People with ostomies swim, water-ski, play tennis and football, jog, scuba dive, and participate in practically any sport or activity. Most would rather have the ostomy than their previous medical conditions.
The Premier Point Approach
When a patient has a diseased gastrointestinal system or the bladder is not functioning properly, it can sometimes lead to the removal of all or a part of the large or small intestine and an ostomy. An ostomy is a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes. A stoma is the actual end of the ureter or small or large bowel that can be seen protruding through the abdominal wall.
It takes time to become comfortable with an ostomy. At the time of discharge, many patients experience a significant number of technical, emotional, social, marital/family, and sexual difficulties. Concerns include doubt of their ability to properly care for the stoma, questions concerning their ability to return to work or school, engage in sports or recreational activities, and the stigma associated with pouching systems. The Premier Point nursing staff can help.
The Premier Point Approach
Our ostomy nurses are certified by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing (WOCN) Certification Board, and have completed numerous hours of additional in-service training, making them experts in the care of ostomy patients. Our clinicians understand the adverse effect stomas can have on patients’ quality of life, and our care plans are designed to address critical stages of the treatment path. We help patients to avoid medical post-operative hemorrhage, often occurring during the first 48 hours after discharge, as well as infections and other medical challenges that occur throughout the healing process. Our early-stage care plans include:
- Inspecting the stoma and surrounding skin for signs of irritation, bruises, rashes or any indicators of fungal infection
- Capturing precise measurements of the size and depth of the stoma during the early stages of healing to ensure proper appliance sizing and avoiding effluent contact with the skin
- Working with the patient to identify a pouching system and accessories that best fit their lifestyle and medical needs. We also teach patients and caregivers how to properly change the pouch and techniques for cleansing the skin and pouch to avoid irritation
- Monitor laboratory results including CBC and electrolytes for signs of imbalance and, if detected, aid in determining replacement needs
- Administering medications, including IV’s, as required to address pain and discomfort
We also help patients to overcome the many psychological challenges that accompany stomas including facilitating appropriate referrals to social workers or therapists to address the normality of feelings of anger, depression, and grief over loss; daily emotional ups and downs, and future expectations.