Siemsen brings added benefit to Wound Care Clinic
Physician Assistant Layce Siemsen has added a beneficial service to patients visiting the wound care clinic at Cloud County Health Center since becoming a certified provider.
Siemsen, who became wound care certified in January of this year, can provide services to patients that were unable to be offered in the clinic previously.
Prior to Siemsen taking over at the clinic there was a nurse in charge who was certified.
Because a nurse is not allowed to do any form of debridement of wounds, which is the removal of dead skin, damaged or infected tissue to improve the healing process of the remaining healthy skin, any patient requiring debridement had to be sent to Salina Regional Health Center.
As a wound care certified provider, Siemsen is able to provide the debridement services at Cloud County Health Center (CCHC).
“A lot of patients were having to have frequent debriding, so they were having to go to Salina because we weren’t able to provide debridement here in Concordia.” Siemsen, “A lot of patients would have to go (to Salina) every week. They don’t have to do that any more, drive to Salina.”
The staff at the CCHC wound care clinic will examine and measure a wound, check the blood flow in the area around the wound, determine why it’s not healing and create a treatment plan.
Treatment plan goals include healing the wound, preventing the wound from getting worse or becoming infected, preventing limb loss, preventing new wounds from occurring or old wounds from coming back and helping patients stay mobile.
In order to treat a wound, the provider will clean out the wound and apply dressing to keep the wound moist and help prevent infection.
There are many different types of dressings, including gels, foams, gauze and films.
A provider may use one of multiple types of dressings as the wound heals.
Common types of non-healing wounds include pressure sores, surgical wounds, radiation sores, foot ulcers due to diabetes, poor blood flow or swollen legs.
Certain wounds may not heal because of diabetes, poor circulation, nerve damage, being inactive or immobile, a weak immune system, poor nutrition, excess alcohol use or smoking.
Non-healing wounds may take months to heal if not treated, and some wounds never heal completely.
“The main thing is they need to find out what type of wound it is, because different types of wounds require different forms of treatment,” Siemsen said.
Siemsen, who began working in the Family Care Center in February 2009 after graduating magna cum laude from Hastings College and earning a master of physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said that the most common form of wounds treated in the clinic are venous ulcers.
“We see a lot of venus ulcers. Probably more than anything else,” Siemsen said.
Venous ulcers are more common in women and older people. Primary risk factors are older age, obesity, previous leg injuries, deep venous thrombosis and phlebitis.
Follow-up at the clinic will include instructions on caring for a wound at home in between visits.
Depending on the needs of the patient, it may also include help with healthy eating to get the nutrients needed to heal, diabetes care, smoking cessation, pain management and physical therapy.
Siemsen sees patients in the wound care clinic every Friday.
There is a nurse who also took the wound care certification class available to do dressing changes throughout the week.
“So there is always someone up there to do dressing changes,” Siemsen said.
Appointments for the wound care clinic can be made through outpatient services at the hospital. A referral from a provider is often required.