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If you have a great topic that you would like to share with your colleagues, or if you are unsure of what you can write about, email Marketing Coordinator Jenna Bertini at jbertini@wocn.org and she will help get you started!

 

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Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights
Act Today and Be a Voice for Change

Joanna J. Burgess BSN, RN, CWOCN
Management Board of Director for the UOAA and Advocacy Chair

Today, as you read this, hundreds of ostomy patients across the country are struggling to find adequate help. There are not enough ostomy nurses and not enough outpatient ostomy services to meet the demand of this underserved population, which to date is estimated to be 725,000 to 1,000,000. This is my story, and this is how you can become involved and raise your voice to make a difference in the lives of this vulnerable population.

The new year had just turned in January of 1966, when my family was getting ready to bring me home from Boston Children’s Hospital. I was just three years old and had a new urostomy after a cystectomy for rhabdomyosarcoma of the bladder. My father remembers the blatant fear in the discharge nurse’s face as she handed my father a small brown paper bag of ostomy supplies and fumbled through them not knowing how to use them herself. It was a four-hour drive home from the hospital. My father described his feelings, mixed anxiety with fear and determination, as he stopped at a gas station on the way home to rummage through the supplies until he found a phone number--which happened to be for the company Torbot. The owner of the company explained that he himself had an ostomy and would show my father how to use the supplies. We made a detour to Rhode Island, met with Torbot and my father had his first and only lesson in caring for my ostomy. Over the years, I learned how to master what my father had mastered; putting a seven-piece pouching system together with thick elastic bands and ultimately gluing it to my body. My father, at age 86, is still haunted by how hard that pouching system was. When I gave my first lecture as a new WOC nurse to nurses caring for ostomy patients, my father had me vow that I would tell this story and help nurses to never be afraid to care for someone with an ostomy.

I was honored to be elected to the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) Management Board of Directors in July of 2015, and truly felt like I was called to Chair their newly formed advocacy committee. I knew that I had struggled growing up, feeling alone and not knowing anyone to turn to for assistance; not only for the physical but emotional challenges I faced as well. Joining UOAA helped me to see more clearly that despite our modern era of ostomy care, including well-made products and ostomy nursing established as a profession--now celebrating 50 years, patients continue to struggle. In 2017, the UOAA office received over 1,300 calls from people needing assistance. Calls ranged from seeking support on how to find help for ostomy related problems to questions concerning insurance issues.

As a UOAA board member, Great Comebacks Award recipient and WOC nurse working both in acute care and outpatient ostomy care, I have had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of patients across the country living the ostomy experience. Most patients will experience stoma or peristomal skin problems ranging from minor to severe. All patients will experience the emotional impact of the ostomy; from simple trepidation as they adapt to their new life to fear, anxiety and depression. If you are an ostomy nurse, I believe it is your obligation to know what these patients face once they leave your care. These are the experiences that drove me into the six-year pursuit of starting an outpatient ostomy clinic affiliated with my acute care center. Not an easy task, but I had the support from my supervisor and administration and we opened the clinic to the community. In my small, one-day-a-week clinic, it is not uncommon for someone to arrive with a towel wrapped around their stoma due to the inability to keep a pouching system on; it is not uncommon for someone to arrive in tears; it is not uncommon for a loved one to wait in the waiting room because they “just can’t look.” But what isn’t uncommon enough is hearing the words, “death would have been better than this.” If this is happening in my small community – what is happening in yours?

It is crucial for you to understand that healthcare delivery for people living with an ostomy or continent diversion across the United States is not equal. There are geographic areas well served by nurses like you who have been trained in ostomy care, but there are also many areas where this is not the case. Additionally, ostomy care is not equal from facility to facility. People may receive care that meets quality standards in one facility, but once transferred to another facility receive little or no care. We are aware of the lack of ostomy nurses in home and outpatient ostomy care. It is a lot to digest and, when faced with a problem so significant, it’s natural to want to turn away and find a less daunting problem to attack. I was spinning in the magnitude of this problem, which I feel is a crisis in this country, when at a UOAA Board meeting; Advocacy Manager Jeanine Gleba suggested that the Advocacy Committee’s top priority should be updating the Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights was first created by the former UOA in 1972. My first reaction was, ‘Why? We don’t have enough ostomy nurses to provide these services. Honestly, I was perplexed by the suggestion. We don’t even have enough ostomy nurses to provide fundamental care to the entire ostomate population. How could we possibly provide the full service set forth in the Bill of Rights? However, after pondering the idea for several weeks, my advocacy light finally lit up and I realized that restructuring these patient rights could actually be the force for the needed changes. The committee came together and reached a consensus to move forward with Jeanine’s suggestion to revise the Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights. Over the next three months or so, the revised Bill of Rights was developed and finally republished in the Summer of 2017.

Be_A_Force_For_Change_UOAAThe newly revised UOAA Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights (PBOR) provides details of the care people with an ostomy should expect to receive initially and over their lifetime.  It calls for healthcare professionals who provide care to people with ostomies to be educated in the specialty and to observe established standards of care. It is meant to be used as a tool for patients and the medical community. UOAA believes this could be a powerful tool to guide patients and families to be active partners in their care and to ensure the best outcomes. It is also a powerful tool meant to inspire ostomy nurses to be advocates and to inspire excellence in themselves, their teams, and their organizations. Our role as specialty nurses is multifaceted,holistic and must include advocacy. We must be a voice on behalf of our patients to ensure they are receiving optimal care and to encourage them to be self-advocates. Your voice matters in creating educational tools for patients, in creating outpatient ostomy clinics and in ensuring this underserved population is recognized and cared for. UOAA invites you to review the newly revised Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights (PBOR) and its accompanying tool, Practices for Ostomy Nurses to Utilize and Support Ostomy and Continent Diversion Patient Bill of Rights. 

I am pleased to say that the response to the new PBOR and accompanying tools, by healthcare organizations, professionals, industry and the ostomy population across the country, has been enthusiastic. The clamor for more access to care is louder and louder. The time is right to effect change. I believe that in this new era of blogs, newsletters, discussion boards, and social – social media,our profession has the best opportunity in its 50-year history to create change. My father would be pleased to know that the future looks hopeful. There are now many nurses who are not afraid to care for someone with an ostomy and there are advocates creating better lives for ostomy patients. 50 years ago, our profession started as enterostomal nurses... let's embrace our origins. Let’s work to increase access to care. Let’s find a way to get an ostomy clinic in every community. Switch your advocacy light on; together we can make it happen.

Tags:  Bill of Rights  blog  clinic  clinical  cystectomy  nurse  nursing  ostomy  outpatient  patient  pouching system  rhabdomyosarcoma  specialty  UOAA  urostomy 

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Philadelphia Landmarks in Walking Distance of the Pennsylvania Convention Center

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Monday, January 29, 2018
The WOCN Society's 50th Annual Conference will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, which is located in the heart of Philadelphia's downtown. Before or after conference activities, get out and visit the following Philadelphia landmarks that are in walking distance of the convention center!
 

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The Reading Terminal Market has been selling fresh and local food for more than 120 years! Housed under a converted train station (the Reading Railway of the Monopoly game), this historic building brings renowned merchants who offer the best of Philadelphia's food specialties. Check out ten awesome things to eat at the Reading Terminal Market.

 
Philadelphia's Historic District has many fun, famous and informative attractions, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and much more! Download the WhereMagazine Map for the 24-stop Historic District Trail.

 
The City of Brotherly Love's best-known landmark is love itself - the Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture in the John F. Kennedy Plaza, nicknamed the LOVE Park. Take a picture with the LOVE sculpture while you're in Philly!

 
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is the oldest art museum in the US with a vast collection of art by local and national artists. Throughout the year, PAFA presents special exhibitions and galleries including work by the region's most talented artists.

 
You can't miss Chinatown with it's colorful 40-foot Friendship Gate! Whether it's day or night, Chinatown is filled with activities and authentic Asian cuisines, from hand-stretched noodles to street festivals.

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WOC Nurse Experience at the NSNA 35th Annual MidYear Career Planning Conference

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Written by Society member Daphne (Weiland) Hodges, BSN, RN, CWOCN.


NSNA 35th Annual MidYear Career Planning Conference

The National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc. (NSNA®) held their 35th Annual MidYear Career Planning Conference in San Diego from November 2-5, 2017. The conference hosted close to 550 nursing students and faculty, where nursing students received information about emerging healthcare trends and learned about legislative issues that impact the nursing profession.

I had the opportunity to represent the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN®) in two sessions. In the first session, ten nursing specialties were represented, including the WOC nursing specialty. 325 student nurses attended the specialty nurse panel session. A small breakout session followed with a greater focus on what WOC nursing is and the resources and support that the WOCN Society offers to members. The students were very enthusiastic about WOC nursing.

After each session, trails of nursing students followed me off-stage and into the hallway for sidebar conversations, questions and selfies, which allowed me to further (informally) plug the endless possibilities and career opportunities for our nurses of tomorrow.

I may be biased, but I believe I left the nursing students with feel-good emotions of smiles, applause and tears as I shared my experiences and the impact that WOC nursing has made on my life and on the lives of people WOC nurses have touched.

Tags:  career  conference  faculty  nsna  nurse  nursing student  panel  professionWOCN Society  session  specialty  student  woc nurse 

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Scholarship Program Application Updates

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Monday, October 30, 2017

Written by Chair of the Scholarship Task Force, Carole Bauer, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, OCN, CWOCN.


WOCN_ScholarshipHave you ever wondered about the scholarship program offered by the WOCN® Society? Up until recently, scholarships were awarded based mostly on financial need. While this is a good goal for the Society at times, the most deserving candidates did not qualify. The application has been revised to reflect contribution to wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) practice and to the Society. The new application process will begin in the next scholarship cycle on January 8, 2018.

While financial need will still be a portion of the criteria to qualify for a scholarship, it will no longer be the primary reason one is awarded a scholarship. These changes are being made for several reasons. One reason is to address the financial disparities across the country; a $100,000 salary in California or New York City does not have the same financial value as in middle America. Another reason is to address contributions to the Society and the profession. We wish to give scholarships to those who will advance the mission, vision and values of the Society and the profession of WOC nursing.

Some of the new questions on the scholarship application for both an advanced degree and for a WOC education will include:

  • In 500 words or less, describe why you want to become a WOC nurse. Identify some of your personal strengths/challenges.
  • How do you see daily work as a WOC nurse aligning with the mission and vision of the WOCN Society?
  • In 500 words or less, describe how you view your WOC nurse role evolving as you obtain an advanced degree?
  • What contributions to the profession of WOC nursing do you anticipate due to obtaining an advanced degree?

It is the Society’s belief that the changes to the scholarship application will help identify those who will contribute to the mission, vision and values of the Society and help to advance the WOC nursing profession. We hope you will encourage your co-workers and those interested in WOC nursing to apply for a scholarship when the next cycle begins on January 8, 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the WOCN Society via email at info@wocn.org or call the National Office at 888.224.9626.

Sincerely,

Carole Bauer, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, OCN, CWOCN
Chair of the Scholarship Task Force

Tags:  advanced  application  degree  education  financial  scholarship  WOCNEP 

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What Makes a Successful Abstract?

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Written by National Conference Planning Committee Abstract Chair, Jody Scardillo, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN. Please email Jody with any questions regarding abstracts at ascardil@verizon.net.


Submit_Abstract_WOCN50Do you have a complicated clinical challenge from your practice that you successfully managed? Have you completed a research study, process improvement project or developed an innovative program related to WOC specialty? How about a series of cases with successful outcomes? If so, consider submitting a poster abstract for the WOCN® Society’s 50th Annual Conference, from June 3-6, 2018, in Philadelphia, PA.

If the abstract is accepted, you will present your poster during the Annual Conference at the always exciting poster session. You may even win a prize! The abstract will be published in a supplement of the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (JWOCN). Submitting an abstract is an easy process and a great way to share your knowledge and skills with your peers. The poster presenter is eligible for 10 Professional Growth Program (PGP) points for the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB) recertification for each poster that is presented.

What is an abstract?
The abstract is the summary of the information to be shared on the poster. A successful abstract is pertinent to the WOC nursing specialty, clear, concise and well written. Review the guidelines for preparation and development of posters.

Another way to familiarize yourself with an abstract is to review the accepted abstracts from the 49th Annual Conference and the JWOCN supplement of the scientific and clinical abstracts from the 49th Annual Conference to give you an idea of what colleagues have successfully presented in the past.


What is an Electronic Poster?
ePosterFor the first time in 2018, there will be a select number of posters presented in an electronic format (ePoster). The ePosters will be presented on a monitor in the poster hall instead of a paper poster. The abstract submission process is the same for both traditional paper posters and ePosters. The National Conference Planning Committee is very excited about this cutting edge addition. Click here to learn more about ePosters.


How is the Abstract Reviewed?

The abstract is blind peer-reviewed by 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. The abstracts are reviewed and rated using a valid and reliable tool. Selected research abstracts will be used for oral presentations at the Annual Conference.


2017_First_Time_Poster_PresentersFirst-Time Abstract Presenters
Sage Products will provide the WOCN Society an unrestricted educational grant to provide a limited number of travel scholarships to support first-time abstract presenters with a focus on Preventative Practices for Wounds. This is a great way to attend conference and offset expenses. If your submission meets these criteria, you should check off the first-time presenter button and make sure you choose Preventative Practices under the Wound category.


Tips for Success

  • Read the submission process tutorial before starting your abstract submission.
  • The deadline is the deadline. Submissions will NOT be accepted after Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 11:00 am EST/8:00 am PST.
  • 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.
  • Follow the clear instructions! Yes, that means staying within the 250-word count.
  • Email the Abstract Chair, Jody Scardillo, DNP, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN, (ascardil@verizon.net), with any questions. We want you to succeed and will answer any questions we can. If you have a question it is likely that someone has asked the same question before, so don’t feel embarrassed! Everyone was a novice poster presenter once.

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 happy you did!

Tags:  50  abstract  clinical  conference  education  eposter  pgp  poster  presenter  project  research  study  submit an abstract 

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