Updated: Feb 6, 2018

October 18, 2017 - Skilled Wound Care

Meet Brian De Castro: an amazing wound-care certified nurse who’s changing lives (part two).

Welcome to the first 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 first half of our interview with Brian DeCastro, assistant director of nursing at San Fernando Post-Acute Hospital.

Brian De Castro just plain cares: he cares about his family; he cares about playing music; he cares about details: crossing t’s and dotting i’s; but mostly he cares about the patients in his facility, and the fellow healthcare providers who surround him. We sat down with Brian to learn more about how he got into nursing, what keeps him going, and what he thinks about wound care in the long-term care setting.

Brian got into nursing because he needed a job - his great passion was playing the trumpet in a band with his brothers up in the Bay Area. But it quickly became more than just a job: he began working part-time as a freshly-minted RN at San Fernando in 2011, but soon transitioned into a full-time position, and before long, into a supervisory position. He was voted “Best Supervisor of 2013” by his patients and peers, and in 2015, became the Assistant Director of Nursing.

“My job now, I’m basically a firefighter,” says Brian, as he checks his phone to monitor a patient’s status during our interview. “Every day is different. I really couldn’t tell you what a typical day looks like: I get here in the morning, and it kind of goes from there.”

“But wound care is always my baby,” he adds. “I’ve made sure to keep tabs on that.”

Brian took his first wound care certification course two years ago, and sat for his recertification successfully a few months ago. (“I forgot that it was good for three years, not two,” he admitted, laughing.) He credits Skilled Wound Care with igniting a passion for wound care in him, and points to his weekly interactions with Skilled Wound Care provider “Bek” (short for Bekele Haimanot, PA) who rounds weekly at San Fernando. “He always take a lot of time to explain what we should be doing,” he says. “It’s great. I learn so much. And the courses are wonderful, they’re really amazing.” Brian just took the Skin, Ostomy, and Wound Care course again in Orange County.

Henry [Okonkow, PA], Dr. Anvar, those guys really know their stuff,” he says. “And this last time we had another teacher [Phyllis Matthews, RN], and she was a nurse, and she was talking about what it was really like taking care of patients. That was just so great,” Brian says, “to have someone who could talk about it from a nurse’s perspective.”

“Skilled Wound Care really helps us,” he says, “and they really help our patients. I’m trying to learn more myself, take more courses, and I’m trying to set up training for our staff. I’ve already done one in-service where I talked about wound care myself - and I’m trying to set up another for our staff with Bek. I know it would help everybody, to hear from him.”