Nurse teaches proper wound care education across South Pacific

Editor’s note: We have partnered with The Wound Care Education Institute to raise awareness about the devastating effects of wound care knowledge gaps in the U.S. healthcare system. Our goal is to educate clinicians to empower themselves and their organizations to combat these gaps through wound care education.

Teaching healthcare professionals about wound care has taken Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS, to dozens of places around the United States.

When the longtime RN began her career in wound care, she never imagined educating clinicians would take her to American Samoa, an unincorporated U.S. territory in the South Pacific Ocean located 2,200 miles southwest of Hawaii.

In June 2019, an education opportunity — and a newfound family connection — did just that. Morgan, who co-founded the Wound Care Education Institute (WCEI), spent three days consulting with Samoan clinicians on specific wound patients and presented a one-day formal wound care class in Pago Pago, the capital city of the island chain.

Nancy Morgan, MBA, BSN, RN, WOC, WCC, DWC, OMS

At the same time, she enjoyed a life-changing experience by connecting with her newly discovered people, culture and nation.

Adopted at 5 days old, Morgan grew up an only child. Even though she said her adoptive parents were “wonderful” and Morgan said she had a blessed life, she yearned to learn who her biological parents were as she grew up.

At age 18, Morgan discovered the identity of her biological mother and was able to meet her. However, her mother couldn’t provide any information about her biological father other than he was a performer in Honolulu.

“My biological mother passed away a few years back,” Morgan said. “While sorting through some of her belongings, I uncovered an old photograph which I believed may have been a picture of my father.”

Morgan’s missing link

Fast forward to December 2018. In her quest to learn more about her heritage, Morgan purchased a DNA kit from a popular website. One month later, she received some exciting news from the test.

“I discovered I had two cousins of Samoan descent,” she said. “I contacted one of them, told him my story and hoped to find my father.”

After speaking to her cousin, Morgan sent him the picture of the man she suspected was her father. Her cousin immediately verified the identity of the man pictured as his uncle, Tama Leao.

Instead of connecting with Leao on her own, Morgan and her cousin agreed he would call his uncle with the news that he had a daughter who was looking for him.

“My father agreed I could contact him,” Morgan said. “This soon resulted in a phone call between the two of us. We ended up meeting the following month at his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. I also met my two half-brothers as well as their children — my nieces and nephews.”

Morgan said she received an email shortly thereafter from Lyndon B. Johnson Tropical Medical Center, an acute care hospital in Pago Pago, requesting wound care education for the facility’s …read more

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