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At CHI Health St. Elizabeth Regional Burn Trauma and Wound Center our team believes that our patients are injured, not ill. Our philosophy is that early aggressive rehabilitation and therapy, alongside quality burn and wound care, lead to improved healing rates and a return to the patient’s previous life and abilities, sooner. Our team may ask you or your loved one to participate as actively as possible in their recovery by doing as much as possible for themselves right from the start.
Our Burn Center physicians are skilled in all aspects of burn care. They are trained in intensive, critical care and pediatric intensive care. They also call on other medical personnel when appropriate, such as cardiac specialists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, pulmonary and rehabilitation specialists. Our Burn Center directors oversee all activities.
Our registered nurses and licensed practical nurses spend the longest period of time each day with our patients. They are specially trained in burn care. Our nurses will do everything possible to help each patient reach the best level of recovery possible. Our nurses rely on assistance and cooperation from our patients and their families.
Our physical therapists play a key role in the daily care of each patient. Their responsibilities may include daily baths, assisting in debridement, exercises, positioning, assisting with splints, and developing a home exercise program. The physical therapist will also follow the patient after discharge. The successful preservation of function of burned arms, legs, hands, and feet depends on the cooperation of the patient with education support from the physical therapist.
Our occupational therapists evaluate and develop therapy programs to preserve or restore a patient's daily activities to as near normal as possible. They help determine the need for splints, work on positioning and exercises, diversional activities (crafts), evaluate needs, teaching new ways to maintain daily living skills, and providing a home rehabilitation program.
Burn patients require a dramatic increase in nutritional intake to support their healing process. They typically need to maintain a high calorie and protein intake (3,000 to 4,000 calories daily.) Our dietitians and nutritionists develop plans to both minimize weight loss and promote wound healing. They may also need to require supplemental feedings. Our nutrition specialists, just like our entire Burn Center team, are available to meet with families for any special food considerations of the patient.
Sometimes a hospital stay can create hardships for the family. Our Social Service personnel are available to assist when such problems arise. There is no charge for this service. If necessary, we can put family members in touch with helpful agencies in the community. Social workers will also work closely with the patient and family to determine the best discharge plan for the individual person.
Our respiratory therapists team administer oxygen, medication or other assistance for patients who may be in acute or severe respiratory distress due to inhalation of noxious agents, or other lung problems such as pneumonia. In more severe circumstances a patient may need additional assistance in breathing with the aid of a ventilator.
Our pastoral care team of a priest, sisters, chaplains and lay people, serve the immediate religious (multi-denominational) and spiritual needs of our patients and families in the Burn Center. They are available on 24-hour call for these services.
When available, volunteers in the Burn Center provide emotional support, serve as a resource person to patients and families, relay pertinent information to the nurses, deliver personal e-mails from relatives and friends, and help the patient with snacks and meals. Our volunteers also provide social activities for our patients.
Our Pharmacists ensure all aspects of medications are as safe as possible for each patient enhancing our high quality patient care and positive patient outcomes. The pharmacist participates in multi-disciplinary care rounds, provides pain consults, assists with burn research, and precepts 4th year pharmacy students doing rotations in burn and wound care.