The nurses on the Wound Care Consult Team at the Cleveland Clinic explain their role in the wound and ostomy care specialty. Patients with these special needs are fortunate that nurses are expert in their management.
Mary Montague-McCown, DNP, APRN, ACNS-BC, CWOCN (Manager)
Jennifer Brinkman, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC, CWOCN
Suzanne Gerhardt, BSN, RN, CWON
Suzanne Janson, MSN, RN, CWOCN
Betty Lieberman, BSN, RN, CWCN
(Photos, Left to Right: Montague-McCown, Brinkman, Gerhardt, Janson, and Lieberman.)
A wound and ostomy care (WOC) nurse is a specialty trained nurse who provides direct care to people with abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure injuries, and/or continence disorders. There are five WOC nurses on the Wound Care Consult Team (WCCT) at the Cleveland Clinic main campus. We are all nationally certified and have a combined 64 years of WOC nursing experience.
The team wears many hats and at any given moment, we may function as consultant, educator, researcher, or collaborator, but our main role is as advocate for safe patient outcomes. Prevention and treatment of pressure injuries, using evidence based guidelines, is the major focus of our daily work. The National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) prevalence data provides the framework for process improvement projects. Each of us carries our own unit caseload and maintains strong relationships with local leadership. The Clinic has a history of a very robust skin care resource nurse (SCRN) program. These nurses, who have an interest in wound care, complete a seven hour on-line course and round with a member of the WCCT. They then function as a resource to the caregivers on their units. We are fortunate to have nationally recognized nurse scientists who support and guide us through the research process.
We pride ourselves on delivering wound care education in a variety of formats. We supplement formal teaching sessions with informal real time teaching at the bedside through pressure injury prevention rounds. Wound care knowledge is incorporated into an SBAR format for new nurse residents. Experienced nurses benefit from hands-on wound care through the use of simulation.
We’ve all been witness to the fruits of our labor, but agree it is a truly rewarding experience to work in tandem with the nursing staff and providers to see our patients progress toward healing.