WOC nurses practice in a variety of settings and offer a tremendous amount of technical assistance, comfort and support to patients and their families. They are trained to address the physical, emotional and social issues of patients with ostomies, stomas, acute and chronic wounds, and urinary and fecal incontinence.
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Please be aware different certifications exist among providers of wound, ostomy and/or continence care. The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) educates and supports our members for certification by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). For a more information on certifications, please visit the WOCNCB website.
Read patient testimonials and view two videos to "recognize the difference" below.
When I had a colostomy earlier this year, I was emotionally devastated and physically inept at changing the pouch. I don't know what I ever would have done without the expert care and compassion of the very competent WOC Nurse, Eileen McCann! She was so patient teaching me just how to drain and to change the appliance and she was also so very kind and encouraging every time we talked either on the phone or when she visited me, both at the rehab facility and at my home. She over-extended herself to me and insisted that I call her at any time if I had any questions or problems. That was so comforting to me! I am 75 years old and was very depressed about what had happened to me -- Eileen knew just what to say to cheer me up and to help me feel better about myself, which helped me immensely to cope with my new way of life. Thanks to Eileen, I now think nothing of draining and changing the appliance and can do it quickly and efficiently. I'm back to my old self and I now go about my daily life without giving a thought to the colostomy (other than tending to it when it needs tending to!).
I was so very fortunate to have Eileen as my WOC Nurse and now as the dear friend that she has become to me. With her more-than-competent nursing skills and her cheerful and bubbly personality, she is indeed an asset to her profession. Every hospital should have a WOC Nurse like Eileen on their staff to help patients like myself who have so much to learn about caring for their new colostomy. I thank God every day for sending Eileen McCann to me!
Sincerely, Anne S.
As one who found himself facing health issues and life altering changes that needed careful consideration, when I needed calm reassurance and knowledgeable and caring support, that support came in the form of two wonderful Wound/Ostomy/Continence specialty nurses. Frankly, I could not have been treated better by my surgeon and his support staff, but the ability to spend time with these two fine professional nurses enabled me to learn what I needed to become self-sufficient and confident in my abilities to move forward. Because of them, living with a stoma is as natural as my life was prior to my surgery. I have the opportunity to undergo surgeries to reverse and reconnect, but honestly, I don’t believe that is necessary to enhance the quality of my life.
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