Each year, many organizations designate June as a month to increase awareness of wound care and healing. This guest post was written by Heather Campbell, CNA at the Wound Healing Center at Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
When it comes to taking care of patients with non-healing wounds, CNAs play a very important role. They assist physicians and RNs throughout the day and, more often than not, spend the most time with patients. From the first visit, they establish a relationship, gain trust, and are responsible for helping the patient feel comfortable and safe. Many CNAs know the patients as well as anyone else on the wound care team. In my role as a CNA at Clark Memorial Hospital, I’m often the first person they see in the exam room and the last person they see before they walk out the door.
CNAs are flexible enough to work with a variety of patients, but wound care is a growing area of interest for those entering the field. Most RNs who specialize in wound care are extremely busy tending to wounds, and they rely on the CNA to obtain vital signs and assist with procedures.
In our clinic, the CNA also takes photos of wounds at each visit in order to document the healing process. CNAs order supplies, stock patient rooms, and assist with the maintenance of patient records. My role gives the RNs on our team more time for direct patient care and allows them to update the doctor and efficiently complete charting – particularly for new patients – without feeling rushed.
For the past 11 years, I’ve worked as a CNA in a variety of health care settings. In some places, the CNA may feel as if they are not a very important piece of the pie, but they are. In wound care, I’ve never had that feeling. I know that every day when I walk into the clinic, the team is relying on me. At the end of the day, I leave feeling accomplished and positive about myself and my job, knowing that I’m an important asset to the team, and an important part of the care that we provide to our patients.
Each member of a wound care team is important. When a professional CNA fulfills their role, everything comes together like pieces to a puzzle to complete each patient’s wound treatment program.
If you’re at a clinic or hospital and you see someone with “CNA” on their badge, be sure to thank them for their hard work. Wound care isn’t always pretty, but with help from a great CNA and a team-centered approach, wound healing is beautiful!