Matt's Nursing Notes

Matt Costello, SSA/RN

Matt began working at the Guernsey County Board of DD in 2008 as the program nurse. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2015 from Ohio University and then became an SSA and currently fills the role as the GCBDD Health Care Coordinator. Matt acts as the QA RN for the County Board and performs the Nurse Quality Assurance Reviews (NQARs) for the County Board. NQARs are performed to provide consultation and oversight to ensure the safe administration of medications and performance of Health Related Activities. Matt is a licensed Radiologic Technologist through the Ohio Department of Health and a licensed Registered Nurse through the Ohio Board of Nursing. He became an RN in 2000 and worked as an RN and Radiologic Technologist in a Heart Cath Lab from 2001-2007 and was also a staff RN on Medical/Surgical unit from 2000-2001.

Every year thousands of people get the itching rash that comes from brushing against poison ivy.  Poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are the most common cause of allergic reaction in the United States. Experts say you do not even have to touch these plants directly to get the rash. These plants produce a nearly invisible oil which sticks to almost any surface. Even if a pet runs through a wooded area this oil may get on their fur and be passed on to people.


If you are going to be where poison ivy grows such as in a wooded area or even working in brush or a garden around the house be sure to wear long sleeves, gloves, long pants, and boots. Also, the oil from poison ivy can travel in the wind if burned, do not throw poison ivy or any other unknown plant on a fire if burning brush.

Poison ivy and poison oak have three leaves per stem.

Poison sumac has 7 to 13 leaves on a branch.

Keep in mind that these leaves may look different depending on the time of year. The color and shape of the leaves may change with the season.

If you come into contact with any of these plants, try to take a shower right away. If you take a bath the plant’s oil can get in the bath water and spread to other areas of your body.

The rash caused by these plants is not contagious. You cannot catch or spread the rash after it appears, even if you touch the rash or the fluid from the blisters. The rash appears to spread because the rash is still developing from the initial contact, or the person has touched something else that still had the plant’s oil on it.

If you are exposed to these plants and experience a serious reaction such as swelling, infections or irritation near the eyes, you should see your doctor.

Simply preventing poison ivy by avoiding it is the key