatically improved.”
Regine said her clinic can treat nearly all non-healing wounds. They also have the contacts and resources to refer patients who have wounds that need additional therapies.
“There are wound care centers with hyperbaric chambers, which are required for a small number of patients,” she said “We certainly ensure our patients receive the treatments and therapies that best meet their needs.”
A wound is considered chronic if it’s more than 30 days old according to Medicare guidelines, and the services at SGCMH can be utilized from a physician or self-referral.
“If you have a wound after 30 days, something else is going on,” Regine explained. “Your skin is your first barrier. If you look at your skin and nails, you can tell other things are going on in the body. Sometimes you can look at a leg wound and tell if a patient has circulation problems. We coordinate those types of things with a primary care provider.”
Sheila Kinkeade, RN assists Regine in the wound clinic, located in the SGCMH emergency department.
“Sheila loves our wound care patients and being able to help them with their wounds,” Regine said. “She is really good at what she does and has a passion for her work. We make a good team.”
Regine sees patients every Friday in the Wound Clinic, located at SGCMH Emergency Department. Sheila is available throughout the week to assist with frequent dressing changes or to help patients who need assistance with their dressing changes as needed.
To learn more about the wound care services at SGCMH, call the hospital’s Home Health Department at 573-883-7724.