Welcome to the WOCN Society Member Spotlight blog, featuring the inspiring stories behind our members. This month, we’re spotlighting Carolyn Loughner—a first-year member of the WOCN Society.
About Carolyn Loughner
Carolyn Loughner, BSN, RN, CRRN, CWOCN is a first-year member of the WOCN Society. At a young age, she had a passion for healthcare, inspired by her Mom, a Nurse Practitioner. She grew up listening to her talk about the patients she helped, particularly interested in stories about wounds and the healing process. When she grew up, Carolyn became a nurse, stating that “Touching people’s hearts in their darkest hour and being able to bring some light is something I will never grow tired of.”
Joining the WOCN Society
Carolyn joined the WOCN Society upon being offered a scholarship that would allow her to complete her WOC certification. The scholarship and opportunities to advance her wound, ostomy, and continence knowledge drew Carolyn to the WOCN Society. Since joining, she’s loved all the continuing education available and the inspiring sense of community, sharing, “It always helps to have more “brains in the room” to solve challenges together.”
Meaningful WOC Moments
Carolyn has experienced many meaningful moments during her career as a WOC nurse. Currently, she works at the Shepherd Center with a high-risk patient population. Over the past few years, the Center has started several initiatives to decrease the patients’ risk of hospital-acquired pressure injuries. Seeing the impact of new practices on her patients motivates Carolyn to continue the work.
Another meaningful moment occurred for Carolyn when she was a new graduate. After a busy day of running around, she walked by a brain-injured patient’s room to find him crying with all the lights off. She sat with this normally-cheery patient to learn that he had just seen photos of his accident for the first time. Carolyn talked with him about the incident, cried, and laughed. When she left the room, the patient felt better—and Carolyn felt “more like a nurse than I ever had. I still think about that moment and try to offer that same unburdened support to all my patients.”
In a more light-hearted moment, Carolyn shared how during wound rounds, she gives her patients “homework,” such as taking their supplements and advocating for themselves. In one instance, Carolyn encouraged a young brain-injured patient to eat protein to help with his wound. He became very excited, asking, “Like chicken fingers?!” Carolyn said, “Yes, if you like them!” The patient smiled ear-to-ear and yelled, “CHICKEN FREAKING FINGERRRSSS AW YES!” Carolyn laughed for a solid 10 minutes!
Looking Towards the Future
As Carolyn looks toward the future, she aspires to grow in her practice as a WOC nurse and may eventually return to school to become a Nurse Practitioner. Carolyn hopes to publish some of her research and projects to spread knowledge that would better serve her patients and colleagues.
A Little Look Into Her Life
When Carolyn is not treating patients, she loves to craft! Scrapbooking, painting, and cross-stitching. She actually used her crafting skills to create wound models that can be measured, packed, and wound-vacuumed for training purposes.
She and her husband enjoy gardening, playing with their three rescue cats, Henry, Tigger, and Chunky-Butt, and taking their dog, Nilla Bean, to the park. Carolyn also takes time for self-care—painting her nails, curling up with a book, and enjoying a hot cup of coffee.
A Few Words from Carolyn
“I would like to thank my husband, Michael, for his love and support throughout my education and career. And a special thanks to Mom and Dad for always inspiring and believing in me!”
Thank You, Carolyn Loughner
On behalf of the WOCN Society, thank you, Carolyn, for the skill, passion, and exceptional care you provide to your patients. We’re fortunate to have you as a member of the WOCN Society!
Want to Nominate a Member?
The WOCN Society’s Member Spotlight Program is a monthly initiative to honor our incredible members. With 5,000+ members dedicated to improving patient outcomes every single day, we have important stories to tell. Submit yourself or a member today!