Proper wound care requires more than simply allowing a wound to heal. Depending on the cause and severity of a wound, the patient may need several types of therapy for correct wound care rehab.
Aging populations and wounds
Wounds are more commonly associated with an aging population, and some wound are more specific to long term care facilities. Some common wounds that affect this population are ostomies, and various ulcers, such as pressure ulcers, arterial ulcers, and diabetic ulcers.
There are protocols to follow for wound treatment. A basic plan is to eat a nutritious diet, with lots of fruits and veggies. The vitamins and minerals are crucial for the nutrient-rich blood to circulate and heal the wound. A diabetic must keep his illness in check, as having diabetes delays wound healing. Proper rest is key, as the body heals itself while you’re sleeping. Depending on the patient’s overall health, staying as active as possible promotes efficient blood circulation, bringing oxygen to the site to help heal it. And the wound must be cleaned and dressed at proper intervals to accelerate repair.
If there is an underlying infection behind the wound, it must be treated first for the wound to heal properly and quickly, as an untreated infection will oppose other healing processes.
Wound care rehab and therapy
Not many physical and occupational therapists are trained in wound care rehab, but their role is actively important. When physical and occupational therapists are involved in the wound care treatment, outcomes are positively associated. Putting therapy in the patient’s treatment plan is a strong part of the overall strategy for success, and with these additions, patients are likely to achieve their goals for recovery more quickly and make a faster and safer exit from the rehabilitation facility.
Since few therapists are properly trained in wound care rehab, they themselves may misunderstand the role they can play in patient recovery. For the patient, it’s important to look for therapists who have this training. For facilities, it’s a good investment to have their therapy staff trained in wound care rehab, as this can help the facility see treatment goals met effectively.
Therapists can help with sharp debridement, electrical stimulation and diathermy. They can massage, and show nurses how to massage, to decrease edema and swelling. They can also counsel rehab staff about proper positioning for the patient to keep him comfortable and assess where pressure might be foiling recovery, recommending proper positioning to alleviate the pressure and support recovery. They can evaluate a diabetic’s feet and recommend proper footwear to inhibit further wounds, and they can evaluate any patient’s eating methods to ensure proper further nutrition.
Wound care facilities
It’s important to choose a facility that has trained wound care specialists and specific wound care programs for the most effective recovery process. That includes a wound care physician-led team and trained physical and occupational therapists.
At the Alameda Center, we have a strong wound care program led by expert doctors, with interventional treatment plans and a trained and experienced staff. If you are suffering from chronic wounds, see what wound care rehab can do to change your experience.