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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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Easy Ways to Fund the Future of WOC Nursing!

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fund-the_Future_banner

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_Grow_Fund_the_Future

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
Fund_the_Future_Brag_BadgeAre 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_Logo

Tags:  501(c)(3)  achievement  advocacy  clinical  donate  education  foundation  fund the future  fundraise  future  impact  make a difference  nursing  outcomes  patient  research  specialty  student  WOC nurse 

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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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WOCN Society Member Highlights Experience Presenting at the 2016 National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Conference

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WOCN Society member, Teri Robinson, RN, BSN, CWON, shared her recent experience about presenting educational sessions at the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

You can read Teri's story below, and if you have a story you would like to share please email us at share@wocn.org.

It was a great opportunity to present at NSNA in Orlando this year. I was able to meet a student board member and the editor. It was very impressive to see the new generation of nurses active in nursing.  Their excitement and passion validated why I chose this career and why I still love it!

I presented two sessions on “Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses: Who we are and what we do”.  Both sessions were extremely well attended. The first session was completely full and the second was ¾ full.  I had great questions from the audience during and after the presentations.  These included flexibility of the role, the schools offered, and private practice opportunities.  This was a very rewarding experience. I am thankful for the opportunity to share the varied roles Nursing can offer, especially WOC nursing specialty.

Tags:  NSNA  nursing  nursing student  WOC  woc nurse  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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Share Your Story: How my Own WOC Nurses Inspired my Passion

Posted By Becky Carroll, Monday, January 4, 2016
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2016

We asked members to share their story about why they are passionate about WOC nursing. WOCN Society member, Heather Brigstock, ADN, RN, shared her incredible journey of how the care from her WOC nurses inspired her to pursue a career in WOC nursing. You can read Heather's story below and if you have a story you'd like to share please email us at share@wocn.org

     On May 2, 2001, I underwent a total proctocolectomy resulting in a permanent ileostomy. I was 22 years old and 4 years into my battle with Crohn’s Disease. My first experience with a WOC nurse was my preoperative appointment for site marking. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was to get a preoperative visit with a WOC nurse. I didn’t even know what a WOC nurse was. But during those first days of recovery in the hospital, I figured out very quickly that the WOC nurse was my lifeline. I tried to listen and retain everything I was taught in the hospital, but between the pain, nausea and orthostatic hypotension, I still went home feeling overwhelmed. The day I got home, I had a dehiscence of my abdominal incision. It was draining copious amounts of fluid, and was very scary. My home WOC nurse, Zora Hocking, was there right away. She taught my family how to pack my wound and we embarked on a long and slow process of wound healing. I was 95 pounds at 5 feet, 8 inches tall. My WOC nurse stressed the importance of my nutrition in my healing. On top of all of this, I kept having leaks under the wafer of my ileostomy appliance. I felt like I was falling apart. Zora switched me to a different pouching system-the system I still use to this day, because it is the only one I can wear without leaking. Something as simple as making the leaks stop was a huge boost in my confidence level. I could leave the house with confidence for the first time to go to my appointments. Slowly, my abdominal wound healed and I adjusted to life with an ileostomy. I gained some weight, was discharged from home care and returned to work.

     Over the next few years, I went back to school to complete my prerequisites for nursing school and I got pregnant with my first baby. After delivering my baby daughter, I was visited by a WOC nurse, Marsha Connelly, to check in and make sure I was doing well. I had no complications from the pregnancy or delivery, but about six months later my stoma retracted. I started having leaks and my pouch life went from seven days to 12 hours. I didn’t know what to do and there were no outpatient WOC nurses in my area, so I called Zora and asked for help. After she assessed me, she knew I needed to go see a surgeon for revision. The day after the final in my anatomy class, I went in for a revision which turned into a bowel resection as well.  Marsha was my WOC nurse in the hospital and she helped me adjust to this new stoma in a new location. She and Zora were tasked with getting me up and running within two weeks of surgery-my summer chemistry class was starting. Somehow, they did just that. I was able to get to the first day of my chemistry class; I had steri-strips still on my abdomen, but I made it.

     Soon after, I was an official nursing student. The most rewarding experience I had in nursing school was taking care of a new ostomate. My patient was struggling and would not even look at the ostomy or acknowledge that it was there. I asked him if he would like to know what I like about having an ostomy. In that moment, I could see a wall come down in his eyes. “You mean you have an ostomy?” he asked. I nodded and smiled. “But I couldn’t even tell!” he told me. “No, and no one will be able to tell you have an ostomy either” I responded. By the end of that shift, he was emptying his pouch independently. Just knowing that he wasn’t alone was enough. The experience of taking care of a new ostomate lit a fire inside me. I knew that I had found my passion, but I was overwhelmed being a new nurse and any additional education seemed out of reach. When I graduated from nursing school, I had my second baby girl and went to work as a new nurse.

     Several years passed by and I experienced a severe relapse of my Crohn’s disease. On top of this, my stoma was retracting again. By this point, I had two young daughters who were quite proficient in ostomy care. At times, they would wear one of my pouches to “look like Mommy.” Due to the disease and the retracted stoma, I had to undergo another bowel resection and stoma revision. Once again, Zora was by my side, helping me adjust to yet another stoma in yet another location.

     I have now had my ileostomy for almost 15 years. The same WOC nurses have taken care of me that entire time. It is like seeing old friends who have coached me along a very long journey. If I didn’t have the care of amazing WOC nurses, I would never have had my children and I would never have had the confidence to go to school. This August, I will graduate with my Master of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco. Immediately after graduation, I will be starting a WOC Nursing Education Program. My area of focus in school has been the long term support of ostomy patients. Without WOC nurses, there would be no long term support for patients like myself. Like the patient I took care of when I was a student years ago, we all have a need to feel understood. WOC nurses are the only people we can turn to when we have a complication. All patients with chronic health needs deserve to have competent care, ostomy patients like myself deserve to have access to a WOC nurse. Nothing less will do.   

Heather Brigstock, ADN, RN

Tags:  Nursing  Ostomy  WOC nurse  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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Coming Up Short: The Need for Nurses

Posted By Lauren Schoener-Gaynor, Monday, October 5, 2015

Nursing School Hub shared its newest infographic explaining the need for nurses with The Society.

Nursing School Hub was formed  to provide useful information and resources to those interested in the field of Nursing. Nursing is a rapidly growing field with many promising opportunities for employment. The Nursing School Hub staff felt it was important to create a site that provides accurate information to help those interested in nursing to make an informed decision about what nursing job suits them and where to go to school.

Over the next decade, it is predicted the U.S. will see a significant shortage of nurses in the healthcare industry. As many nurses retire, their shoes of many of them aren’t being filled. With the need for qualified nurses expanding each year, how can we combat the coming scarcity of well-trained RNs?

The Need for Nurses

Tags:  nurse  nurses  nursing  WOC nurse 

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