Ostomy surgery isn’t only stressing to a patient. Getting a new stoma can put stress on the whole family and many care givers feel at a loss as to how they can help their patient loved one. Fortunately, many of the support systems put in place for patients work towards making the patient and caregiver unit feel more comfortable in caring for themselves at home.
One major resource for ostomy patients and their loved ones is the UOAA, or the United Ostomy Association of America. This association encompasses many resources and provides an array of materials for patients and families alike. Their website provides general information and facts about ostomy surgery, contact information for getting involved in a local support group, an online discussion board to discuss all things ostomy, and they hold an annual conference to gather patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers for an event of knowledge! You can learn more about the UOAA at www.ostomy.org.
WOCNs, or Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses are nurses who specialize in ostomy care. They often have the knowledge and background of bedside nursing, but can be found in a variety of places – hospitals, outpatient clinics, and even as a home-visiting nurse! They can assist both the patient and the loved ones with anything from pouching the stoma all the way to psychosocial support.
One great resource that is often looked over is the ostomy patient and their caregiver. That’s right! Other patients and their loved ones are great resources to find out how to manage in day-to-day life. Who better to hear it from then someone who does it every day? Although you should always consult your physician when it comes to medical questions about your ostomy, other patients and their loved ones can be a wonderful resource to get honest information.
Although surgery is overwhelming for all parties involved, guidance and information are readily available, and us at 11 Health and Technologies hope we can assist you in building your support system!
- – Maggie Baldwin, Patients’ Champion Coordinator