As a little girl I hid band aids (the British term is “Plaster’s” and funny enough it is the same word here in Indonesia) under my bed. I loved them. I wanted lots. I’m not sure what made me hide them. I don’t know. Yet it is one of my first memories of life as a 5 year old in our new country, America.
Fast forward to my 2nd year working at Siskin Hospital. Some 30 + years later. I had a patient who had a very complicated back wound and the dressing needed changing. Our normal wound care nurse would not be in that day due to it being a Sunday. I mentioned to my nursing friend, Heidi, that I needed to do this difficult dressing. Honestly, I was completely intimidated by it. Heidi stated, “I’d be happy to help you Ruth. I love wound care.” Her words stuck with me and made me think for months after she stated them. “Love wound care.” After that encounter, I began to learn all I could….any time I had a patient with a wound. I too, began to love wound care. When I was asked to join the wound care team at Siskin Hospital it was like a dream job. Finally I was in an area of nursing that had oodles of autonomy, the majority of the time….great outcomes, often a huge challenge and bandages galore. I was in my element.
I have so missed wound care since being in Papua. Just last week I finally organized all the bandages I gleaned from Siskin (thanks!) so that when the time came I would be ready. Just yesterday a school girl came to my door to ask if I had medicine for a boy who had been burnt. As it turned out, I ended up going to the Adventist school where two guys had burns on their legs from the hot mufflers on their motorcycles. My handy wound care tubs were portable and organized. I was ready. Assessed those wounds. Cleaned them. Silvadene. Xeroform. Gauze. Gauze wrap. Tape. Even had hand sanitizer to wash my hands in between patients. My clinic was outside their dorm on the cement with ants and flies. It was fantastic.
Bandage changes always bring out a great crowd of students that “awe” and “Ohhhhh” if the patient expresses any pain.
I returned to my patients every day. I took Jacob with me on day #2 and he shot photo’s. I don’t know why I love bandages. They are not hidden under my bed. But I have lots of them, ready to use. At last….wound care in Papua! My patients are healing well……great outcome!