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July 31, 2015

Waupaca Wound Care Program Gains More Help

The need for wound care nurses is growing and the Health and Wellness Department at ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca is glad to have three more trained to help in the field.

The need for wound care nurses is growing and the Health and Wellness Department at ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca is glad to have three more trained to help in the field.

Mindy Angsten, Shelia Beyer and Veronica Tautges recently took the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing wound care associate online course, said Marci Reynolds, RN, supervisor of health and wellness. “This course is available to a variety of staff who want to be better prepared and formally trained in working with wound care patients,” she said.

The course is taken by wound care aides and licensed practical nurses or LPNs but also nurses “who are preparing to eventually take the wound care certification course,” said Reynolds.

The course is self-study, followed by a two-hour skills check at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, who sponsors the program. “All three put in many hours at home with this course,” said Reynolds. “Our staff did the skills check and all three passed.”

Mindy Angsten discovered an interest in wound care. She had worked in the hospital’s physical therapy department for almost seven years and, until about two years ago, she did physical therapy care for all wound patients. “I assisted with those patients throughout the years and I found the entire process very interesting,” she said. “I truly missed wound care after it was taken over by nursing staff in the health and wellness department. As soon as there was an opportunity, I applied for a float aide position in the new wound care department and have been working there a minimum of eight hours each month since.”

Angsten is entering her final semester of nursing school this fall and will graduate in December. “I have found that nursing school doesn’t teach much in the way of wound care,” she said. “When Marci brought up the topic of taking the wound care associate course, I jumped at the opportunity. I am hoping that this continuing education will make me a better, well-rounded nurse and a wound care resource for my co-workers. This also set me up to prepare for the second course that leads to certification, which will make me a wound care certified nurse.”

Cassandra Munoz, RN, certified wound care associate, said more hands on deck mean quality care for patients. “It’s wonderful to have the extra help of our certified wound treatment associates,” she said. “They enable us to spend more time with our patients to help provide comfort to them and their families as well as give them confidence in us as nurses. Our aides go out of their way to help us in any way they can and make our days run much smoother.”

In addition to Angsten, Beyer, a wound care aide, took the course as well as Tautges, a nurse in the operating room who is also considering becoming wound care certified, said Reynolds. “I am especially happy that all three of these women took the course,” she said. “For Sheila, it provided the basis and background to working specifically with wounds, and may allow us to expand the role that she currently holds. She can also consider taking a certification exam specifically for wound care associates.”

“For Mindy and Veronica, it is a stepping stone to wound care certified nurse,” added Reynolds. “We all know that the demand for wound care certified nurses continues to be there. We are so happy that we have a couple of potential wound care certified nurses to look to as our programs continue to grow.”

The Wound Care Clinic is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday by appointment and Thursdays are overflow days by department. For information, call Health and Wellness reception at (715) 258-1183 or directly to Wound Care at (715) 258-1232.