Mrs De Sousa had an ulcerated leg, which was being stubborn, refusing to heal and causing no end of pain and inconvenience. The leg had become infected for the second time and several ulcers had extended into one huge raw patch.
Thanks to a kind donation from local company, Cannacord, our District Nurses have a set of digital cameras to use in their nursing. One of them brought a series of photos to Gilly Glendewar, showing the gradual worsening of Mrs De Sousa’s leg.
Gilly is the only communityTissue Viability Nurse in Jersey. If ever you have a wound that just won’t heal, you need Gilly. With her knowledge and understanding, she could see what the problem was from the photos. She and the District Nurse could then help Mrs De Sousa with different types of dressings and bandaging and give her advice to care for her wounds.
Imparting knowledge to others like this is a vital part of Gilly’s role. She devises and delivers training on many aspects of tissue viability; practical sessions such as bandaging skills and preventing and managing pressure trauma. “Being the only Tissue Viability Nurse for the community is a huge responsibility and ensuring my knowledge is current and that I provide accurate and timely information is so important.”
“Without doubt, exercise, physiotherapy, diet (particularly high protein, vitamin C and zinc) will help the healing process,” said Gilly, “However that is useless if the underlying problem hasn’t been corrected.”
Mrs De Sousa had been in so much pain that exercise and physiotherapy could not be considered until Gilly had helped with pain management and had treated the ulcers. Mrs De Sousa marvels at how she can now walk to our New Era Clinic from the bus stop and even do some shopping. For several months, neither had been possible.
Gilly is proud to be a nurse and loves the job she does. “Nursing was my career of choice from the age of four!” she says. Her aim in life is to help patients improve their quality of life and maintain their independence.
“Seeing complicated and long-standing wounds get better is hugely rewarding,” said Gilly, “As is being involved in staff training, and ultimately seeing the positive effects in practice and improvements in staff confidence.”