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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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Reasons Why WOC Nurses are Superheroes

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Friday, April 12, 2019

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… WOC nurse!

WOCN-19-NurseWeek-Pin-800x80.jpgWhen you think of who typically comes to saves the day, you may think of a fictional superhero from comic books or movies. The reality is that Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nurses are our everyday heroes! They come to save the day for millions of people living with wound, ostomy and continence care needs. WOC nurses may not have movies or television shows dedicated to them (yet!), but they possess many of the same traits as superheroes. If you are a WOC nurse, if you know a WOC nurse, or if you have been a patient of a WOC nurse you know the truth.

Here are reasons that prove WOC nurses are real life superheroes:

1. They have healing powers

WOC nurses use their clinical expertise to provide intensive physical and emotional care. They help patients return to their normal lives by:

  •  Treating and preventing chronic wounds, pressure ulcers (injuries), venous leg ulcers, diabetes mellitus and surgical wounds.
  • Helping to select pre-operative stoma site marking to ensure post-operative independence, identifying and treating common peristomal skin problems, providing nutritional support, implementing moisture management interventions and teaching individuals how to use pouching systems.
  • Assessing physical, psychological and social aspects of urinary and fecal incontinence, preventing and treating catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) and providing support treatment to help restore continence.

2. They are selfless

To be a nurse, you must love it. WOC nurses are one-of-a-kind. They are dedicated to their patients. Patients honor WOC nurses for the care, kindness, guidance and support they provide. WOC nurses take the time to really get to know their patients to better help understand care for their individual needs. WOC nurses are always there if you ever need anything!

3. They are brave

The healthcare field is not for the faint of heart, and WOC nurses show courage and bravery in many aspects of their career and daily lives. Many of the situations that WOC nurses face include bleak medical conditions, fast-paced decisions that could affect the life of another, hospital protocols and helping soothe scared patients.

4. They are strong

Being a WOC nurse requires both physical and mental strength. They often spend a lot of time on their feet performing physically demanding procedures. WOC nurses remain mentally strong for their patients. WOC nurses constantly provide reassurance and knowledge to help patients become confident and independent in their abilities to move forward with a new way of life.


 If you or a loved one are suffering from a wound that won't heal, facing ostomy surgery, or having problems with incontinence you deserve a Wound, Ostomy and Continence nurse!

Tags:  blog  brave  caring  continence  healing  nurses  nursing  ostomy  selfless  strong  superhero  superpower  woc nurse week  wound 

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Frequently Asked Questions About WOCNext 2019

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Wednesday, January 9, 2019

WOCNext_2019_Logo

1. I want to take advantage of the member discount on registration fees, but my membership expires soon. What should I do?
Renew your WOCN membership BEFORE registering to ensure you receive the correct savings and have a smooth registration experience. Click here to update your WOCN membership now. Not a member? Join now.


2. I want to register now, but I can only pay by check. Is that an option?
This year everyone can register online. If you are going to pay by check, you can now submit all of your information online and opt for a check payment at the end of your registration process.


3. I noticed that the format of this year's schedule is different. Will this change the way we evaluate sessions and receive Contact Hours?
This year the education at WOCNext will be presented under trending healthcare themes:

  • Wellness
  • Symptom Science
  • Quality
  • Clinical Care Innovations

The themes are new and allow us to more seamlessly integrate our specialties of wound, ostomy, continence, and professional practice material into current and meaningful areas of focus in healthcare. Not to worry, each session still falls under one or more of these specialties and your evaluation process and access to Contact Hours will not be affected. Each session's specialty is listed under the session description in the event schedule.


4. I see that that "increased product knowledge" is something that is listed as new this year. What does that mean for attendees and exhibitors?
Given your feedback, 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. You will use MyWOCN to create these appointments, which can be scheduled from 11am - 12pm on both Monday and Tuesday. More information on the scheduling tool will be coming soon!


5. 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. If you work with patients that have wounds, ostomies or incontinence needs, this event is for you. The content being offered is equally applicable to those working in research, quality improvement, and the legal profession. There’s something for everyone at WOCNext!


If you have any questions that are not listed, please contact the National Office at info@wocn.org or 888.224.9626.

Tags:  acute care  conference  content  education  event  FAQ  healthcare  home health  hospital  Nashville  nurse  nurses  nursing  physical therapist  physician  physician's assistant  registration  respite  telehealth  WOCNext 

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#ISaidWhatIWant Starts With Nurses

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Monday, November 5, 2018

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.

ISaidWhatIWant_graphic

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
CarolynWatts_credentials
WOCN Society's Liaison for Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association

Tags:  #ISaidWhatIWant  ACP  advanced care planning  decision-making  end-of-life  hashtag  hospice  medical orders  nurses  nursing  palliative  social media 

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Run/Walk In Support Of Your Patients!

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Thursday, July 19, 2018

Run_For_Resilience_Logo

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.ryan@ostomy.org or 207-985-9700 for more information.

Tags:  awareness  fundraise  nurses  ostomy  run for resilience  UOAA 

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Dealing With Life As A Double Ostomate

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Friday, December 9, 2016
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2016

taylor baby picture

How my journey as a double ostomate began:

I grew up in a loving family with five siblings. At the age of three, along with being a twin, I was developing my personality while enjoying time with my siblings, getting ready to start pre-school and feeling filled with joy. I had no worries in the world. I never imagined that one day playing in the backyard my clothing would start to fill with blood.

My parents rushed me to the University Of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) in Baltimore. After several days of testing, the diagnosis was a rare form of vaginal cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. After receiving advice from medical physicians, my parents decided to transfer me to a hospital that specialized in this rare type of cancer.

taylor surgery in hospital

My childhood, and most of my adolescent years, was spent at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York. Along with chemotherapy, radiation and too many surgeries to count, I was faced with having two ostomies (a colostomy & urostomy) for rest of my life. The doctors, surgeons, social workers, medical staff and ostomy nurses made my life as normal as possible. The care they showed was beyond their medical titles and duties. My family is ever so grateful to everyone at MSKCC for their care.

After the age of 12, I was able to do my follow up visit back in Baltimore under the care of Dr. Fromm at UMMC. Since 1995, I have been under the care of Dr. Faud Abbas at the Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. I look forward to my doctor visits. When you find a doctor like Dr. Abbas, you feel comfortable knowing your health is in good hands.

Since having two ostomies from the age of three, my life has proven to be a journey of unexpected challenges. While others appeared to be living a “normal life,” I struggled with self-pity, unhappiness, depression and low self-esteem. I found it hard, embarrassing and painful to be considered “different.”

How I dealt with what life had dealt me:

taylor ostomy awaress I Can shirtMy parents taught me to love myself and to know that my medical circumstance does not dictate my future. Their faith in God helped me to know I was going to be alright.

The support from my family and friends made my life feel normal again. I contacted my local United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc. (UOAA) chapter for support. I discussed different ostomy products to try with ostomy nurses. If a product worked for me, I stuck with that. I dealt with leaks and blowouts by keeping extra clothes and products in my car, at work and at friends’ houses. I still do not dwell on leaks; I clean up and keep moving. When you accept being an ostomate, others will. It is what it is and no one is to blame. If you lived your life before you had an ostomy there is no reason why you cannot live your life with one. Love the essence of who you are.

taylor woke up like thisWhat helped me to accept my ostomies:

The mantra LIVE FOR TODAY - don’t dwell on what happened yesterday and enjoy the moment is what helped me to learn that I am more than my ostomies.

Advice for my fellow ostomates:

taylor fashion gold dressI encourage other ostomates to get out and try activities and hobbies such as sports, reading, having fun, laughing, attending support groups, leaning on family for support and seeking out to the WOCN Society for additional support. And do not let your ostomy pouches stop your fashion style! Try different styles of clothing to see what makes you feel confident - the best fashion style we have is our inner beauty.

I am blessed to have my desires, passions and dreams come true. I am a double ostomate and have been a fashion model for over 17 years. Through my career, I am helping cancer survivors, encouraging ostomy patients, guiding aspiring fashion models and inspiring those suffering with low self-esteem. Just by looking at my outer appearance, no one could ever tell I live with these medical adversities and what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week.

taylor fashion black dress

We all have the ability to make a difference, to change lives, to be a role model and be all that we can be as an ostomate.

I know am beautiful from the inside out, despite my life being a journey of unexpected challenges. I am trying to change the lives of others by telling my story through my book, Pretty Girl Blues: An Autobiography, my intimate journey of being a survivor. The adversities and obstacles that I overcame allow me to encourage, inspire and motivate others to “live their life on purpose with a purpose for a purpose.”

 

About the Author:
Jearlean Alston-Taylor was born and raised in Southwest Baltimore, MD. She grew up in a happy home with five siblings, including her twin sister. At the age of three, Taylor was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Doctors thought she would not live to see four. Today, Taylor has beaten all odds and uses writing and modeling as an outlet and a way to connect with other ostomates. Taylor is the CEO of J & Company Christian Modeling and Osto Beauties.

Tags:  cancer  chemotherapy  colostomy  double  fashion  inspire  journey  model  motivate  nurses  ostomate  ostomy  p  radiation  Rhabdomyosarcoma  specialized care  struggle  support  surgery  survivor  urostomy 

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