Healing wounds excite specialist nurse

WSLHD Integrated and Community Health wound nurse practitioner Amanda O’Regan.

Removing dead skin and seeing a stubborn wound heal would disgust most people – but not Amanda O’Regan.

She is Western Sydney Local Health District’s Integrated and Community health wound nurse practitioner and is passionate about her job.

As a nurse practitioner, Amanda provides a specialised role assessing clients, diagnosing, providing wound treatment and management, biopsy, suturing and prescribing medications.

A wound is commonly defined as a type of injury where the skin is torn, cut or punctured or where blunt force trauma can cause a closed wound (contusion).

“Many of our patients have chronic leg or foot wounds, or are recovering from amputation, trauma, or surgery due to cancer,” Amanda said.

“About 70 per cent of the wounds we treat are lower leg ulcers from poor blood flow or foot wounds from diabetes issues and many clients are over the age of 65.

“We have almost 1,000 clients who receive treatment for wound management from as far afield as Auburn to Wiseman’s Ferry and Parramatta to Mount Druitt. 

WSLHD wound nurse practitioner Amanda O’Regan, registered nurse Renee Taylor and patient Greg Bruce.

“I work in collaboration with consultants, other wound specialists, community nurses, Allied Health and GPs and together we help patients manage their wounds and improve their quality of life.

“It can take a long time for older patients with chronic wounds to heal, but now I can treat quite difficult wounds in the community setting which will keep clients out of hospital and in the comfort of their own home”

“As a wound nurse practitioner I use technology to help heal stubborn wounds and treat infections early to prevent admissions to hospitals – it’s very exciting.”

The married mother of four children started working at Westmead in 1990 as a registered nurse and has since been a clinical nurse specialist and surgical nurse educator. 

Her passion for wounds continued when she joined the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre in 2011 to help cancer patients manage their wounds.

In 2017, Amanda was appointed as a wound clinical nurse specialist for Community Health and completed a Master’s degree to become a wound nurse practitioner.

“Two of my girls are nurses, both work in Northern Sydney LHD and love talking ‘wounds’ with me. The rest of my family think my job is a bit weird,” Amanda said.

Amanda O’Regan in action.

“It’s a privilege to work in this role with such a warm, wonderful and knowledgeable group of nurses in Community Health.”  

Based at Hills Community Health Centre Amanda travels the district to care for patients.

For information about WSLHD Community Health Centre services, click here.