When you are discharged from the hospital with a wound, it can feel overwhelming to go home and manage it on your own when you’ve been getting the gold-star treatment from the nursing staff. But, not to worry, when you go home, managing your wound care can be quite simple if you follow our 5 easy steps to home wound care management.
At Angels on Call Homecare, our experienced staff has been treating wounds in the comfort of our patient’s homes for years. We can perform all the care for you and provide education to you and your family to help make the time between our visits less daunting. When you enlist our home care services in New York, you always have an angel looking over you!
Home Wound Care Management Made Simple
Any wound, whether from injury or surgical incision can evoke anxiety in the person affected. Some people even have a difficult time looking at or caring for their own wounds. Don’t worry if this is you, it is completely normal, and that’s why we are here to help.
Tip 1: Ask questions and pay attention.
The biggest piece of advice we can offer you is to be involved in your own care. When your wound care nurse is changing your dressing, applying medication, or doing a wound assessment, ask questions. You can ask questions about the status of the wound or how the treatment is supposed to work, in addition to future expectations. Pay attention to what they tell you and how they dress your wound, and if you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.
Wound Care Language Defined
Tunneling: Channels that form under the surface of the wound
Approximation: How well the edges of the wound fit together
Granulation: New healthy tissues that are formed in the healing process
Serous: Clear or clear/yellow fluid produced by tissues
Serosanguinous: Bloody drainage
Tip 2: Follow your provider’s instructions.
When you are discharged to go home, whether outpatient or inpatient, you will be discharged with instructions for your wound. Read over the instructions as if you are performing the care and ask questions if you aren’t sure about something. Once you are home and performing self-care, follow your provider’s instructions. Some steps may seem arbitrary but are necessary. From the dressings that are used, the medications that are applied and cleansers that are used, and how frequently you change the dressing are all key elements.
Tip 3: Keep it clean.
One of the changes you will experience while you are home is returning to your normal life in your normal environment, which exposes you to many different things. It will be more of a challenge to keep your wound clean. It is important to think about your wound when you are carrying on about your usual routine to keep it protected and clean. If your dressing is saturated or has gotten wet or soiled, go ahead and change it early.
Tip 4: Don’t wait to report.
If you notice something “off” about your wound, don’t wait it out to report it. Wound healing is a slow process, but infection happens quickly! If you notice a change in color, smell, or and increase in discharge, call your wound care team and let them know. If it is nothing to worry about, they will tell you so, but if it is something concerning, the sooner you get it checked out, the better. All too often, people wait to tell their wound care nurse when they make their rounds every few days, but your nurse is available to you any time you need — you just have to let them know!
Tip 5: Enlist the help of home healthcare.
One of the most powerful wound care and wound healing resources you have at your disposal is home healthcare. Home healthcare offers a wide range of services that can help heal your wounds. Whether you have a complex wound that requires a wound vac, trips to the hyperbaric chamber, and antibiotic therapy, or you have a simple surgical wound that requires simple dressing changes every few days, our skilled nurses can help. Home health staff can help with dressing changes, medication reminders, IV therapy, and physical or occupational therapy to get you recovered and back to your normal self.
If you are in the healing stages with a wound you are managing at home, we would be happy to the home health company that cares for you. At Angels on Call Homecare, we offer home health services all throughout New York. Contact us to get an angel to look over you.