If you have an open wound, bedsore, burn, or ulcer after surgery or a medical complication, your doctor may provide a referral for a wound care center. A wound care center provides targeted services to help your wound heal and reduce the pain associated with it. The complex nature of wound care requires specialized medical attention, especially when associated with chronic health conditions like:
- Vascular disease
- Surgical breakdown
- Traumatic injury
- Renal failure
- Congestive heart failure
These medical conditions can slow healing time, decrease blood flow, or cause nerve damage that requires skilled attention. Your wound care specialist should have special training in addressing wounds associated with these conditions.
The Difference a Qualified Wound Care Center Can Make
The type of wound care you get can make all the difference in your healing and quality of life. Wounds impact your ability to move, use your affected limb, and participate in your normal activities. In extreme cases, poorly managed wounds can lead to serious complications and even death.
For example, some of the the risks of poor wound care include:
- Decreased function
- Pain and swelling
- Tissue death
A dedicated wound care clinic can help you avoid these devastating effects. Their expert training and knowledge, as well as the equipment they have access to, promote healing and improve your quality of life. Because of that, your choice of wound care clinic is an important decision. In order to make that call, let’s go over some tips for choosing a wound care center.
What to Look for in a Wound Care Clinic
One of the most important factors to look for in a wound care center is the availability of an on-staff wound care specialist. While many doctors and caretakers have some training in wound care, they usually don’t have the type of in-depth, specific training that a wound care specialist has.
Wound care specialists have to undergo three years of wound care training and pass a rigorous medical exam in order to earn their certification. Then, they must take continuing education credits and take re-certification testing to maintain their certification.
This way, they are able to offer the most up-to-date, comprehensive, focused care for all types of wounds. Because wound care specialists play such a vital role in your healing, you'll want to make sure the clinic you choose has dedicated wound care specialists available.
Another important factor for proper wound care is an individualized treatment plan. Because every person, every wound, every medical condition, and every situation is vastly different, treatment plans should also be customized to each individual person.
Your wound care specialist starts with a full evaluation, taking note of your medical condition, medications, wound characteristics, and other factors that affect your healing. Then, they design the most effective treatment approach for your situation and adjust it based on your participation and how your body responds.
Provide appropriate therapies
When choosing a wound care center, it’s important to ask about the types of therapies they have available. You want to make sure they have a full, advanced selection of treatment options.
Some of the most common treatments available for wound care include:
- Wound debridement: removal of dead tissue
- Dressings: wound covers that maintain the appropriate level of moisture and protection
- Medication: antibiotics and pain medication to manage infection and pain
- Compression garments: improve blood flow to the site
- Ultrasound therapy: delivers sound waves to encourage healing
- Skin grafts: replacement of skin layers
- Wound Vac: removed air pressure and pulls the sides of wound together
- Growth factor therapy: injections of growth factor cells
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy: increases oxygen levels in the blood for healing
Ask about the ways your clinic treats wounds to ensure they provide access to the best, most recent treatment options.
Proper transition to self-care
Fragmented wound care can become a significant factor that stands in the way of your healing. It’s important that the transfer of care among medical settings and home is as seamless and continuous as possible. Your wound care clinic plays a big role in this transition of care.
When you go home, it’s important that you know how to change dressings and care for your wounds yourself. Your wound care specialist should explain how to properly care for your own wounds, what symptoms to watch out for, and how to prevent new wounds after discharge. They can also address dietary and lifestyle factors that contribute to wound healing.
Ask about how the clinic approaches the transition to self-care. At the very least, they should offer detailed instruction and guidance on self-wound care. Some providers, however, may offer in-home wound care services, helplines, and other services to help you feel confident and avoid complications.
You also want to look for a wound care clinic with a high success rate for healing. The treatment methods they use should be validated by research and have measurable success rates. Medical and technological advances have created significant improvements in wound care, but that only works in your favor if the clinic you choose proactively incorporates them. To gauge your clinic's effectiveness, ask about their success rates, how long you can expect healing to take, and what type of results you might expect. You may also ask about how they measure progress and what solutions they have when healing is delayed.
Local Wound Care Specialists
If you're looking for superior wound care specialists in Alabama, the wound care clinic at Rehab Select exceeds the criteria listed here. To learn more about their approach to wound care or to set up a visit, contact the facility online or over the phone today.