2017 NW Region of the WOCN Soceity Nurse of The Year:
Joanie Santucci
I’ve been a nurse for “100” years. Except for a short stint in home health care, I’ve been working in the hospital setting my whole career. My clinical background/base has been in trauma orthopedics at Harborview Medical Center, the Level 1 Trauma Center for the WAMI (WA, Alaska, Montana, Idaho) region. I was the Clinical Nurse Educator for the Med/Surg areas, with emphasis on the acute care ortho/surgical units. This position gave me teaching experience both at the bedside and in the classroom. After obtaining my MN degree, I moved into the Clinical Nurse Specialist position for Trauma Orthopedics, which included coordinating the Limb Viability Service, a multidisciplinary team for people with threatened limbs. I facilitated the Amputee Support Group, and got well acquainted with how people live with limb loss. We saw many people who lost limbs from Diabetic Foot Ulcers – which lead me into wound care, as we aggressively tried to save the opposite foot. I am a graduate and clinical preceptor for the UW Wound Management Education Course. In my current position, I am the Wound/Ostomy nurse at Multicare Auburn Medical Center. I recently developed and implemented a Wound Care Residency program for nurses entering this specialty. I enjoy collaborative practice, teaching, and hands-on care.
My most interesting wound care experience was working in Haiti after the earthquake in a tent/field hospital. I traveled there to work with the new amputees, but ended up being the wound care nurse for the camp by request. It was life changing for me, both professionally and personally.