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The WOCN Society® and 3M Presented the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® in Philadelphia with the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety

Posted By Brian Price, Tuesday, June 23, 2015

3M Critical & Chronic Care Solutions Division and the WOCN Society® announced that Cancer Treatment Centers of America® in Philadelphia has received the 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety during the WOCN Society’s 47th Annual Conference.


Now in its fourth year, the annual award recognizes and celebrates leading healthcare facilities that have implemented a patient care program resulting in sustained or improved skin integrity and maintenance. 



Uniting to Maximize Skin Improvements 


The CTCA in Philadelphia organized a Skin Wound Ostomy Team (SWOT), and implemented a prevention program that included the creation of a defined skin care regimen, measures to control factors such as pressure, friction, shear and moisture, patient and family education, clinical training, and protocols that provide staff guidance for preventive care. 


As part of the program, the hospital also adopted “Wound Care Wednesdays” to keep continued focus on these efforts. In the six months following the first “Wound Care Wednesday,” the hospital reported zero hospital-acquired pressure ulcers. Over 50 nurses volunteered for the SWOT team, which reports high levels of satisfaction. And notably, the hospital’s pressure ulcer incidence rate dropped to 1.0 percent in December 2013, from a one-time high of 11.1 percent in 2011.



Awarding Standout Skin Health Leaders


The WOCN Society and 3M co-sponsor the competitive award in order to promote the importance of skin care programs and education and to also recognize Society members and their healthcare facilities who have designed and implemented programs to prevent skin injuries. Previous recipients of the award are Burlington County, N.J.-based Lourdes Specialty Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.-based Strong Memorial Hospital and Tucson, Ariz.-based Northwest Medical Center.


“This year’s award winner demonstrated the kind of real-world results that should serve as a model,” said Laurie McNichol, MSN, RN, GNP, CWOCN, CWON-AP; WOCN Society Development Chair. “The WOCN is excited to showcase their program as a successful case study for other facilities to emulate.”


Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Inc. (CTCA) is a national network of five hospitals that specialize in the treatment of patients fighting complex or advanced-stage cancer.  CTCA offers an integrative approach to cancer treatment that combines surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy with nutritional counseling, naturopathic medicine, mind-body therapy, and spiritual support to enhance quality of life and minimize side effects during treatment.  The company serves patients from all 50 states at hospitals located in Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa.  


The award nomination process for the 2016 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety will open in January. For more information, visit


Tags:  2015 conference  3M award  3M Award for excellence in skin safety  nursing  WOCN 

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Enhance Your Practice with WOCN Publications

Posted By Brian Price, Tuesday, April 28, 2015
One of the many benefits that the WOCN Society offers nurses is access to information that allows them to further educate themselves throughout their career.

For example, the Society recently updated its Discharge Planning for a Patient with a New Ostomy document. The document, a comprehensive discharge plan for patients with new ostomies, educates nurses on basic ostomy skills. The purpose of the updated document is to provide clinicians with a quick guide to the essential elements of a discharge plan, which may be used to facilitate patient education and transitions of care.

Nurses who have purchased the document have raved about it:

"I personally feel it is a very helpful, concise handout that would be of great benefit to those at an entry level to ostomy care and the related discharge planning. I plan to incorporate it into my orientation of staff and student nurses.” – Sue Gluek, RN, CWON, The Community Hospital

"In a nutshell, this has been a great tool for other staff to reference when I am away, including how to get supplies, where to obtain them and what the patient needs. I am usually the only one that pre-orders supplies for patients, as I am the only ET for inpatient and outpatient care. When on vacation, there is a great disconnect.

Acute care nurses don’t know what should be provided, from where, and they have the misconception that home care ALWAYS provides supplies. Social service doesn’t know what to order (lack of knowledge in ostomy care). This guideline has provided detailed information for staff nurses when I am not available. Great job!” – Lori Lynne, Nurse Manager of an outpatient wound clinic associated with Meadville Medical Center.

"The publication "Discharge Planning for a Patient with a New Ostomy” has been a great resource. With this new publication, I have been able to update our Ostomy Care Policy, educate Case Managers concerning discharge plan, train new WOC nurses concerning ostomy care and provide tips for patients. The benefits from owning this publication have improved my practice by being able to stay current with information, improving processes to promote the continuum of care for patients with ostomies and being able to provide the best care possible.” - Tyree Fender, RN, CWOCN, CFCN, Confluence Health.

The document helps both non-WOC nurses and new WOC nurses by providing a guideline to ensure that a comprehensive ostomy education is done for a patient with a new ostomy before being discharged. The document features information on ordering ostomy supplies, ostomy manufacturers and support resources that are helpful with the transitions of care from hospital to home.

For more information or to purchase Discharge Planning for a Patient with a New Ostomy members click here. Nonmembers click here.

Tags:  ostomy 

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A WOCN Member's Response to the CDC’s "Tips from Former Smokers" Campaign

Posted By Becky Carroll, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

By Amanda Blanton, BSN, RN, CWOCN

For the majority of my nursing career, I have been a WOC nurse (and loved every minute). Before receiving WOC training, I worked as a staff nurse on a step-down unit where I was often faced with life and death situations. Quick thinking and saving lives is a part of the job people always ask me if I miss since I decided to become a WOC nurse. What nurses outside our world don't fully comprehend is how we save lives each and every day.

Life isn't just about the breaths we take or the number of times our heart beats. Life is about our passions, the people we love and the hobbies we enjoy doing. In my 5½ years of WOC nursing, I have witnessed firsthand how ostomates fight to return to a normal life and struggle to conform to what society says is normal. It is our job to support, educate and encourage every individual that requires an ostomy so that they may have every possible chance at embracing their new life, because in every case the stoma has done just that – given them a new lease on life.

No one could have prepared me for how my life's work would encompass being a friend, a counselor or just a shoulder to cry as these individuals navigate their ostomy journeys. Additionally, no one could have prepared me for how inspired I would be by each ostomate's perseverance, strength and will to live again. These reasons are why I was so stunned by the CDC's ad.

I speak to all my WOC nurse colleagues when I say we must take offense to the CDC's "Tips from Former Smokers" ad for its implied assumptions and stigmas about life with an ostomy. We cannot stand idly by while these ads destroy our work and the reality that each ostomate, present and future, can have a normal life.

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WOCN Society Staff Visits WOCNEP

Posted By Becky Carroll, Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On Monday, March 30, 2015, WOCN Society National Office representatives Heather Martinek, Becky Dryden, Megan Grant and Cynthia Cook visited the Rutgers University School of Nursing-Camden. The team had the opportunity to meet with Program Director Janice M. Beitz, PhD, RN, CS, CNOR, CWOCN, CRNP, APNC, MAPWCA, FAAN, Professor of Nursing, and nurses participating in the Rutgers University School of Nursing-Camden Wound, Ostomy and Continence Education Program (WOCNEP). Students who complete the didactic and practicum portions of the program are qualified to sit for the wound, ostomy and continence nursing certification exams offered by the WOC Nursing Certification Board. These certifications are recognized by the American Nurses Association.

It was an exciting exchange of information with the students engaged in accessing the WOCN website and learning about the many benefits of WOCN Society membership and its resources – resources such as access to a wide variety of educational information and guidelines for the specialty, plus access to like-minded professional colleagues to support patient challenges.

These students plays a critical role in the safe patient care of individuals across the lifespan and across healthcare settings (acute care, home care, assisted living, long-term care). As the population ages and with the dramatic surge in chronic illnesses like diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease, oncologic disorders and urinary/fecal incontinence, the demand for WOC-certified nurses is growing rapidly.

Learn more about the WOCNEPs.

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Announcing a new tool for bedside clinicians

Posted By Lauren Schoener-Gaynor, Thursday, April 2, 2015

The WOCN Society is pleased to announce the launch of an electronic version of the support surface selection algorithm. Clinicians may now access the algorithm electronically via smartphones, tablets, and other internet-connected devices. The algorithm, published earlier this year in the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing, is the first evidence- and consensus-based algorithm for support surface selection that has undergone content validation.


The Society created the electronic version in order to provide bedside clinicians with easily-accessible information to aid in making consistent decisions about support surface selection. Development of the algorithm was funded in part by an unrestricted educational grant from Hill-Rom. 


Access the algorithm now and share it with colleagues who make decisions regarding the selection of support surfaces for patients. 

Tags:  mobile algorithm  support service algorithm  woc nurse  WOCN 

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