My Scope of Practice: Seeking Challenging Paths
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Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. — Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Nursing is a demanding job,” says Michelle C. Quigel, BSN, RN, CWOCN. “WOC nursing is even harder. It’s not for the meek or mild.” With more than 20 years as a WOC nurse under her proverbial cap, Michelle tackles every day, and every patient, with the ease and familiarity of a veteran. But despite her success in her chosen field, Michelle isn’t resting on her laurels. She continues to test new products, review new procedures, and do all she can to improve wound, ostomy, and continence care.
Michelle earned her associate and bachelors degrees in nursing from Gwynedd-Mercy College (Gwynedd Valley, PA). Since graduation, she has been with Holy Redeemer Hospital (part of the Holy Redeemer Health System) in suburban Philadelphia. Seeing a need for a WOCN, the hospital sent Michelle for training at the Harrisburg Area/Wicks Educational Associated Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Education Program, a program she completed in 1992. Her subsequent achievements include developing and implementing a pressure ulcer prevention and management program, a primary focus of nursing and administrative leaders at Holy Redeemer, as well as providing and directing care for patients with wound, ostomy, skin, and continence issues.
Michelle is equally as dedicated to advancing the field. She serves as a contributor and content reviewer for an academic and professional medical publisher, provides legal case reviews for Premier Health Solution, LLC (Cherry Hill, NJ), and participates on advisory panels for various product manufacturers, such as Coloplast. As a member of the Value Analysis Committee for the health system, Michelle’s knowledge and opinion directly impact decisions regarding wound treatment, skin, and ostomy products, while she strives to provide quality care in a cost-conscious environment. She was able to help standardize product formulary and protocols for the hospital and affiliated long-term care facilities and almost eliminate specialty bed rentals by using integrated beds and surfaces.
Michelle makes educating future WOC nurses a priority as well. She has worked as a preceptor for WOC nursing students for the last 13 years, providing one-on-one education to nursing students involved in caring for patients with WOC issues.
Michelle has been a member of the Wound, Ostomy Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society, Northeast Region (NER) for 20 years. In 1992, she became actively involved in the Delaware Valley Affiliate (DVWOCN/DVET) of the NER when it was under the leadership of Margaret Goldberg, MSN, RN, CWOCN; Michelle served as President for 4 years. “I have had the privilege of being a member of an affiliate with many nationally known colleagues, such as Nancy Tomaselli, RN, CS, CRNP, CWOCN, CLNC; Sandi Wind, RN, CWOCN; Linda Lankenau, MSN, RN, CWON; and Janice Beitz, PhD, RN, CS, CNOR, CWOCN,” she says. “Their enthusiasm and encouragement have been guiding forces in my professional career.”
Now new WOC nurses look-up to Michelle. She was President-Elect of the NER from 2010 to 2011, and in 2012 she began her 2-year term as President. Through her involvement with the organization, Michelle provides direct care, education, leadership, patient advocacy, and research to support evidence-based practice in the field.
“Over the last few years, the job responsibilities have grown,” Michelle says. “I am still responsible for directing patient care relating to WOC issues in several settings, but other tasks have been added.