Posted By Jenna A. Bertini,
Thursday, November 1, 2018
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Q&A with Sunniva Zaratkiewicz, PhD, RN, CWCN
National Conference Planning Committee Chair
What goes into planning a big educational event like WOCNext?
So much more goes into planning than I ever realized prior to joining the National Conference Planning Committee (NCPC). It’s a full year of meetings and the dedication of many volunteers and WOCN staff who make the event happen. The amount of time that each track co-chair puts into finding just the right topics and speakers, the time in communication with speakers and the broader NCPC, is no small commitment. Most impressively, everyone involved is dedicated, patient, and willing to work hard to ensure we provide the best possible content and experience for attendees.
What was the thought process behind rebranding the WOCN Society’s conference for 2019 (and beyond)?
We heard from our members that they were looking for innovations and change. We took these recommendations and dedicated focused time on the committee in which we discussed adult learning theory and recent industry trends, along with relevant and novel research. These conversations and collaboration allowed us to reframe the way we did things in the past in a way that retains the well-respected integrity of the event and incorporates new and innovative approaches to information sharing and education.
What does the name WOCNext mean to you?
WOCNext means not only keeping the stride with an ever-changing and evolving healthcare environment, but being a leader in setting the pace that drives patient care, education, and research with an ever-present focus on the best possible patient outcomes.
What’s new this year for attendees?
Themes: how were the themes decided?
We looked at national aims in healthcare quality and improvement along with feedback from our members and found the common ground that linked these. Not surprisingly, the feedback and national aims were closely mirrored. This year, the education at WOCNext will be presented under the following themes:
Behaviors, actions and interventions to promote health and well-being.
- Symptom Science
Understanding pathophysiology and manifestations of acute and chronic illness.
Measures of patient-centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient and equitable care.
- Clinical Care Innovations
Advancing practice through the integration of education and research.
Format: what was the goal for creating 30,60, and 90-minute sessions? What else is new about educational formats in 2019?
Higher education adopted these variations in traditional class/lecture times some time ago. As time goes on, other conferences and educational events have had success with this format as well. The themes are new and allow us to more seamlessly integrate wound, ostomy, continence, and professional practice material into current and meaningful areas of focus in healthcare. The approach is well rounded and inclusive… and, I think, fun!
Increased product knowledge: what does that mean for attendees and exhibitors?
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.
Enhanced networking opportunities
I’m very excited about having a mixer for all attendees on the first night. Be ready for some fun ways to get to know your colleagues, meet new folks, and re-connect with others.
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. The content is equally applicable to those working in research, quality improvement, and the legal profession. There’s something for everyone at WOCNext!
What are you the most excited about at WOCNext 2019?
Between the amazing speakers and topics, networking with other WOC clinicians and researchers, getting to know new attendees, checking out the vendor hall, and enjoying Nashville, it’s pretty hard to decide what I’m most excited about at WOCNext 2019. Fair to say, I’m planning on enjoying every minute!
For more information on WOCNext 2019, please visit wocnext.org.
advanced practice nurse
clinical care innovation
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,
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