Member Spotlight: Kristy Aiken
Welcome to the WOCN Society Member Spotlight blog, featuring the inspiring stories behind our members. This month, we’re spotlighting Kristy Aiken—a longtime member of the WOCN Society.
About Kristy Aiken
Kristy Aiken, BSN, RN, CWON, CFCN joined the WOCN Society in 2006. Kristy’s interest in wound care started while working as a treatment nurse in a long-term care facility. Kristy loved seeing the progress of healing in the wounds she was treating and started seeking out certification programs. Kristy enrolled in the Emory University WOC Nursing Education Program accredited by the WOCN, obtained her certification, and began her career as a WOC nurse at an acute care hospital. Today, Kristy is pursuing her Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree to continue to advance her skills and hopes to specialize as an Advanced Practice WOC nurse.
Joining the WOCN Society
Kristy loved the idea of being part of a great organization and the networking that comes with membership. Access to an evidence-based journal, conference offerings that help with continuing education needs, and education guidelines also contributed to her decision to join. Kristy commented on her favorite part about being a member, stating, “I love that I am part of a great group of nurses that specialize in the specialties that they have studied. There are a lot of talented nurses represented in the WOCN Society. ”
WOCN Program Scholarship
Kristy received a scholarship from the WOCN Society and the Southeast Region of the WOCN Society that enabled her to pursue her FNP degree. “I appreciate this financial help that will help me reach another professional stepping stone to help and serve my patients at a higher level from the provider position. I have had so many patients, coworkers, and my immediate family cheer me on during this endeavor. I will forever be grateful for this help!”, said Kristy.
Meaningful WOC Moments
Kristy has experienced many meaningful moments during her career as a WOC nurse. One of those moments was when Kristy was determined to help a patient who was hospitalized due to depression surrounding ostomy issues. The patient experienced leaking due to abdominal contour issues around the stoma. Kristy continued to try to troubleshoot the leaking issues and reassured the patient she was not giving up on her. Kristy finally found an appliance with convexity and a belt that helped stop the leaking. The patient was so happy and felt like she could live a productive life and not have to worry about leakage issues.
Kristy felt so much gratification to know she was able to have the privilege to play a very small role in helping this patient with her ostomy issues and depression. Seeing how nurses can touch the lives of patients by letting them know they are heard and providing daily compassion is what Kristy believes true nursing is all about.
Favorite Patient Moments
Kristy remembers when she was the only wound care nurse in the facility and ran the nurse-driven wound care clinic, and had a new patient referral for a leg wound. Kristy began basic assessments and ABI testing, but could not obtain a pulse. The patient described classic symptoms with arterial issues and had dependent rubor, but the patient thought it was just part of the normal aging process. The ABI tests discovered the patient’s left foot ABI was 0.38. The patient was then seen by the vascular department and set up for surgery.
When the patient returned to the clinic, she said that Kristy saved her leg because she did not know she had serious vascular issues. The patient also stated she had been a smoker for 60+ years and smoked one pack a day. Kristy urged the patient to stop smoking prior to surgery and provided information about the benefits of smoking cessation and improved surgical outcomes. The patient completely bought into it, stopped smoking, and had a great surgical outcome.
This experience taught Kristy that nurses have the power to educate patients to empower them to improve clinical outcomes. This was very impactful to the patient’s life and to Kristy’s life.
A Little Look Into Her Life
When Kristy isn’t busy working, she loves to watch her children play travel volleyball and basketball along with additional school sports activities. She loves to go for long walks and enjoys spending quality family time with her husband and three children.
Vision for the Future
Kristy is excited about the future! She is looking forward to working as a provider in her hometown to continue to serve the patients in a nurse-driven clinic.
Thank You, Kristy
On behalf of the WOCN Society, thank you, Kristy, for being a valuable member of the WOCN Society and for the clinical skill, education, empathy, and trust you bring to the profession of WOC care.
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 daily, we have important stories to tell. Submit yourself or a member today!