Partners in Your Journey to Wellness
Treating burn injuries can be a difficult and lengthy process. Our Burn Team provides a shared approach, which include caregivers, committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients.
Patients and their families visiting the Burn Center have access to the latest treatments as well as a caring supportive staff that put the patient’s and their family’s needs first. We understand the impact a traumatic injury can have, and our team provides the resources and emotional support necessary to help our patients and their families through this process.
We will list specific team members on the dry erase boards in each patient room and update these each shift.
"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." —Andrew Carnegie
Caregivers, Providers, & Support Staff
Whether you are in the inpatient or outpatient area of the Burn Center, you will work with all these team members:
- Attending burn physician
- Advanced practice clinicians (APC)
- Burn surgery team
- Speech language pathologists
- Burn therapy
- Health care assistant (HCA/CNA)
- Patient & family support:
- Case manager
- Social worker
- Child life therapist
- Recreational therapist
- Spiritual services
- Community outreach and disaster coordinator
- Psychosocial program coordinator
- Environmental services
During the early stages of burn treatment, the patient may be dependent upon the nursing staff and other members of the team for total care. As healing progresses, the patient becomes more independent. Our team strives for patient collaboration and encourages patients to participate in all cares as able.
Family is a very important member of the team as they can help provide motivation and emotional support to the patient. We encourage family members to advocate, ask questions, and participate. We can guide you on how best to care for your loved one both in the hospital and after discharge.
Attending Burn Physician
The attending physician is the surgeon who is in charge of all patients on the unit and their care. Our attendings are dedicated to the burn center, performing surgery and procedures as needed for medical management of critically ill patients. They also provide support to referring providers and outside hospitals.
Advanced Practice Clinicians (APC)
The Burn Unit APC group consists of both nurse practitioners and physician assistants. They are an important part of our team and provide high-quality care to our patients.
Burn Surgery Team
The University of Utah Burn Center has a state of the art operating room (OR), adjacent to our unit. The Burn OR is open Monday through Friday.
The burn surgery team includes these members:
- Burn surgeon
- OR nurse
- OR scrub technician
- OR health care assistant
Our nurses are highly specialized in burn-specific care. Their training includes an advanced burn life support certification, pediatric and adult advanced life support certifications, intensive care nursing, and wound care.
The nursing team is made up of these specialists:
- Nurse manager—Oversees the unit
- Charge nurse—Manages the unit during a shift
- Bedside nurse—Provides individual care of patient
- Wound care nurse
- Case worker
- Nurse educator
- Clinical nurse coordinator—Provides quality management
Wound Care Team
The wound care team assists the bedside nurse with:
- wound care,
- wound evaluation, and
- giving direction on what type of dressing will work best.
The wound care team takes photos when the patient is admitted, when there are significant changes, and every Wednesday. They then communicate changes with the provider.
The wound care team is made up of these providers:
- Burn surgeon
- Advanced practice clinician (APC)
- Registered nurse
- Health care assistant (HCA)
Speech Language Pathologists
Speech language pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat the following:
- social communication
The burn therapy team assists patients with these things:
- Functional mobility
- Personalized exercise plan during their inpatient stay and after discharge
The burn therapy team includes these members:
- Physical therapist (PT)
- Occupational therapist (OT)
- Physical therapy aid
Health Care Assistant (HCA/CNA)
Our HCA/CNA assists patients with daily living activities. HCA/CNAs specialize in these areas:
- Wound care
- Operating room assistance
- Admission set up
- Outpatient clinic assistance
In order to provide medically advanced patient care, we participate in and conduct research. Each research project is reviewed by a group of professionals at the University of Utah to ensure that is conducted appropriately and performed within federal guidelines.
It is possible that we may ask you to participate in a study and if so, please remember the following:
- If you have questions, please ask them.
- Your participation is voluntary. If you don't want to participate, it will not affect your care.
- We will explain all benefits and risks for participating in a study that are known to us.
Patient & Family Support
Following a traumatic injury, families often express concern about their insurance coverage. We encourage you to contact your insurance provider to discuss coverage, but the case manager is available to you as a resource during this process.
The case manager services include the following:
- Coordinating financial resources available to you
- Arranging medical equipment you may need
- Working with the care team on discharge plans
- Getting and verifying insurance coverage
- Contacting payers for authorization
- Providing ongoing reviews as you move closer to discharge
To contact our case manager call 801-581-7059.
The University of Utah Burn Center has licensed clinical social workers available for both our inpatients and outpatients to provide support to patients and families.
Clinical social workers assess each patient individually to form a treatment plan that bests suits their needs. We use these clinical interventions:
- Mindfulness practice
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Mind- body bridging
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Social workers help provide patients with specific coping strategies and tools.
Clinical social work services include these things:
- Weekly burn center support group
- Family support
- Education regarding trauma and trauma response—brain, body, secondary
- SOAR referrals
- Liaison with burn center medical team
- Crisis intervention
- Referrals to community resources
- Advance directives;
- Preparation for aftercare and reintegration
- Services in the outpatient clinic following discharge
To contact us call the following.
Inpatient Social Work 801-587-0247
Outpatient Social Work 801-587-0306
Child Life Therapist
The goal of child life is to minimize anxieties for injured children by providing support services that are psychologically and developmentally appropriate.
Our child life specialist is a trained and certified practitioner with a background in play, coping, child development, and psychology who specializes in the unique social, developmental, and emotional needs of children and their families.
The child life specialist can provide age-appropriate education and can also provide bedside activities. The therapists helps burn patients accept their injuries and develop a positive body image through the use of evidence-based interventions, teaching dolls, medical play, and expressive therapies.
Child life services include these:
- Explaining procedures
- Introducing and supporting healthy coping strategies and techniques
- Providing distraction for children during medical procedures
- Encouraging play, developmentally supportive activities, and normalization of the hospital experience
- Providing an outlet for children to express their feelings
- Procedural preparation and support
- Sibling and family support
- SOAR referrals
The child life specialist is not accepting students at this time; however, if you need to contact them, call 801-213-2304.
For more information about the child life profession, please visit the Association of Child Life Professionals website.
We use recreation therapy to improve physical, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning. These are our recreation therapy services:
- Recreation and leisure opportunities and adaptations
- Community reintegration
- Psychosocial support
- Stress and relaxation management training
- Social skills adjustment
- Developmental stimulation
- Adjustment to health care encounters
Our recreation therapist is not accepting students at this time; however, if you need to contact them, call 801-213–2304.
For more information about the profession, please visit the American Therapeutic Recreation Association website.
Spirituality can be anything that provides meaning for you. It can be a way to find hope and strength in difficult times. It may or may not involve a specific religion.
Many patients find comfort in spirituality during their treatment and healing. Some want to be sure their religious beliefs and customs are respected.
Chaplains and spiritual care volunteers can visit patients and their loved ones in the hospital.
Learn more about how a chaplain can help.
Burn patients have special dietary needs to provide additional nutrients for the body to heal their wounds. Dietitians ensure patients receive the right amount of nourishment.
Community Outreach & Disaster Coordinator
Our community outreach and disaster coordinator for the burn center has had over thirty years of burn ICU experience. They coordinate burn education in a five state region and work closely with EMS, health care facilities, schools, and community groups.
The coordinator also implements a state and national burn disaster program and is the Western Region Burn Disaster Consortia Co-Coordinator.
Psychosocial Program Coordinator
Our psychosocial program coordinator is involved with burn camp, peer support, community outreach, and fundraising. Find out more about these programs:
Our environmental service team plays a huge role in infection prevention by ensuring the burn unit is clean. Please be aware of the signs placed around unit for safety.
Inpatient-Specific Team Members
House Staff & Advanced Practice Clinicians
House staff are doctors in training, supervised by the attending physician. The house staff see patients daily.
House staff include each of these team members:
- Fellows—physicians who have completed medical school and residency and are specializing in a particular area of medicine.
- Resident/interns—Doctors in training who have completed medical school.
- Medical students—Individuals who are currently in training to become physicians.
A burn fellow is a physician who has completed medical school and their residency. They are now and specializing in burn medicine.
Burn patients have special medication needs. We often need to adjust medication as the patient's condition changes. Pharmacists help manage medications, ensuring each patient receives the right drug, dose, and frequency. They also make sure there are no harmful interactions among medications and provide information regarding potential side effects of medications.
In addition, pharmacists consult with patients, nurses, and doctors to answer any questions about medications. Each patient will first encounter a pharmacist when putting together a list of current medications. This is called a medication reconciliation.
It is important for us to have an accurate list of all the medications taken on a regular basis.
At discharge, each patient will meet with a pharmacist again to update medication lists and answer any questions.
The palliative team goal is to improve quality of life for both patients and their families. A team of doctors, nurse practitioners, social workers, chaplains, and other specialists provide palliative care. They work with a patient’s medical team to provide an extra layer of support.
Patients often need assistance breathing and keeping their airway open. Respiratory therapists provide these services:
- Make sure the ventilator (breathing machine) works properly
- Monitor patient’s oxygen levels with bedside monitors
- Administers respiratory medications
Health Unit Coordinator (HUC)
Our HUC is a unit coordinator. They direct patient visitors, answer phone calls, coordinate admissions and discharges, and process patient information. The HUC's desk is inside the main entrance to the unit.
To ensure patient safety, visitors must check in with the HUC every time they enter the unit.
Outpatient-Specific Team Members
Outpatient Service Specialist
Our service specialist checks patients in for appointments, directs phone calls, and assists in the clinic schedule.
Through videoconferencing technology, our burn experts can see patients remotely. This allows the team to assess and make recommendations to patients for wounds.
The teleburn team is made up of these providers.
- Burn surgeon
- Advanced practice clinicians
- Registered nurse
- Burn therapist