Burn Center official talks with CCCC nursing students
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Dr. Ernest J. Grant, Nursing Education Clinician, Burn Outreach, at UNC Health Care's North Carolina ... (more)
SANFORD -- Dr. Ernest J. Grant, Nursing Education Clinician, Burn Outreach, at UNC Health Care's North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center, recently spoke about the care of burn patients to Central Carolina Community College second level Associate Degree Nursing students.
Dr. Grant notes that there are three messages he likes to share with the nursing students. "First, I congratulate them on choosing one of the most powerfully rewarding professions known to man. Next, I stress the difference they may be able to make in someone's life, and not really know that," he said. "Finally, I stress the importance of membership in their professional organization and to not let this be the last stop in their career, but to go on to achieve a higher degree. I am a very strong advocate in lifelong learning."
Dr. Grant says that nurses are very crucial in the care of burn patients and their families. "We are the ones who are there 24/7. We get to know the patient and their families on a more intimate basis than other members of the health profession," said Dr. Grant. "We become the advocate for the patient and family, explaining medical jargon they may not be able to comprehend. We develop a bond that lasts forever, not just when the individual is discharged, but over a period of many years. Last of all, we have families as well. I wouldn't want any of my family to be in a strange situation without someone being able to help guide me though, and I know the patients we care for have that same mentality."
What are the most misunderstood issues regarding the care of burn patients? "One of the most misunderstood issues is that perhaps they are going to hurt them by rendering care to them," said Dr. Grant. "Pain is a necessary part of the individual getting better, but we do have medications that are available that can reduce their anxiety and memory, so they (the patient and the caregiver) are both experiencing a much more pleasant experience."
Dr. Grant says the burn center takes highly specialized trained individuals from multiple disciplines to provide the necessary care for patients and their family members. "The burn center is the referral center for all 100 counties in North Carolina, as well as S.C. and the southern tip of Virginia. We have a very wide catchment area, which means that anytime the phone rings, it could be another admission," said Dr. Grant. "We are the fourth largest burn care facility in the country. People are not aware of the burn center until they need our services, but when they do, they can rest assured that they are getting the best burn care available anywhere in the world!"
Over 95 percent of all burns could be prevented if individuals would take a moment and consider their actions, according to Dr. Grant. "They should always question themselves 'Is it safe to do this?' Any doubt that comes up in their mind should be a red flag," said Dr. Grant. "Additionally, the two major things that the fire department and other life safety educators promote - have a working smoke alarm (should be replaced every 10 years) and reduce the temperature of their hot water heater to 120 degrees - will go a long way in the prevention of burns."
For more information on the Central Carolina Community College nursing program, visit http://www.cccc.edu/curriculum/
majors/nursing/assoc/, or call Teresa Mangum at 919-718-7313.
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