What Does a Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurse (WOCN) Do?
A Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurse (WOCN) is a highly trained and specialized nurse who manages the care of patients with acute and chronic wounds (such as pressure ulcers and vascular ulcers), ostomies (surgical openings that divert bodily waste), and continence disorders (related to urinary and fecal control).
WOCNs are responsible for patient assessment, care planning, and treatment to promote healing and prevent complications. They provide direct care, educate patients and caregivers, and serve as consultants to other healthcare professionals. They play a crucial role in improving the quality of life for individuals with these complex conditions.
These nurses work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term care facilities, and in the community as home health nurses. They often hold certification from the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB), which recognizes their expertise in this specialized field of nursing. Their role is essential in providing comprehensive care that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of wound, ostomy, and continence care.