Work and Employment

Thriving in the Workplace with an Ileostomy


Navigating the professional world with an ileostomy presents unique challenges, but it doesn’t have to be a barrier to a successful and fulfilling career. This article provides practical advice for individuals with an ileostomy to manage their condition effectively while excelling in their professional life. From workplace accommodations to personal management strategies, we’ll explore how to balance health needs with career ambitions.

Understanding Your Rights and Seeking Accommodations

  • Know Your Legal Protections: Familiarize yourself with workplace laws and regulations that protect individuals with medical conditions, such as the Accessible Canada Act (ACA).

  • Requesting Reasonable Accommodations: Do not hesitate to request reasonable accommodations from your employer, like flexible scheduling for medical appointments or a private space for ostomy care.

  • Confidentiality and Disclosure: Understand your rights regarding confidentiality and consider how much you wish to disclose to your employer and colleagues.

  • Building a Support System: Establish a support system within your workplace, whether it’s a trusted colleague or a human resources representative.

Managing Your Health at Work

  • Routine and Scheduling: Establish a routine for ostomy care that fits your work schedule, such as regular breaks for maintenance.

  • Emergency Kit: Keep an emergency kit with ostomy supplies at your workplace to manage unexpected situations.

  • Diet and Hydration: Be mindful of your diet and hydration needs during work hours to avoid discomfort or complications.

  • Stress Management: Practice stress-reduction techniques, as stress can impact your overall health and well-being.

Career Development and Self-Advocacy

  • Focusing on Your Strengths: Concentrate on your skills and strengths in your job role, demonstrating your value and capabilities.

  • Seeking Professional Growth: Don’t shy away from seeking new opportunities for professional growth, such as training, workshops, or higher responsibilities.

  • Self-Advocacy: Be your own advocate, ensuring that your needs are met while showcasing your commitment and professionalism.

  • Networking and Support Groups: Engage in networking opportunities and seek out support groups for professionals with ileostomies or similar conditions for advice and encouragement.


Having an ileostomy should not prevent you from pursuing and thriving in your career. By understanding your rights, managing your health effectively in the workplace, and advocating for yourself and your professional growth, you can navigate your career path confidently and successfully. Remember, your health is a priority, and balancing it with your career is key to long-term success and fulfillment.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. is not an organization of medical professionals. The information provided on our website is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

It is crucial to consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including your physician or a Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy, and Continence (NSWOC), before making any decisions about your health. Every individual’s medical condition is unique, and what may be suitable for one person may not be appropriate for another.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. does not endorse or recommend specific medical treatments, procedures, products, or opinions mentioned on the website. Reliance on any information provided on this site is solely at your own risk.

If you have questions or concerns about your health, always seek the advice of a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on information obtained from our website.

Ostomy Canada Society Inc. strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, but we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of the content. Changes in medical knowledge and practices may occur after the publication of information on our website.

By using our website, you acknowledge and agree to these terms and conditions. If you do not agree with this disclaimer, please refrain from using our website for medical decision-making purposes.