In the United States, millions of individuals suffer with wound, ostomy, and continence disorders. Management of patients with these conditions can result in improved patient outcomes as well as cost savings. Lakewood Health System has nurse specialists called “Certified Wound, Ostomy and Continence nurses” (CWOCN) who are uniquely qualified to offer interventions and treatments to individuals with wound or ostomy needs. They can coordinate care in complex environments and employ a full range of skills to promote healing and independence.
Patients who meet the following criteria should talk to their medical provider about wound and ostomy care (a physician’s referral is required for a patient to visit the CWOCN):
- Patients with traumatic wounds, chronic “non-healing” wounds (diabetic and stasis wounds), and pressure ulcers
- Patients who will be having ostomy surgery or who have a colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy or fistula.
- Patients who have a tube inserted through the skin for the purpose of drainage or feeding.
For these patients, the certified wound, ostomy and continence nurse will:
- Provide access to dressings needed for positive outcomes in wound healing.
- Provide patient and family education regarding appropriate wound or ostomy care.
- Preoperative patient teaching and marking of ostomy site.
- Continued post-operative patient teaching and appropriate ostomy pouch system selection.
- Modification of the wound care treatment plan/pouching system as needed.
- Assist patient to access Durable Medical Equipment (beds and specialty beds, specialty cushions, and special wound care dressings, compression hose, ostomy supplies).