Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Monday, November 5, 2018
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As a nurse, I am uniquely positioned – and have the expertise – to facilitate meaningful conversations with patients and families about present and future health care, and how those interventions align with patient values, beliefs, and goals. That’s why I am joining the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) and the WOCN® Society to participate in the “#ISaidWhatIWant,” social media initiative, and am encouraging my nursing colleagues to say what they want by establishing their own advance care plan.
Advance care planning (ACP) is a process for patients and their families to discuss end-of-life care, clarify related values and goals, and state preferences through written documents and medical orders. In situations where a patient’s decision-making capacity is limited, health care providers turn to family members to make decisions. When there have been no ACP conversations between the patient and family, family members are left to make decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment without input from the patient or with little knowledge of the patient’s wishes.
#ISaidWhatIWant starts with nurses. What better way for nurses to demonstrate the value of ACP than to lead by example? If I want to help my patients and the public realize the true value of ACP and advance directives, I should take that step myself – and I did!
If you have already made an advance care plan, tell your family, friends and followers on social media why you believe in ACP using the hashtag #ISaidWhatIWant. If you haven’t, please do it now as a gift to your loved ones.
There are many online resources available to assist with ACP, such as The Conversation Project --an initiative of the Institute for Healthcare Information.
For further information, see HPNA’s Position Statement on Advance Care Planning available at advancingexpertcare.org/position-statements.
Carolyn Watts, MSN, RN, CWON
WOCN Society's Liaison for Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
advanced care planning
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, November 1, 2018
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Q&A with Sunniva Zaratkiewicz, PhD, RN, CWCN
National Conference Planning Committee Chair
What goes into planning a big educational event like WOCNext?
So much more goes into planning than I ever realized prior to joining the National Conference Planning Committee (NCPC). It’s a full year of meetings and the dedication of many volunteers and WOCN staff who make the event happen. The amount of time that each track co-chair puts into finding just the right topics and speakers, the time in communication with speakers and the broader NCPC, is no small commitment. Most impressively, everyone involved is dedicated, patient, and willing to work hard to ensure we provide the best possible content and experience for attendees.
What was the thought process behind rebranding the WOCN Society’s conference for 2019 (and beyond)?
We heard from our members that they were looking for innovations and change. We took these recommendations and dedicated focused time on the committee in which we discussed adult learning theory and recent industry trends, along with relevant and novel research. These conversations and collaboration allowed us to reframe the way we did things in the past in a way that retains the well-respected integrity of the event and incorporates new and innovative approaches to information sharing and education.
What does the name WOCNext mean to you?
WOCNext means not only keeping the stride with an ever-changing and evolving healthcare environment, but being a leader in setting the pace that drives patient care, education, and research with an ever-present focus on the best possible patient outcomes.
What’s new this year for attendees?
Themes: how were the themes decided?
We looked at national aims in healthcare quality and improvement along with feedback from our members and found the common ground that linked these. Not surprisingly, the feedback and national aims were closely mirrored. This year, the education at WOCNext will be presented under the following themes:
Behaviors, actions and interventions to promote health and well-being.
- Symptom Science
Understanding pathophysiology and manifestations of acute and chronic illness.
Measures of patient-centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient and equitable care.
- Clinical Care Innovations
Advancing practice through the integration of education and research.
Format: what was the goal for creating 30,60, and 90-minute sessions? What else is new about educational formats in 2019?
Higher education adopted these variations in traditional class/lecture times some time ago. As time goes on, other conferences and educational events have had success with this format as well. The themes are new and allow us to more seamlessly integrate wound, ostomy, continence, and professional practice material into current and meaningful areas of focus in healthcare. The approach is well rounded and inclusive… and, I think, fun!
Increased product knowledge: what does that mean for attendees and exhibitors?
We have allotted more time to make one-on-one or small group appointments with vendors in order to allow attendees to meet with vendors regarding products that they would like more information about. This also allows exhibitors to spend the time needed to answer more in-depth questions in a setting that is a little less busy and noisy than the usual vendor hall hours.
Enhanced networking opportunities
I’m very excited about having a mixer for all attendees on the first night. Be ready for some fun ways to get to know your colleagues, meet new folks, and re-connect with others.
Is the education provided at WOCNext just for WOC nurses?
The education provided at WOCNext is applicable to a wide variety of healthcare clinicians; including, but not limited to, nurses, advanced practice nurses, physician’s assistants, physicians, and physical therapists. Whether you work in a hospital, clinic, skilled nursing facility, long term acute care, respite, home health, tele-health, or provide mobile health care for those experiencing homelessness. The content is equally applicable to those working in research, quality improvement, and the legal profession. There’s something for everyone at WOCNext!
What are you the most excited about at WOCNext 2019?
Between the amazing speakers and topics, networking with other WOC clinicians and researchers, getting to know new attendees, checking out the vendor hall, and enjoying Nashville, it’s pretty hard to decide what I’m most excited about at WOCNext 2019. Fair to say, I’m planning on enjoying every minute!
For more information on WOCNext 2019, please visit wocnext.org.
advanced practice nurse
clinical care innovation
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Introducing WOCTalk, a Podcast Channel Courtesy of the WOCN® Society
As clinical experts, leaders and passionate caregivers, it can sometimes be a challenge to find the time to stay up-to-date on the latest healthcare advances, industry news and education. The WOCN Society recognizes that WOC nurses have limited time during, and even after their working hours, and we are dedicated to finding new ways to help support your practice-- that is why we are pleased to introduce our new podcast channel, WOCTalk.
WOCTalk is your opportunity to learn more about advocacy, education, and research that supports the practice and delivery of expert healthcare to individuals with wound, ostomy, and continence care needs—in a new, easily digestible format.
What is a podcast?
If you are unfamiliar with what a podcast is, just think of an audio program (such as a music or news program) that is similar to a radio show, but available for download over the Internet or through an app store on a computer or mobile device.
How can you listen to WOCTalk?
Learn more by visiting wocn.org/podcast
New episodes will be released every two weeks. If you think you'd be a good guest for an upcoming episode, you have an idea to share with us, or you would like your questions or issues addressed in an upcoming episode of WOCTalk, send an email to email@example.com.
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2018
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This blog was written by the WOCNext Abstract Chair, Jody Scardillo, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN.
Do you have a complicated clinical challenge from your practice that you managed successfully? Have you completed a research study, process improvement project or developed an innovative program related to the wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) specialty? How about a series of cases with successful outcomes?
If so, consider submitting a poster abstract for WOCNext, the WOCN® Society’s annual conference, in Nashville, TN, from June 23-26, 2019.
If the abstract is accepted, you will present your poster in Nashville at the always exciting poster session. You may even win an award! All accepted abstracts will be published in a supplement of the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN) and will be available on the WOCN website. It is an easy process that is a great way to share your knowledge and skills with your peers. The poster presenter is eligible for 10 PGP (professional growth points) for WOCNCB recertification for each poster that is presented.
Some accepted abstracts will be offered the option of presenting electronically (ePoster) on a monitor in the poster hall instead of developing a paper poster. Feedback about the ePoster option from the WOCN Society’s 50th Annual Conference was very positive.
A successful abstract is pertinent to WOC practice, clear, concise and well written. The abstract is the summary of the information to be shared on the poster. There are guidelines to assist in development that are available here. Another way to familiarize yourself is to review the abstracts from the supplement in the JWOCN. This will give you an idea of what colleagues have successfully presented in the past.
The abstract is blind reviewed by peer members of the WOCN Society. Reviewers evaluate the abstract in the categories of research, case studies and practice innovations. When evaluating abstracts, researchers look for posters that will add to or enhance the body of knowledge of our specialty practice. Both the submission and review processes are electronic. The abstracts are reviewed and rated using a valid and reliable tool. Selected research abstracts will be used for oral presentations at the conference.
Tips for success
- Read the tutorial before starting your submission.
- The deadline is the deadline.
- Do not use names of individuals or facilities on the abstract.
- Use generic names vs. name brands on the abstract and poster.
- Cite the references used for the project in the abstract and on the bottom of the poster.
- Only submit completed work. Work in progress will not qualify as a successful submission. Wait until next year.
- Follow the clear instructions!
- The 300-word count limit for the abstract does not include the title or authors.
- Email or call the abstract chair with any questions. We want you to succeed and will answer any questions we can.Someone has asked the same question before you, so don’t feel embarrassed. Everyone was a novice poster presenter once.
- The quality of our abstracts is phenomenal and most submissions are accepted. Follow the guidelines and go for it!
- Remember, just because you know something or have solved a clinical problem, doesn’t mean everyone else knows. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice or expert WOC clinician. Share your knowledge and help keep our specialty strong. You will be so glad you did.
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, August 9, 2018
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This article was written by Healthline Media for the WOCN Society.
What is the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers and Who Can Benefit From It?
How to use the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers to improve and maintain your peristomal skin health.
For individuals living with an ostomy, an opening in the abdomen created for the body to eliminate waste, ensuring you know how to check skin for problems is a proactive way to maintain good health. The Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) is an international nursing society of experts in the care for patients with wound, ostomy and incontinence. With over 5,000 health care professionals, the WOCN Society's mission is to provide dedicated care and advice through advocacy, education and research for its members. One of the key resources available through the Society is the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers.
The Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers is a free online guide for individuals living with an ostomy. The guide is designed to help people with an ostomy understand and identify common skin problems that may occur as a result of having an ostomy. With an overview of next steps in skin care management and prompts individuals to seek further medical attention from a wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nurse, this guide empowers people with an ostomy to be proactive about their health.
There are two key words that people with an ostomy need to understand - ostomy and stoma. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in a person's abdomen. A stoma is the end of the intestine that is brought to the surface of the abdomen during the surgical procedure. Typically, a bag or pouch is worn over the stoma to collect bodily waste.
After an ostomy procedure is completed, there are several complications that can occur including:
- skin irritation - irritation around the adhesive on the ostomy appliance.
- dehydration - if a lot of waste exits through the stoma each day dehydration can occur.
- leakage - if the appliance isn't fitted properly, leakage can occur.
- bowel obstruction - if you don't properly chew your food, blockages can occur in the intestine.
- retraction - the stoma can move inward if weight gain occurs or scar tissue grows.
- parastomal hernia - this occurs when the intestine presses outwards through the ostomy.
- necrosis - this is tissue death that can occur in the days following surgery to install the ostomy.
If you suspect you may be experiencing some of the complications listed above, you can use the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers to assess your condition before seeking further medical support. There are four steps outlined in the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers:
- Remove your pouching system.
- Look at your skin and stoma in both sitting and lying positions.
- Answer a series of questions, choosing the answer that best matches what you see.
- Follow the instructions in the guide.
The questions in the guide are focused on the location and color of the skin damage. Once you have answered the questions, you will receive further steps for at-home management of the skin condition. The further steps will outline when you should seek further advice from a medical professional. For example, if the condition doesn't improve after 7 days.
Living with an ostomy can be a big lifestyle change. Following the steps outlined in the Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers will help you proactively monitor the condition of your peristomal skin at home. While the guide doesn't replace the advice of a medical professional, it is a helpful tool for people with an ostomy. If you're experiencing pain or significant complication with the operation of your ostomy, seek advice from a WOC nurse.
The Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers is funded through an educational grant from Hollister Incorporated. Click here to view the guide.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Ostomy: Adapting to life after colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy.
Peristomal Skin Assessment Guide for Consumers (n.d.).
Possible challenges and complications. (n.d.).
Surgery for Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis. (2010, August)
What is the role of surgery in treating Crohn’s disease? (n.d.)