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.)
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, July 26, 2018
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Due to the growing need for wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nurses and a strong belief in the continued growth and success of WOC nursing, the WOCN® Society recently launched a campaign called “Fund the Future”. This capital campaign will help to create and grow a lasting network of certified WOC nurses, generate a heightened awareness of the specialty and further advance the quality of life for patients with wound, ostomy and continence needs.
Educational training and clinical practice are essential to the challenging, multi-faceted role of a WOC nurse and, as the demand for WOC nurses increases, it is vital that we equip the profession to respond to and successfully meet any and all future challenges. Donations from this campaign will help the Society raise and disseminate funding for nurses with a financial need to pursue educational and research activities related to wound, ostomy and continence nursing.
Plant the seeds to help nurture future WOC nurses as they seek additional education to grow their knowledge and advance their careers — make a donation and “Fund the Future” today!
Here are some easy ways to make an impact and increase your donations:
1. Double Your Donation with a Matching Gift
Want to double your donation amount? Check to see if your employer has a matching gifts program. If they do simply make your donation, save your donation receipt and inquire with your HR or Employee Relations Department about filling out a matching gifts form to have your employer “match” the gift you gave!
2. Create a Buzz by Adding a Birthday Fundraiser on Facebook
Is your special day coming up? A growing trend on social networks, such as Facebook, is to create a Birthday fundraiser and encourage your friends and followers to donate to a cause that is near and dear to your heart. For further instructions on how to set up your own fundraiser on Facebook, click here.
3. Brag About Your Donation to Friends
Are you on social media? We’ve set up an easy way to brag about your Fund the Future donation with easy-to-use social media “brag badges”. After you make a donation, simply scroll down to the “Show Your Support” section of the Fund the Future homepage and click on the social share button(s) of your choice to brag to your friends and followers and encourage additional donations.
4. Shop Through AmazonSmile
Do you shop on Amazon.com? AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Be sure to select the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society Foundation the next time you shop!
5. Update Your Email Signature
If you have the ability to update your email signature, consider adding a link to the Fund the Future page to spread the news to your contacts about the Society’s fundraising initiative. Adding an image to your signature is as easy as adding a picture to an email.
- Download the Fund the Future image below.
- Go to your email signature settings.
- Click on the "insert picture" icon and upload the Fund the Future image to your signature.
- Paste the web address foundation.wocn.org beneath the image.
- Save your changes.
Click here for detailed instructions on how to add an image to your email signature (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and more).
fund the future
make a difference
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, July 19, 2018
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Started by two certified WOC nurses 5 years ago, UOAA’s “Run for Resilience Ostomy 5K” has blossomed into a major nationwide event to raise awareness of this life-saving surgery. This year's runs are the premier event in the U.S. for World Ostomy Day on October 6, 2018. It is also a key fundraiser to support UOAA’s programs and services.
Inspire and empower your ostomy patients, caregivers and families by running, walking, volunteering or cheering on participants in one of the nine Runs across the country being held on October 6th and 13th. Or sign-up to participate in the Virtual Run/Walk on October 6th from wherever you are located. Challenge your fellow WOC nurses in your region to support your efforts by creating a Fundraising Team and donating to UOAA, the leading ostomy patient support organization.
For complete details, run locations, registration and fundraising options, visit www.ostomy5k.org. You can also contact Christine Ryan, UOAA’s Executive Director, at Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-985-9700 for more information.
run for resilience
Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
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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.
The 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.
Bill of Rights