Certified Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses (CWOCN) are experts in the care of patients with wound, ostomy, and continence disorders. They are trained to address the physical, emotional, and social issues that accompany ostomy surgery (the creation of an outlet to a bag outside the body to collect wastes). Utilizing a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach, we provide comprehensive care for patients who require surgery with an ostomy, such as some colorectal cancer patients.
Those who may need ostomy surgery receive teaching before the operation, on an outpatient basis, and are followed throughout their stay in the hospital. Patients and their families are encouraged to attend an inpatient ostomy support group before they go home. We develop a plan of care for each patient to smooth the transition home after surgery.
After hospital discharge, our comprehensive outpatient ostomy care program focuses on providing routine follow-up care, increasing access to resources, preventing skin complications around the ostomy, and improving quality of life. For more information about outpatient ostomy support groups, see the Events page.