|Physical Therapy Essential Part of SC’s Leading Wound Center
ORANGEBURG, SC — A multi-faceted approach to wound care has brought positive outcomes for patients at the facility that treats the most wound patients in SC, the Regional Medical Center’s Wound Center.
|The Wound Center Physical Therapy team: Felicia Glover, Pam Connor, PT, and Shirley Richardson.|
One of the Wound Center’s treatment options is physical therapy.
“About seventy percent of the patients that come to the Wound Center receive some sort of physical therapy in their wound care program,” said infectious disease expert and certified wound specialist Dr. John H. Samies, CWS.
“Most people don’t know that physical therapy can be an important part of wound care,” said Pam Connor, physical therapist, a 20-year veteran of the Regional Medical Center. She became the Wound Center’s dedicated physical therapist two and half years ago.
Connor and two physical therapy technicians, Shirley Richardson and Felicia Glover, handle all of the physical therapy needs of the Wound Center. “We’re a very good team. We’ve worked together long enough so that we can anticipate each other’s needs in treating our patients,” said Connor.
One of the major physical therapy treatments is ultrasonic mist therapy which uses ultrasound waves to increase to the blood flow to the wound. Connor explains, “A saline solution mist helps transmit the ultrasound waves and at the same time cleanses the wound and helps break down the bacterial bioburden from the wound.”
|Wound Center Physical Therapist Pam Connor demonstrates ultrasonic mist therapy which uses ultra sound waves transmitted through saline mist to increase to the blood flow to the wound. |
“We were one of the first centers in the nation to pilot this kind of therapy using Celeration’s® ultra sonic mist,” said Connor. “Through using this treatment we realized that it also helps decrease pain. We conducted a research study on the affects of ultra sonic mist on decreasing pain which was recently published in the Ostomy Wound Management journal. Representatives come from all over the U.S. to see the ultrasonic mist in action and how we use it in our clinic,” said Connor.
Some additional physical therapy treatments the Wound Center uses for wound care include traditional whirlpool therapy and pulsed lavage which increase blood flow, cleanse the wound and promote faster healing. “We also do anodyne therapy on patients with peripheral vascular disease and neuropathy to help improve circulation and sensation,” said Connor.
Other treatments include Apligraf® and Dermagraf® which are applied to the wound area to help patients cells regenerate and grow more quickly.
Along with wound care a patient may receive traditional functional therapies like range of motion, general strengthening and gait training. “We also teach patients to walk with an orthotic boot or with a new prosthesis,” said Connor.
“I love what I do – working with patients and seeing positive outcomes,” said Connor. “Some of my patients might need treatment for up to a year so we become like a family. We definitely have a personal as well as a professional concern for our patients,” said Connor.
“We treat the whole patient here from evaluation of wounds, nursing treatment, to physical therapy and education. We have a team approach for every patient to get them to the final result of being healed,” Connor said.
“The results speak for themselves – we have exceptional healing rates,” said Dr. Samies.
In addition to a physical therapist and two physical therapy technicians dedicated to the wound care, the Wound Center team includes a board-certified infectious disease specialist and hospital epidemiologist; four certified wound care nurses with more than 30 years of combined experience in wound care; a patient counselor, a registered dietician and nutrition specialist available for consultation; a certified diabetic educator as consultant for diabetic education; as well as a medical office assistant and a department secretary.
The Regional Medical Center’s Wound Center specializes in helping patients with wounds that have not healed including: pressure ulcers, diabetic wounds, lower extremity ulcers, non-healing surgical wounds, chronic wounds that do not show improvement in four weeks, wounds related to circulatory problems and minor burns.
“There’s no question that physical therapy is an essential part of our treatment options at the Wound Center,” said Samies. “It’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so successful in treating hundreds of wound patients every year.”