Seven people from Coy C. Carpenter Library had the pleasure of touring Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center's Burn Center on Tuesday, January 27, 2009. We have all worked here for awhile but did not know much about the eight-bed Burn Unit and the sixteen-bed/step-down Burn and Plastics Unit.
According to our tour guide, Jim Johnson, PA, WFUBMC's Burn Unit was the first one in the state of North Carolina. It was founded in 1979. We "experienced first-hand," the hydrotherapy room, complete with the ambient heat lights. The hydrotherapy room is the first stop on the floor for the burn patient. The patient is cleaned with regular soap and water and the room is kept very warm, hence the heat lights, to keep the patient as comfortable as possible.
While we learned a lot about burn and skin disease care, we also learned how the Burn Center does business. For example, in the three years that Burn Center Director Dr. James Holmes has been here, he has developed a relationship with hospitals in the western part of NC as well as other states. Now, the Burn Unit accepts patients from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia. Another example is as of February 1, 2009, the Burn Center here will treat all worker's compensation patients from South Carolina. South Carolina does not have a Burn Center so people who get burned on their jobs will be coming to North Carolina for care.
Dr. Holmes and two physician assistants have reached out to the community at large to educate people about how to handle burn patients in the field, i.e. before they are transported to WFUBMC's Emergency Department. There is a local Burn Survivors Support Group that reaches out to the community as well but members spend a lot of their time counseling recent burn patients.
As WFUBMC employees, it is good to know what our "coworkers" do on a daily basis.