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Updated: Feb 6, 2018

November 29, 2017 - Skilled Wound Care

Part Two of our interview with wound-care certified nurse Brian De Castro! (Part One)

Welcome to the second installment in our PROFILES IN CARING series, where we’ll introduce an amazing doctor, nurse, or provider who’s changing lives through better wound care. Today, we’re excited to present the second half of our interview with Brian DeCastro, assistant director of nursing at San Fernando Post-Acute Hospital.

We asked Brian: what’s the biggest challenge in your work?

“Patient compliance,” he said without hesitation. “Getting the patient, and the family, onboard to help them heal is everything. It can really be a struggle sometimes.” Brian explained that despite the best efforts of himself and his entire team, if the patient or the family doesn’t understand or prioritize their role in the healing process, it just won’t happen.

“I remember a guy,” said Brian, “a young guy. A lot of our patients are older people, but this guy was young: maybe 20s? And he came to us from the hospital, and he wasn’t doing good. He was in bad shape.”

This particular patient was a real challenge: he didn’t seem interested in following Brian’s instructions or treatment protocols, his wounds weren’t healing well, and it seemed as if he had given up. Brian decided it was time for some tough love.

“I told him, look, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you. But if you don’t get on board with this treatment, you’re going to die. And that’s just stupid. There’s no need for it.”

The patient, clearly shaken, reconsidered his options. Brian talked to his family as well, emphasizing to them how dire the situation was, and how important their support was. Within a very short period of time, the situation turned around. The young man started to participate fully in his own recovery, and walked out of the facility under his own power - a major victory for Brian and his team.

“I told him,” Brian recalled, “I said, I don’t want to see you back here, ever: unless you’re visiting someone. Go live your life.”

The gift of healing is a powerful one: Brian and the nursing staff he works with do their best to give the best quality of life they can to their patients. For some - like his reluctant young man - that means a full recovery. For others, like many of Brian’s older patients, it means a dignified and respectful treatment that addresses the serious problems of wounds in long-term care.

“I love my job,” said Brian. “It’s really rewarding, and I’m always learning.”

There’s no doubt that Brian embodies all the best qualities that Skilled Wound Care values: a joyful and passionate approach to healing, a lifelong commitment to learning, and an insistence on holding up the very highest standards of care. He - and partners like him - are transforming the healthcare industry every day, in every interaction.

Join us next time for another profile of an amazing part of the Skilled Wound Care team.

Skilled Wound Care is a mobile surgical practice committed to transforming the chronic wound care model in nursing facilities. Wound care experts make weekly bedside visits to patients in long-term care facilities, avoiding transfers to hospitals or clinics. Our expert physicians give patients the most up-to-date and effective wound treatments, and educate facility staff on how to help patients continue to heal quickly and effectively between visits. This model of collaborative care allows SWC’s physicians to improve patients’ lives and health outcomes, to empower nursing staff, and to raise public awareness. Skilled Wound Care, along with its nurse and nursing home partners, is working every day to positively transform traditional nursing home wound care.

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