What Does an Ostomy Nurse Do?
An Ostomy Nurse, also known as an Enterostomal Therapy Nurse or Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse (WOCN), specializes in the care of patients with ostomies, which are surgical openings that create an alternative path for waste elimination. These nurses manage and provide education on the care of various types of ostomies, such as colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.
Their duties include assessing and measuring patients for ostomy appliances, teaching patients and caregivers about ostomy care and management, and providing emotional support. They also assist patients with complications such as skin irritation, appliance leakage, and infection. Ostomy Nurses are experts in helping patients adjust to living with an ostomy, ensuring they can lead active and fulfilling lives.
In addition to ostomy care, these nurses often have expertise in managing complex wounds and incontinence care. They work in hospital settings, outpatient clinics, home health, and long-term care facilities.
Their specialized knowledge is invaluable for improving the quality of life for patients with ostomies and for supporting these individuals in their adaptation and recovery process.