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das magazin / 2. May

Providing care with fervour. Every day.

Björn Jäger – a wound expert and orderly at a correctional facility

Björn Jäger is a “Jack of all trades” – he is fervent when it comes to providing relief for wound patients.  The focus of interdisciplinary therapy is to consider the needs of chronic wound patients and to treat them successfully. Björn Jäger works as an orderly in a correctional facility. Wound care and the transfer of know-how between those involved in wound management is a matter which is personally important to him: right after he became a certified male orderly, the wound expert founded the Regional Group Nordhorn for the Initiative Chronic Wounds e. V. (ICW). Afterwards, he developed “WundWiki”, a Wikipedia for chronic wounds. He offers practical training courses nationwide as well as recertification courses. In 2013, he was elected a member of the advisory board of the ICW. A day in the life of the wound expert Björn Jäger exemplifies his involvement:

The coffee to wakeup is mandatory to get the day off to a good start: Björn Jäger quickly checks his emails – and is astounded to see how many people mail him at night. In the Facebook group “Wound experts (male/female)”, he asked a question concerning the privacy of data of the photos shown in a discussion about “correct” wound treatment and promptly received criticism. Later on, after a 3 km drive to work at the JVA (correctional facility) in Lingen he passes through the personnel lock, puts on his keys and the personnel emergency call equipment. His work in the prison can begin ...

... After checking his business mails, the working day for the orderly really starts with the early report for the governor of the institute. A large part of his working time is taken up by planning his working hours and operational time: planning his capacity on the wards has to be consistent. In addition to his medical duties, the legal issues of the prisoners have to be taken into account. He sees his activities as a balancing act between the most diverse of tasks: if he has just changed the bandage of a patient, a few minutes later he may have to use bodily force. After 15 years of service, in the meantime, nothing really shocks him but in the case of sexual crimes or when children are involved, the professional rapprochement becomes more difficult. His favourite task in the JVA is and remains wound care, however

In addition to wound patients in the surgical ward of the prison hospital, he also looks after patients from the surrounding departments of the JVA. Many chronic wounds in the prison hospital are the consequence of years of drug misuse. This can range from wounds caused by infected injection sites or severe abscesses to even partial amputations. Björn Jäger describes himself as a surgical orderly, who really feels good when there is something for him to do concerning wounds. He can spend hours working on an extensive debridement. Then he uses the time to explain to the imprisoned patient about the intended treatment. One point in his favour: “My patients cannot just disappear like that.” ...

... His voluntary involvement resulted from a question which Björn Jäger asked his colleagues after receiving his certificate for passing the examination as a wound expert in 2007: “Shouldn’t we meet up more regularly to exchange ideas?” A short time later, the ICW Working Group Nordhorn was founded with Björn Jäger as the head organiser. He runs the show and three times a year the group exchange their experiences in an informal round, introduce new products and refresh their basic knowledge with short lectures. Once a year, the group meets for a larger daily event with more than 200 participants and a prominent lecturer from the wound care scene ...

.... In the meantime, Björn Jäger is a board member of the Initiative Chronic Wounds e. V. (ICW). Amongst other things, he is responsible for public relations work. He also researches and writes the newsletter from home, which is then sent to all ICW members four times a year. Furthermore, he sends a newsletter to the heads of the working groups twice a year, and two further issues to the advisory board. And a freshly brewed cup of coffee is always close by ...

... Björn Jäger, who describes himself as a hater of free time, also completes other activities of the ICW chairman position from home: for example, writing emails, taking part in telephone conferences, writing text editorials. Preparations for the German Wound Congress in Bremen (2016 to be held jointly with the EWMA Organi sation) are currently high on his agenda, whereby his home office sometimes feels like a call centre. Three to four hours spent there just fly by …

… So that he does not get “bored” between his activities as orderly, member of the board, event organiser, lecturer, consultant for the industry and editor, he is often on the road as a lecturer in Germany. He especially likes basic courses for wound experts. There he is able to get to know future colleagues from the bottom up and can help to enthuse them for the subject of wound care. He provokes interactive learning, for example, whereby he has participants wear a compression bandage without underpadding for a whole day. Instead of showing them photos of constrictions, they experience on their own bodies how important underpadding is in compression therapy …

… Basically, the organisation of wound management in a prison hospital does not differ in any way from that in an acute hospital. Just the methods of financing can offer an advantage: as the prisoners are health-insured by the State of Lower-Saxony, he does not have to deal with health insurance companies nor with diagnosis-related group flat rate payments or the medical services of the healthcare funds. Almost everything he needs for the care of chronic wounds can be purchased and used. “Conditions as in paradise!”, he says. When he then puts his feet up in the evening, he often wishes that the day would have more than 24 hours. His partner, also a nurse at the correctional facility, supports his profession and his honorary positions with a great deal of understanding. Björn loves what he does and really doesn’t like free time or just “chilling out”. With a clear “I really have to continue”, he takes the lead, even if the day still only has 24 hours ...

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