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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 Patient Working Toward Becoming Ostomy Nurse

Posted By Jenna Bertini, Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The content in this blog was provided by Charlotte Rensberger, Blog Coordinator at Girls with Guts


I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and had my first ostomy as a teenager. As if pimples, periods, and boobs weren’t enough to deal with, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was now pooping from a hole in my stomach. At that time, I was treated by an adult surgeon and placed into an adult shared room. My WOC nurse then made it clear that not only did she not take care of many pediatric patients but that she also did not particularly enjoy them. I had nothing but trouble with that ostomy, and probably have some PTSD related to that experience. After nine months, I was able to get my j-pouch and leave that ostomy in the past.

Fast forward to 2015 and a failing j-pouch. I was so sick. I drove from southwest Michigan to the University of Chicago for a second opinion. That’s where I met Michele Kaplon-Jones, my new WOC nurse. I met her pre-surgery, where she did a ton of teaching, tear wiping, and hand holding. It was such a struggle to get past all the negative thoughts I had from my teenage experiences. But Michele set the stage during my first encounter with her, and I believe she prepared me for success… even if the surgery didn’t go well. I don’t have a great memory of those first few days; but I do remember Michele checking in on me every day—even when I didn’t have any medical needs for a WOC nurse to take care of.

"That’s where I met... my new WOC nurse. I met her pre-surgery, where she did a ton of teaching, tear wiping, and hand holding."

I live about 2.5 hours away from Michele’s clinic. I have been working to establish a local care team, but I just can’t give her up!! Michele's demeanor is one that just makes you want to be genuine with her. I feel like I can share anything without judgement. My stoma gives me trouble occasionally and requires a lot of convexity. Michele still checks on meeven from afar via email. She gives me so much encouragement and confidence, that the inconvenience of the 2.5 drive to see her is priceless.

I have also found support through a group called Girls With Guts (GWG). Since GWG began in 2012, it has empowered thousands of women with irritable bowel disease (IBD) and/or an ostomy. Through Girls With Guts, IBD patients can learn the latest medical updates. The organization also gathers supplies that can be sent to women in need. You often see new ostomates connect with veteran ostomates to find out that life doesn’t end with a stoma.

Like many, I developed close friendships and bonded with women who experienced the same pain, questions, and frustrations I had. When I go to our private online forum on Facebook, I know someone in the group had something happen to them that I can relate to. These experiences are invaluable for my well-being and future.

Charlotte_winnie_ostomyI am now a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. After reading post after post from Girls With Guts, it is clear we need more experienced and caring WOC nurses. After surgery, ostomates often feel alone—but they don’t have to feel that way. I learned that from my WOC nurse's compassionate care. So, I started looking into becoming a certified WOC nurse last year. I was accepted into the Rutgers University School of Nursing-Camend Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing Education Program, and am now waiting to start my courses.

"...it is clear we need more experienced and caring WOC nurses."

I now have a permanent ostomy and am thankful I met Michele early on this journey. I need her and am relieved to know she’s only a phone call away. I can only hope that, at some point, I become the top notch WOC nurse that Michele is for me and to so many other ostomates. 


Charlotte Rensberger is from Battle Creek, Michigan. She has been battling Crohn's disease since she was 16 years old and has a permanent ileostomy at age 36. She has been married for 13 years and has two school aged children who keep her busy. Charlotte is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner who currently works in a community hospital's newborn nursery. In her spare time, she bakes, refinishes furniture, buys antiques, crafts, and sings with her church's worship band.

Tags:  ostomy 

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Exciting news from the WOCN Society Education Committee: New Certification Review Courses Now Available!

Posted By Kristin Petty, Thursday, January 30, 2020

I am pleased to announce the launch of the WOCN® Society’s brand-new certification review courses in wound, ostomy, and continence.  The Education Committee is particularly excited to launch each of these new courses, as we feel that they address the needs of individuals preparing for their 1st or even 5th certification exam.  We have all been there and remember the anxiety of board certification and want our members to have the best resources to complement their brain banks with course information to be successful. This project involved in-depth research to address and close any gaps of information that you will need to sit for certification or re-certification. 

What's New

Those who purchase the courses will notice the use of different media styles throughout each course; these new features were added to match each learner with the style that best fits their learning needs.  We are also very pleased and excited to bring different speakers to highlight the information on each of the scopes of practice.  We could not have put together this project without their perspective and expertise. 

Key Highlights of Our New Certification Review Courses

  • All three courses follow the exam content outlines that can be found in the WOCNCB's Certification Exam Handbook and include information about how to prepare for the exams, along with test-taking tips.
  • Each course includes study questions that test knowledge and comprehension--available within the presentation and via a downloadable supplement!
  • Each course includes downloadable resources as well as audio presentations and links to additional tools to make studying easy to do on-the-go.
  • All courses are available for Contact Hours and feature presentations by leading experts in the WOC nursing field.

Why Certification?

Certification is important to market our skill sets to the populations that we serve. We know that your journey has been intense and stressful to get to this point.  We all hear you….and we want to give you what you need to succeed.  Once you are (re)certified, then the sky is the limit with what you can do.  Board certification gives the credibility to you and the service that you give to your colleagues and patients.  It gives you the opportunity to market your skills to others and educate them to join our incredible knowledge base of WOC nursing.

Whether you are preparing for certification or re-certification, good luck! 

Zoe Bishop, BSN, RN, CWOCN
WOCN Society Education Committee Chair


WOUND

Wound Certification Review Course

3.93 Contact Hours 
This course provides basic content based on the WOCNCB® wound testing domain, including wound management, pressure injuries, lower extremity diseases, and other types of wounds.


Ostomy Certification Review Course

2.77 Contact Hours 
This course provides basic content based on the WOCNCB® ostomy testing domain, including fecal and urinary diversion.

 


ContinenceContinence Certification Review Course

3.8 Contact Hours, 0.17 Pharmacology Credits
This course provides basic content based on the WOCNCB® continence testing domain, including fundamental concepts of continence nursing.

Tags:  certification  continence  coursestudy  education  ostomy  WOCN  wound 

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Celebrate Ostomy Awareness Day 2019

Posted By Jenna Bertini, Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ostomy-Awareness-Day-2019-LogoThe WOCN® Society is proud to help the United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA) celebrate Ostomy Awareness Day (OAD), on Saturday, October 5, 2019.

To help celebrate, we have released a special bonus WOCTalk podcast episode. In this episode, we talk with Joanna Burgess, BSN, RN, CWOCN, a dedicated full scope wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) nurse living with two ostomies. Listen to hear about Joanna's healthcare journey, her career as a WOC nurse, and her involvement with UOAA and Ostomy Awareness Day.


To equip WOC nurses and allied health professionals who work with individuals living with ostomies, we have launched 5 ostomy-related continuing education courses:

Fistula Management: Returning the Patient's Freedom
Contact Hours: 0.89 
Speaker: Judith Landis Erdman, BSN, RN, CWOCN

Restructuring Healthcare Delivery to Meet the Outpatient Ostomy Patient Needs: Strategies for Success
Contact Hours: 0.32
Speaker: Jennifer Turner, MSN-Ed, RN, APRN, FNP-BC, CWOCN

WOC Nursing Management of Parastomal Hernias
Contact Hours: 1.07
Speakers: David Stein, MD, Chairman, and Jo Catanzaro, MSN, RN, CWOCN

A Comprehensive View on Ostomy Education: Integration of Technology
Contact Hours: 0.29
Speaker: Angela Dean, BSN, RN, MAHCA

Complex Pediatric Pouching Problems
Contact Hours: 1.01
Speaker: Judith Stellar, MSN, CRNP, PPCNP-BC, CWOCN

Society members have free access to these courses. Non-members can access these courses for a small fee.


UOAA is dedicated to engaging the ostomy community across the country to inspire, educate, and support people who have had or who may have ostomy or continent diversion surgery. Here are a few ways that you can get involved in spreading awareness:

  • Share your story and/or photos and videos on social media using the hashtags #OstomyDay2019 and #MyOstomyMyLifesaver, and tag UOAA on Facebook @uoaainc, on Instagram @uoaa_ and on Twitter @uoaa.
  • Share, post or print the “Ostomies Are Life-Savers” infographic that describes the important lifesaving message that ostomies provide.
  • Support, join or cheer on the 6th annual Run for Resilience Ostomy 5k near you or do a virtual run/walk. You can register or get more information at www.ostomy5k.org

For additional ways that you can get involved in Ostomy Awareness Day online and in your community, please click here.

 

Tags:  advocacy  awareness  celebrate  continuing education  education  ostomy  ostomy awareness  Ostomy Awareness Day  ostomy course  UOAA  WOCTalk 

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Reasons Why WOC Nurses are Superheroes

Posted By Jenna 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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Listen and Subscribe to WOCTalk, the WOCN Society's Podcast Channel

Posted By Jenna Bertini, Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Introducing WOCTalk, a Podcast Channel Courtesy of the WOCN® Society

As clinical experts, leaders and passionate caregivers, it can sometimes be a challenge to find the time to stay up-to-date on the latest healthcare advances, industry news and education. The WOCN Society recognizes that WOC nurses have limited time during, and even after their working hours, and we are dedicated to finding new ways to help support your practice-- that is why we are pleased to introduce our new podcast channel, WOCTalk.

WOCTalk is your opportunity to learn more about advocacy, education, and research that supports the practice and delivery of expert healthcare to individuals with wound, ostomy, and continence care needs—in a new, easily digestible format.

What is a podcast? 

If you are unfamiliar with what a podcast is, just think of an audio program (such as a music or news program) that is similar to a radio show, but available for download over the Internet or through an app store on a computer or mobile device.

How can you listen to WOCTalk?


Download/Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Download/Subscribe on Google Podcasts

Download/Subscribe on Android

Download/Subscribe on TuneIn

Download/Subscribe on Stitcher

Download/Subscribe on Spotify

Learn more by visiting wocn.org/podcast

New episodes will be released every two weeks. If you think you'd be a good guest for an upcoming episode, you have an idea to share with us, or you would like your questions or issues addressed in an upcoming episode of WOCTalk, send an email to podcast@wocn.org.

Tags:  audio  channel  continence  continence care  discuss  download  episode  incontinence  interview  listen  nursing  ostomy  ostomy care  podcast  subscribe  WOCTalk  wound  wound care 

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