Spotlight on a wound care nurse

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My name: Nicole McGrath

My job: Wound Care Nurse

What I do:

I identify and treat the challenging, often chronic wounds that can really impact a person’s quality of life. This includes surgical wounds, and wounds caused by poor circulation (caused by diabetes or high blood pressure).

As part of our Wound Resource Team, when a care coordinator or visiting nurse would like more ideas in order to support and manage a complex wound, I’m here to help.  In reviewing a complex client, I ask the care team what has happened so far, and I will often visit clients at home to speak with them in order to make recommendations that are tailored to their needs.

I also collaborate with doctors and other members of a client’s care team to ensure everyone is aware of and using best-practice wound care. For instance, we know that the use of daily dressing changes using gauze is not the best way to heal wounds, especially ones that are complex and are taking a long time to heal. New wound care dressings are reducing healing time, which means less discomfort and risk of infection for our clients.

The best part of my job:

I love my job. I get to be part of an amazing team that helps our clients meet their wound care goals and improve their quality of life.  I also have an opportunity to do some health teaching with clients, which is really rewarding. When we talk to our clients about what is most important to them, many want to return to independence and manage their own care; we give them the knowledge and the tools they need to care for their wounds and improve their overall health, including recommendations for diet and exercise. Reassuring them that they can improve their quality of life and helping motivate them to meet their goals is a great feeling.

Nicole McGrath is a wound care nurse with the Wound Resource Team at Toronto Central CCAC (Community Care Access Centre).