People of the U: Shannon Farmer
Published on Monday, August 29, 2022
By: Ruth Cummins, firstname.lastname@example.org
When Shannon Farmer begins healing her patients, she knows that it will be a process well worth the time and perseverance.
She takes part in the care of those with wounds that won’t easily heal, often caused by chronic diseases or trauma, and tricky to treat depending on the patient. “Wound care” requires expertise far beyond simply bandaging a flesh injury or prescribing medications that promote healing.
“If you have a normal healthy patient with no other existing health conditions, any wound they have is generally going to heal pretty quickly,” said Farmer, a registered nurse and manager of performance improvement at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Holmes County, located in Lexington.
“If you have a patient with a compromised nutritional status, then that can play a big part. When you have an elderly patient who is physically or nutritionally compromised, that will complicate the healing. Wound care is very individualized.”
Farmer, who recently earned certification from the National Alliance of Wound Care and Ostomy, has split her time for the past 20 years between the Jackson, Grenada and Holmes County campuses of UMMC. “I am able to assist the staff and providers in assessing wounds and making recommendations to providers to review,” she said. “I can also assist the staff by educating them on the dressing changes that a patient needs, or a different technique they can use to take care of the wound.”
That includes the use of specialized dressings based on the type wound being treated. “When you see someone heal, it’s wonderful,” Farmer said. “But, it generally takes time, especially with a chronic wound.”
Although Farmer joined the UMMC Holmes County team in 2021 as manager of performance improvement, “Shannon also assumed infection control, accreditation and hospital education,” said Paige Lawrence, UMMC Holmes County assistant administrator and chief nursing officer. “She hit the ground running and she immediately made an impact, bringing valuable knowledge and experience to our team.”
Farmer’s wound care certification “adds even more value to our clinical staff and our patients,” Lawrence said. “Shannon can assist with staging wounds and make treatment recommendations as needed.”
Farmer’s field of medicine might not be for everyone, but “I have always loved wound care,” she said. “I’ll never forget in 1995 when I was able to spend time with wound and ostomy nurses. Wound care has evolved immensely since then. When I started nursing, we didn’t have specialized dressings for wounds. It’s really exciting to see the progression of treatment.”
Farmer, who lives in West, has been married for 30 years and has two daughters. Her favorite hobbies are abundant: growing vegetables, plants and flowers; canning summertime fruits and veggies; going to the beach; and singing on her church’s praise team. “Unless I’m sitting in a chair at the beach, I have to be busy!” she joked.
She has learned many lessons during the pandemic. “Two of the most important are to truly treasure those who love me the most and the time we’ve been given, and making time for self-care and recharging my own batteries by doing things I enjoy.”
When she’s at work, though, she has a particular focus.
“Throughout my nursing career, my goal every day is to make a difference, just to one person,” Farmer said. “If I can do that, it’s been a great day.”