When it comes to wounds, Kathy Moore, R.N., has seen it all. For more than 10 years, she has been part of the NorthBay Center for Wound Care team, helping patients heal wounds they may have nursed for years. “I’ve been a nurse since 1986 and wound care is a specialty that I find fascinating,” Kathy says. “I even tried to retire once, but I came back—I just love this job.”
The Wound Center specializes in treating difficult, non-healing wounds. Using the latest techniques medical science has to offer, they are able to heal more than 98 percent of the wounds they treat within seven to eight weeks.This may include the careful use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy, wound-cleaning techniques, medicines, dressings, minor procedures and other support services.
“I love the continuity of care here,” she explains. “In the hospital we care for patients for a short period of time. Here, we have the time to build relationships with our patients.”
Dealing with a chronic wound at home can be lifestyle changing. A foot wound can be painful enough to prevent walking, and soon a person is housebound. Others find their ability to get around hampered by the amount of wound dressings and bandages they need to have with them.
“We’ve had patients with wounds that are two- and three-years-old,” Kathy says. “They come in so worried and we say ‘Now you’re part of our family, we’re going to take care of you.’ And we do! We get so excited when a wound gets smaller because we’re all in this together, like a family.”
That “family” includes a team of professionals, including physicians with advanced training in wound management and nurses trained in the treatment of chronic wounds who perform non-invasive studies and various therapies.
One patient who is grateful for their care is Randall Thatcher of Vacaville. He first damaged his foot in a 1987 accident that also left him with poor circulation. Years later he developed a diabetic ulcer on the same foot. “I was warned to be careful with foot ulcers, because I could lose my foot,” Randall says.
When a motorcycle accident reopened his foot wound, he came to the Wound Center for help. He spent every Tuesday for six months at the center, receiving treatment until the wound closed. “The staff was so encouraging and supportive,” he remembers. “They are very sweet people who helped in every way they could.”