Jason Foeppel, RN, Program Director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Charles Hospital
What is your background?
During my nursing career, I have been in both the operating room and in the Intensive Care Unit before moving into management as a supervisor. I have worked in both inpatient and outpatient areas. I am excited to take on the role as program director of the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine & Wound Healing at St. Charles Hospital.
Why did you choose wound care?
The specialty of wound care is fascinating! To be able to help patients with their non-healing wounds is a great accomplishment. Wound care includes not just treating their wound but also determining what is causing the problem and taking a comprehensive approach to helping the patient. I love the challenge of running a wound center and am excited to help all patients.
What is your role at the center?
As the program director, I oversee the center and all operations within the center. I aid in facilitating care between the nurses, doctors and all other medical staff needed to help patients in any way. I am also able to converse with patients not just in the center but also in the community. I want to try to ensure we have everything and anything available to make a patients visit a success. Overseeing the center allows me to ensure we are creating the best environment possible, which is our priority.
Why is wound care essential?
Wound care is essential in many ways. A non-treated wound can develop into further problems and cause more harm to a patient. We must remember that at times, a wound is not just a wound. There can be underlying causes, which can address systemic problems and harm other parts of the body. It is important that we treat wounds in a timely manner and understand what is causing that wound. Patients increase their chances of living a healthier life when they receive timely wound care, which is our goal.
What makes you passionate about your job?
I am passionate about helping people. I love my job as a nurse and truly love the foundations of what makes a nurse. The opportunity to create positive change in people’s lives and inspire patients to live a healthier life is a blessing. I strive for the chance to lead others and create a working environment that people love as well as creating a collaborative system within the center.
How does care at the wound care clinic differ from care at a provider’s office?
Our center offers resources that providers may not have in their private offices. We supply dressings, skin substitutes and a comprehensive approach to focus on a patient’s wound. Having a provider panel including multiple specialties, such as podiatry, vascular surgery, general surgery and plastic surgery, helps us attack the wound from multiple different areas. We offer hyperbaric oxygen therapy as an added treatment for patients who meet the indications for the treatment.
What do you think is unique about your team?
Our team at St. Charles is amazing! Our team is composed of highly skilled wound care specialists who have been in the specialty for many years. We as a team are passionate about wound care and have one common goal: to help patients heal and achieve their highest quality of care. We have a hyperbaric technician who monitors patients in the hyperbaric chambers and we will provide over the top care for all. Patients come back because they feel comfortable and a part of our wound care family.
Are there any success stories that stand out to you?
There are plenty of success stories that we have experienced. One of our first patients in our center had a chronic wound that needed care. The patient was also a non-English speaking patient so we had to ensure that all our care was communicated properly using a translator and made clear to the patient. The patient's wound was not being taken care of but after the proper handling by our entire staff—including nurses, doctors, and supporting staff—the patient made strides even after the first week. He was compliant with our care as he understood what was needed from him. We were able to help heal his wound within weeks. The compassion and care that we as a team gave to that patient, with many obstacles to climb over, shows how dedicated we are to helping all patients in need.
What else should we know about your center?
We welcome all patients with open arms and ensure they feel like family when at the center. The staff are friendly and ready to help. Our brand new center has an appearance that makes patients want to come back to get care. The dedication to make sure the center stays state-of-the-art is our goal. We look forward to helping the community and all in need of wound care.