Wound Care Clinic Internship Information

  1. Hi I am an LPN on a ventilator unit, completing my last semester of school before graduating as an RN. Earlier this week I received my placement information for my internship which will be at the wound care clinic connected to the hospital.

    I am interested in this because I feel like the experience will be one that can be carried over into multiple areas of nursing, but I am really nervous because this is such a different setting and demographic of patients than I am used to.

    Typically during the internship process the student takes over the RNs caseload and does all the medications and procedures with preceptor's guidance as needed. With the wound care clinic being so new to me I am really unsure if this will be a possibility or if I will be working more one-on-one with my preceptor to learn as we go.

    If anyone has served as a preceptor in this setting before and/or can provide some basic guidance about what to expect or what skills or information to I need to familiarize myself with before my internship begins I would be extremely grateful.

    Thank you!
  2. Visit dbella24 profile page

    About dbella24

    Joined: Mar '13; Posts: 8; Likes: 3
    Ventilator LPN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience


  3. by   followyourbliss

    Hi How exciting for you! I work in a specialized wound care clinic and it has changed me as a Nurse, and my practice- dramatically.

    Read up on the etiology and treatment of these ulcers:

    Arterial; venous; diabetic; pressure; neuropathic; mixed; trauma; and atypical.

    Read up on the difference between infection and inflammation- super important. Offloading, and Aircasts, etc. Get a really solid grasp of PVD and PAD-

    I would recommend buying a good wound care text, checking out sites that are reputable such as Wounds International, and Uk etc.

    In addition start checking out products used in Wound care and why; meaning that we tend to use products with good research behind it and efficacy. Ie Iodosorb, Silver products etc.

    Read up on doing a Vascular Assessment complete with Doppler Us, and doing ABI's. This includes resting Dopplers and Toe Pressures.

    I found reading about Osteomyelitis and Charcot Foot very interesting: and the tests used to differentiate clinically of great value.

    Keep us posted: what a GREAT opportunity; this will strengthen your practice hugely and definitely affect all areas of nursing you explore!

    Enjoy and Good Luck

    Follow Your Bliss
    Last edit by followyourbliss on Mar 10, '13 : Reason: ???
  4. by   dbella24
    Thanks for all the great suggestions, I've been trying to read through my texts, skills check offs for dressing changes & related videos but you mentioned a few items I hadn't thought of... Less than two months till graduation, I can't wait!
  5. by   tnragtopnurse
    I am an RN working on my BSN and am very interested in WOCN certification. Can anyone tell me what I can expect as far as pay increase once I'm certified?
  6. by   lorirn58
    Hi! I am not sure why you are doing a preceptorship from LPN to RN in an OP wound care clinic. Normally, this is done on a medical/surgical unit in order to give you a solid foundation for specialization. This is really not the most optimal area for a preceptorship to be an RN. You really need to be a RN generalist before going into a specialty area; especially wound care. Now if you plan to stay in wound care, you can earn your BSN as you go forward and work on the WOCN certification, which is the most versatile of 'wound' certifications which will make you extremely marketable in case the OP clinic setting is not right for you. Otherwise, you may be pigeonholing yourself in case this setting is not right for you.
    As for the pay increase question, the new WOCN may or may not make more than the med/surg nurse and it depends on the state, setting, job title, and pretty much where you currently work. For example, I was an associate degree nursing instructor before I obtained my WOCN certs and when I got my first job in the WOCN realm, I made $20,000 more a year. But consider that nursing instructors do not make big bucks!
  7. by   dbella24
    This is where I was assigned. I agree this is kind of outside the norm for internship placements which is why I am seeking additional information here as well as trying to research a lot of things on my own before I start. It is nerve wracking enough to be doing the internship but even more so in such a unique setting. With that said, I truly want to make the best of the situation and learn as much as I can in the process. Therefore if you have any useful pearls of wisdom I would love to hear them, but I'm afraid belittling my placement when I have no choice in the matter and will be starting in less than a week doesn't benefit anyone.
  8. by   lorirn58
    No one is belittling your placement. Truth is not the same as belittling. Why do you think that? And why do you not have a choice/consider yourself powerless to do the best thing for you - in the matter? If you had more time, you could take a week long wound care course through the WCEI, but it seems too late for that. Therefore, lots of reading as suggested above is a good thing and there are loads of great websites with YouTube videos that they made for education. I wish only the best for you as you do seem very motivated
  9. by   MahzieLPN
    I worked in Wound Care as a float nurse. While I enjoyed the patients quite a lot, it was frustrating for me because I didn't work enough days in a row to "get the program" in an efficient manner. Sadly, my evaluations didn't reflect my efforts to learn and do a better job. I am one who learns by doing OVER AND OVER. (Yes, I am over 50!). My best advice for you would be to remember the WHOLE patient and not just his/her wounds. The WC member who was most critical of me seldom asked the patient, "How are you today?" but just got to the issue of the wounds, forgetting the patient as a person, it seemed. Many of these patients, while "old pros" in the medical community, ARE anxious about what's ahead during the clinic visit and need a minute or two of grace and composure. Conversely, I have recently been in the patient's chair in the exam/treatment room when no one asked ME a simple "How are you today?" I didn't like it a bit and felt quite like a cow going through a cattle drive...I know the pace of life and work is faster these days, but if we can't even be polite to one another, for just a minute, what's next? I do wish you the BEST of luck as you pursue WC - it is a fascinating specialty and the reward of seeing a patient being healed and discharged from care is truly amazing!! Best to you ~
  10. by   dbella24
    Thanks for the added information everyone. My original choices for internship settings were emergency care or CCU, however due to site and preceptor availability we weren't all able to receive our desired places. My instructor placed me here stating that she thought I was the most appropriate choice to fill the spot based on my interests and prior nursing experience.

    I have been doing a lot of studying as I prepare & there is a lot of current data reflecting the psycho/social aspects of wound care for the patients. I love being on top of new medical technology but my stance to care is more on the holistic approach for the whole individual and to letting them know that no matter how busy things get they are a person of value & are worthy of my time & attention. As someone who works in the field already I know how challenging this can be when your short on time so it's a really great suggestion.

    I am open to the possibility of trying to go for my wound care certification, pending the experience at this internship. I will starting this week so I'm hoping it all goes smoothly.

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed to this thread
  11. by   Fannie'sMom
    Thanks to Followyourbliss for your post; your suggestions are very helpful as I am a new med/surg nurse and looking for resources/direction to increase my knowledge of wound care.
    Last edit by Fannie'sMom on Mar 20, '13 : Reason: Add a name
  12. by   followyourbliss
    Hi Fannies's Mom,

    I am glad you found the post helpful; I work in a teaching outpatient Wound clinic and recognize the value and importance of education and resources

    What I found helpful, and what was great for networking is shadowing: Ask to shadow at the Burn Unit, Wound Care unit, the Enterostomal Nurse, etc; it exposes you to a wide variety of etiologies, presentations, and treatments. Also any Ortho and Vascular Unit dealing with pre and post op surgeries for amputations and rehab services.

    Check out any specialized Skin clinics if you can as well ie Psoriasis etc...a whole world of dermatitis's out there!

    Also getting to know Lab Values associated with infection, inflammation, and the clinical markers of those. IE CRP etc.

    A few things that are also huge are : edema control through compression and the pathology of edema ie Lymphodema, organ involvement, and, when compression is contraindicated due to arterial compromise. Check out Coban wraps, Modifies Unna's Boots, and the parameters. Very cool once you start linking your assessments with treatments re: Ankle Brachial Index, resting Duplex Ultrasounds, Peripheral Arterial Disease with diabetes etc.

    Keep us posted I loved reading " Burn Unit" by Barbara Ravage, I read it before I trained on the Burn Unit- very good look into Burn Nursing.

    Follow Your Bliss
  13. by   Starreacher26
    Followyourbliss - such good advice here! I am a nursing student aspiring to become a wound care nurse when possible. Your advice was awesome, and I plan to use it to prepare myself.

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