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About OCA Program
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Background-Rationale for Ostomy Care Associate Program

    1. The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) developed the Ostomy Care Associate (OCA) Program as a continuing education program to further empower wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) specialty nurses and to improve patient outcomes by enhancing the general ostomy knowledge for the entire nursing team.
    2. The course was developed by a taskforce of Society members, appointed by the Board of Directors, who are board-certified WOC nurses with clinical and educational expertise.
    3. The course is a continuing education program geared to prepare non-specialty nurses to provide optimal bedside ostomy care.
    4. The OCA Program is not a certification program.

    Purpose of the Course

    Acknowledging the ever growing demand for ostomy care services in all health care settings, the WOCN Society developed this educational program to:

    1. Educate and prepare more skilled ostomy care providers across all health care settings.
    2. Enhance nurses’ ability to provide optimal care for patients with ostomies.
    3. Equip the non-specialty nurse with the ability to provide optimal care for patients with ostomies under the direction of a supervising WOC specialty nurse (i.e., WOC registered nurse, WOC graduate-level prepared registered nurse, WOC advanced practice registered nurse); a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner; or a clinical nurse specialist (experienced in ostomy care).

    Eligibility for Course Participation

    1. Licensed health care providers:
      • LPN/LVNs.
      • Non baccalaureate RNs.
      • Baccalaureate or Master’s prepared RNs who do not wish to specialize but want more knowledge in ostomy care.
    2. Physicians and other licensed clinicians who want adequate knowledge in ostomy care.
    3. Note: CE hours provided only for nurses.


    OCA Program Content

    The OCA Program consists of 13 lesson modules. The topics of those lessons are listed in the table below. 



    Anatomy & Physiology of GI Tract

    Dorothy Doughty

    Colostomy: Indications, Surgical Construction, and Management

    Dorothy Doughty

    Ileostomy, Jejunostomy: Indications Surgical Construction, and Management

    Janice Colwell

    A & P of GU System: Implications for Ostomy Care

    Janice Colwell

    Incontinent Urinary Diversions: Indications, Surgical Construction and Management

    Janice Colwell

    Pouching Systems

    Janice Colwell

    General Considerations in Ostomy Patient Care and Education

    Dorothy Doughty

    Rehabilitation: Living Well with an Ostomy

    Dorothy Doughty

    Peristomal Complications

    Janice Colwell

    Stomal Complications

    Dorothy Doughty

    Continent Diversions: Abdominal and Pelvic Reservoirs

    Dorothy Doughty

    Fistula Management: Nursing Challenges

    Dorothy Doughty

    Percutaneous Tube Management

    Janice Colwell


    Below are three sample videos taken from the OCA program.

    OCA Program Module 1


    OCA Program Module 6

    OCA Module 7

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