What Is An Ostomy?
An Ostomy is a surgical procedure creating an opening from the bowel or ureters to the abdomen, resulting in a stoma, for the purpose of eliminating waste (stool/urine).
The digestive tract is a hollow tube which stretches from the mouth to the anus and is lined with mucous membrane. As food travels through the system, enzymes are added which break down the food into a form that can be absorbed and used by our bodies. It is important to remember that digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place in the small bowel. Therefore, if there is a need for the removal of the large bowel because of disease, the normal digestive process is minimally unchanged. The main function of the colon is to extract fluid and salt from the stool and act as a storage organ.
Ostomies are created to overcome problems with the bowel or bladder which are caused by injury, disease or congenital defect. All ostomies allow for the discharge of normal waste through a surgically created opening (stoma) in the abdomen. Most ostomates wear a pouch to cover the stoma and to collect body waste, but a few have some control over-discharge of waste and do not need an appliance.
What is an NSWOC Nurse?
Nurses Specializing in Wound, Ostomy and Continence Canada (NSWOCC) represents over 500 Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence across Canada. NSWOCC advocates for the highest quality of specialized wound, ostomy and continence nursing to individuals requiring wound, ostomy and continence care. A Nurse Specializing in Wound, Ostomy and Continence (NSWOC) is a registered nurse with advanced and specialized knowledge and clinical skills in wound, ostomy and continence care who has graduated from a World Council of Enterostomal Therapists (WCET) recognized education program. Recognized as Nurses who have specialized training in wound, ostomy and continence by the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA), Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy and Continence are the ONLY nursing specialty with CNA certification in wound, ostomy and continence care (WOCC(C)). From acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, community, long term care and in independent practice, a NSWOC provides specialized holistic assessment and management as an interprofessional team member to meet the needs of individuals/families with ostomies, acute and chronic wounds and urinary and fecal continence problems.