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Proper Use of WOCN® Acronym and WOCNCB® Credentials

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™ (WOCN®) Society adopted the American Nurses Association (ANA) position statement regarding the order of credentials and certifications for professional nurses, which explains the proper listing for credentials and recommends that nurses only list nationally recognized credentials.

The recommended order of listing credentials and certifications is (1) education (highest earned degree first), (2) license (designation required by the state), (3) national certification, (4) awards and honors and (5) other certifications, with credentials listed as capital letters without periods between the letters and with a comma between each credential. For example, proper listing of credentials and certifications are:

·         A Nurse, PhD, RN, APRN, CWOCN, FAAN

·         B Nurse, MSN, RN, APRN, CWOCN

·         C Nurse, BSN, RN, CWON

·         D Nurse, BS, RN, CCCN

It is critical for nurses to correctly and proudly display their credentials and certifications to distinguish their professional and educational value and elevate their level of expertise.

The Society and the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB®) collaboratively developed a joint position statement to clarify the proper usage of the WOCN® acronym and WOCNCB® credentials and educate the wound, ostomy and continence (WOC) community in an effort to protect each organization’s name, brand, or logo from being used to create an impression of a relationship when one does not exist.

The WOCN® mark should only be used as an adjective along with the descriptive name, and never as a substitute for products or services or used in a plural or possessive manner. For example, proper vs. improper uses of the WOCN® mark are:



WOCN® Education Program

WOCN’s Education program

WOCN® Annual Conference or WOCN® Society’s Annual Conference

WOCN’s Annual Conference

I am a WOC nurse

I am a WOCN

We are WOC nurses

We are WOCNs

The Society and the WOCNCB have taken the time to ensure that nurses are recognized as the highly qualified professionals that they truly are! We sincerely hope you find this position statement informative and welcome any comments or concerns you may have. For more information,
please see the WOCN Registered Trademark Use Guidelines Position Statement.

Thank you for your continued commitment, enthusiasm and support to both the Society and the WOC specialty.


Carolyn Watts, MSN, RN, CWON
WOCN Society Immediate Past President

Tags:  acronym  certification  credential  language  position statement  registered  trademark  wocn  wocncb 

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A Guide to the 2016 WOCN Society & CAET Joint Conference

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Thursday, May 26, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Attending the 2016 Joint Conference for the first time can be a lot to take in all at once, especially in a new environment. Joining educational sessions, networking with thousands of like-minded professionals and absorbing new information can cause you to feel overwhelmed. Do not fear! The Joint Conference is a great way to meet new people and learn about new practices and products to advance your professional work.

In this blog post, you will learn a few tricks of the trade to help you navigate and enjoy your first time at the 2016 WOCN Society & CAET Joint Conference in Montreal.


1. Prior to the meeting, do your research, organize and prepare.

  • Watch the "What To Know Before You Go" video. Nurse Nancy can help you with any last minute travel preparations!

  • Review the Conference Program to be aware of event times, sessions, speakers and the Exhibit and Poster Hall.
    • Mark the events, presentations, etc. that you want to attend ahead of time.
    • Don't miss out on the Innovation Theater, where you will learn about new WOC products and services.
      • Located at the end of Aisle 100 running from Sunday, June 5 through Tuesday, June 7, 2016.
    • Pre-register for all your conference symposia choices,
    • Don't miss the Joint Conference Social Event for a night of networking and fun!
      • Update your registration to purchase a ticket to this event.
      • Costs $25 per person and includes two drink tickets, food, music and entertainment.

  • Download the 2016 MyWOCN 2016 Mobile App to your smartphone from the App Store or Google Play.
    • Turn on the BUZZ notifications to receive updates of when events, sessions and presentations begin.
    • Create a personalized itinerary for each day.
    • Star  the exhibitors and sessions you want to be sure to attend.
    • Post on social media directly from the app using the hashtag #WOCNCAET16.


 2. Upon arrival at the meeting, learn your schedule and begin networking!

  • Review your schedule to stay organized. On some days, events start earlier than others and some events will run later into the evening.
    • Give yourself enough time to get ready and make it to events on time.
    • Use the MyWOCN mobile app to keep track of your agenda.
    • Networking with people in your sessions. Meet AT LEAST 2 new people every day. Make a note of names, titles and how you met them on the back of their business cards.
    • Look for windows of free time to engage in tourist activities to make the most of your trip!
    • Post your adventures to social media with the hashtag #WOCNCAET16.

3. Upon departing the Joint Conference and returning home, take the opportunity to follow up with contacts and references.

  • Write down the names of events you attended and the names of people you connected with. 
    • Check your MyWOCN mobile app and the notes you made while on-site
    • Follow up with your contacts by connecting on LinkedIn, Facebook and sending emails to maintain contact. Use your contacts for your professional advancement.
    • Write down the events that were most helpful or interesting for you, and why. Looking back in hindsight can help you gauge which sessions are right for you for next year's conference!


Following these tricks will help attendees have a positive, productive experience at the 2016 WOCN & CAET Joint Conference. Attending the Joint Conference is an excellent experience for any healthcare professional. You will gain invaluable knowledge about the industry, engage in numerous networking opportunities and make lasting memories all while advancing your career. We look forward to seeing you!

Tags:  CAET  Guide  International  Joint Conference  Meeting  Mobile App  MyWOCN  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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Latest News from our Corporate Members

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Thursday, May 12, 2016
Updated: Thursday, May 12, 2016


DUKAL Corporation

Booth #1136

DUKAL Corporation is excited to announce the new product extension to our Eclypse® Super Absorbent Dressings! The Eclypse® Contour is specifically designed to treat highly exuding wounds in difficult to dress areas, such as the underarm, abdomen, back, lower leg, and thigh. The dressing molds to body contours, ensuring optimum contact with the wound and effective exudate management while being thin and conforming for comfort and reduced dressing changes. The Eclypse® Contour is indicated for moderate to heavily exuding wounds including leg ulcers, pressure ulcers, sloughy or granulating wounds, post-operative or dehisced wounds, fungating wounds, and donor site management.

To learn more, email or visit us at the 2016 Joint Conference in Montreal at booth number 1136!



One Pass Ostomy Draining Device - OPODD™

Booth #456

The One Pass Ostomy Draining Device (OPODD™) is a new, innovative device that allows ostomates to drain their pouch virtually anywhere and with minimal washroom amenities.  The OPODD™ is a plastic, hand held device and is very easy to use.  The OPODD™ provides ostomates with a thorough and efficient method for emptying their pouch.

Using the OPODD™ and our patented method, this dual roller, hinged device which includes a snapping mechanism at one end, allows the user to secure the OPODD™ totally across the width of the pouch. This combined hinged and snap system permits the dual rollers to pass over the entire pouch with ease and removes up to 99% of the contents in one pass. 

The OPODD™ can be used on all major pouch brands available in North America and the EU and is FDA registered Class 1.  We have spent five years developing the OPODD™ and have researched and consulted with patients, nurses and clinicians in Canada, United States, Ireland and UK.

Since launching the OPODD™ at recent WOCN regional conferences, the comments range from “best new item to be offered to ostomates for some time” to “my patients will love this device and just how easy it is to use”.

Whether you are a patient or care-giver, the OPODD™ will quickly become your “go to” device when it comes to emptying your pouch.

For more information, view demonstration video or to order an OPODD™, please visit



Jewell Nursing Solutions

Booth #721

Jewell Nursing Solutions announces the first ergonomic 30 degree positioning wedge. Released in April, 2016, The "BackBone™ Turning Wedge" is the first 30 degree positioning cushion engineered specifically to provide ergonomic comfort while circumventing the spinal column. "Pressure ulcers are not the problem", says Gwen Jewell, Clinical RN II, BSN, CWS. "They are the consequence. The problem is getting the pressure off."

Gwen is the founder of Jewell Nursing Solutions, a company dedicated to the prevention of pressure ulcers. "Its no wonder sacral pressure ulcer occurrence is so high. We have to keep repositioning over and over again, hoping for different results. Between healthcare costs spiraling out of control and the exponential increase in our aging population, we can no longer afford to focus on reactive healthcare when it comes to pressure ulcers". Gwen goes on to explain that she designed the BackBone™ Turning Wedge because "We have to spend billions on pressure ulcer wound care because we spend pennies on pillows and wedges"

Gwen has spent the last 2 years developing the Backbone™ positioning wedge. "I have studied this problem from every angle (if you'll excuse the pun!) and I find that a turning wedge is not effective unless it can serve certain essential functional requirements beyond the basic 30 degree angle." Gwen explains that an effective support device must achieve lift and offload to whole spine without itself touching the spots it is intended to offload. Secondly, if the device is to stay in place, it must provide a cradle like support of both the back and hips in alignment. Ergonomically correct and even distribution of the support surface is essential because if the patient is not comfortable, not only will she have a need to shift into correct alignment and back onto her pressure points, but if she can't, she is at risk for musculoskeletal, neurological and circulatory damage. Caregiver engagement is less tangible but even more important.  The wedge has to be reliable, single piece and universally useful, or caregivers will not use it.

Finally, an effective support device must be re-useable so that it is affordable and eco-friendly. "The beauty of it is, this effective design is not complicated or expensive. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, 'Sometimes when faced with a complicated problem and multiple possible solutions, the simplest choice is usually best.'”

Visit us a booth #721 in Montreal!



Derma Sciences, Inc.

Booth #805

Introducing MEDIHONEY® HCS Surgical & MEDIHONEY® HCS Fenestrated Dressings

Dynamic Post-Surgical Solutions for your Patients’ Care
Ensuring your patients’ post-surgical incisions progress on to healthy healing is an essential part of their care. MEDIHONEY® HCS Surgical and MEDIHONEY® HCS Fenestrated Dressings combine the wound healing benefits of medical-grade honey with exudate management properties to offer you one versatile and dynamic dressing for your post-surgical wound care needs.

Features & Benefits

·Promotes a moisture-balanced environment optimal for wound healing1-7

·Aids in autolytic debridement and the removal of factors that can delay wound healing

·Associated with lower pH levels within the wound which has been shown to have wound healing benefits

·Provides absorption and fluid handling capability

·Transparent dressing offers visibility to the wound

·Delivers soothing, cooling effect on application

CLICK here to view our MEDIHONEY products page where you can learn more about our full line of patented products, view our list of references and place an order




Innovacyn, Inc.

Booth #835

Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel simplifies the healing process through the use of an advanced hypochlorous technology with moisturizing properties. A moist wound and skin environment facilitates autolytic debridement and is beneficial to wound management and the wound healing process. Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel has an expansive safety profile and won’t harm healthy tissues. Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel is available for reimbursement.

Features and Benefits

Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel is an FDA-cleared 510(k) product for use by healthcare professionals to treat the following types of wounds:

·Acute and dermal wounds

·Partial and full-thickness wounds

·First and second-degree burns

·Diabetic ulcers and stasis ulcers

·Stage I-IV pressure ulcers

·Surgical wounds (incisions, donor and graft sites)

·Abrasions and skin irritations

·Trauma wounds

·Various dermatoses including atopic dermatitis

Applications and Benefits

·Non-toxic and non-irritating

·Contains no steroids or antibiotics

·Contains no alcohol or iodine

·Supports reducing wound odor

·Adds moisture to dry wound beds

·Relieves itching and pain associated with dermal irritations

·Moistens and lubricates absorbent wound dressings

·Environmentally friendly—no special disposal required

Application Guidelines

·For wounds with little or no exudate

·Cleanse the wound with Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Wound Irrigation Solution

·Shake Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel well before use

·Apply Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel

·With some wounds, a wound filler may be needed to fill the cavity

·Cover wound with appropriate wound dressing that holds Puracyn Plus Professional Formula Antimicrobial Hydrogel to the wound bed

·Change dressing as ordered or when needed

Visit booth number 835 to learn how Puracyn Plus Professional Formula is changing the landscape of wound care management.

You can find more information about Innovacyn, Inc. and the Puracyn Plus Professional Formula family of products at




The Parthenon Company, Inc.

Booth #114

The Parthenon Company has several exciting news pieces to announce!

Wound, ostomy and continence nursing education is vital to provide quality education and treatment to the thousands of individuals new and old with ostomies.  In recognition of this, the Parthenon Company is excited to announce that it will be offering a scholarship encourage nurses to further their education by earning their WOC credentials.  The details of the scholarship will be available on our website, and recipients will be listed there as well.  Check out website for updates and information.

Our annual catalog featuring only ostomy and wound supplies is ready and is being distributed. There have been several new product additions in the ostomy and wound product categories.  We will have copies of the 2016 issue available in Montreal at the WOCN Society & CAET Joint Conference.

Finally, we are very excited to introduce our newest product from Parthenon called, ParSORB Plus!  It does everything the original ParSORB does while also deodorizing the ostomy pouch contents!  Available as a packet or sachet as well as loose with a scoop, ParSORB Plus will gelatinize and deodorize liquid stomal output which is commonly used by people with ileostomies.



NB Products, Inc.

Booth #158

We are excited to be exhibiting at this year's WOCN/CAET joint conference in Montreal Booth#158. We would like to share with all of you that we are now registered with SAM and can sell to the VA/military hospitals. You can request our Line Card/Capability statement by contacting us via email or visit our website We also would like to share with you that we are proud to have supported the United Ostomy Association of America’s 2015 Durham Ostomy 5k run to help broadening awareness about ostomies and empowering people affected by this surgery. We look forward to supporting United Ostomy Association of America’s 2016 Ostomy 5k again in 2016.



Joerns Healthcare

Booth #929

Dolphins Inspired Wound Healing Technology: Leads to Unparalleled Wound Care Outcomes

Today, wound patients’ lives are transforming thanks to injury prevention technology originally designed for marine mammals like dolphins. While transporting these specially trained animals, the U.S. Navy found that they suffered internal organ trauma and circulatory system distress due to dry transport and the shearing force of gravity. The solution was an innovative system that simulated floating in a fluid while resting on a solid surface.

Harnessing this Fluid Immersion Simulation® (FIS®), Joerns Healthcare launched the Dolphin® advanced therapeutic support surface to benefit humans, and recently unveiled the DolphinCare™ Integrated Bed System which marries the advanced wound healing technology with the evolutionary UltraCare® XT low bed frame. This combination delivers unparalleled wound care outcomes, reduces risk of injury to both the patient and the caregiver, and helps promote early patient mobility.

Improves Clinical Outcomes

The DolphinCare system’s Fluid Immersion Simulation provides state-of-the-art pressure elimination by simulating the effects of a body immersed in a fluid medium. This system automatically adjusts to a patient’s weight, surface area and repositioning providing minimal tissue deformation, and maintains near normal blood flow leading to improved tissue perfusion and wound healing. 

Improves Patient Care

FIS therapy spans the entire surface of the DolphinCare system, limiting the potential for pressure gradients due to edge effects. The UltraWide 42 inch expanded width reduces fall risk by up to 37 percent as compared to 35 inch wide beds. And the system also creates a more comfortable bed and room environment without additional climate control needs and without leading to potential insensible water loss by the patient. 

Promotes Patient Mobility and Reduces Caregiver Injury

The DolphinCare system also helps promote patient mobility while providing safety and security to the patient. It automatically positions the bed at the optimum egress height, and properly inflates the surface providing stability as the patient sits on the edge of the bed or during ingress/egress. It also provides Gravity-Assist for easier and safer patient repositioning, and its Comfort Chair functionality offers comfort, relaxation, improved circulation, and more ergonomic care by bringing the patient closer to the caregiver. 

The DolphinCare Integrated Bed System has the technology to improve and prevent wounds, reduce injury risk and help promote early patient mobility. Learn more about the DolphinCare Integrated Bed System by clicking here.





Booth #335

For 20+ years’ hospitals have looked to the International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence (IPUP) Survey™ as a tool to gauge their success in preventing pressure ulcers (soon to be termed “pressure injury”) and benchmark their efforts with industry peers.

The findings are astounding and truly show that focused efforts to reduce facility-acquired pressure ulcers (FAPUs) have been successful:

         ·52% decrease in FAPUs from 2005 to 20161

         ·42,000+ Lives Saved 2010-2014 through pressure ulcer prevention2

All of this effort has been able to reduce FAPUs to record low levels, but costs continue to be in the $11 billion range.3

The facility and caregiver need confidence that the patient support surface they select will provide the support necessary to address the patient risk factors to prevent and treat pressure ulcers.

Hill-Rom has developed a 5-Step process that guides you through the complex method of surface selection and helps ensure you have the technology needed to improve patient outcomes and reduce pressure ulcer prevalence even further.

The steps are simple to follow, with common decision points along the way:

Step 1: Determine your support application – bed, seat or overlay?

Step 2: Identify patient needs

          ·Understand there are 5 “surface related” factors to skin care and how a support                    surface addresses those risk factors

          ·Use the WOCN surface selection algorithm to identify which surface type is                            recommended with risks for moisture and mobility

           ·Determine the care setting, which may require additional surface features to                      address pulmonary complications and patient mobility

Step 3: Determine the type of surface

           ·Understand the NPUAP terms and definitions for a support surface

           ·Know how each surface type works to provide pressure injury prevention and                         treatment

           ·Determine the therapeutic benefits of other surface features like turn assist, bed                 exit alarms

Step 4: Research Surface Performance Testing Processes and Results

           ·Understand the NPUAP Support Surface Standards Initiative (S3I)

           ·Be familiar with how each test is performed and how to interpret the results

           ·Learn why pressure mapping is not an approved method of measuring surface                       performance

Step 5: Consider other surface factors






           ·Clinical Support

Visit booth 335 or contact your local Hill-Rom representative to learn more about the “5-Steps to Choosing the Right Surface” and the 20th anniversary of the IPUP™ Survey.

1 – Hill-Rom International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence (IPUP) Survey™ 2005-2016.

2 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Saving Lives and Saving Money: Hospital Acquired Conditions Update. Available at:

3 - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Pressure Ulcer Toolkit. “Are We Ready for This Change?”  Available at:




Medela, Inc.

Booth #117

Medela, Inc. will be exhibiting at the 2016 WOCN and CAET Joint Conference in Montreal, Quebec June 4-8, 2016. Please visit them at Booth #117!



Stryker Corporation

Booth #629

Stryker Corporation announced the acquisition of Sage Products, LLC on April 5, 2016.  Sage develops, manufactures and distributes disposable products targeted at reducing “Never Events,” primarily in the intensive care unit and MedSurg hospital unit setting.

Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Cary, IL, Sage is a leading developer of innovative products and proprietary solutions that are designed to help improve outcomes for patients and clinicians, while maximizing efficiency and profitability for healthcare facilities. Sage’s products include solutions for oral care, skin preparation and protection, patient cleaning and hygiene, turning and positioning devices and heel care boots.

“This acquisition aligns with Stryker’s focus on offering products and services that support a mindset of prevention, specifically in the area of “Never Events” such as hospital acquired infections. Today, through our Medical division, Stryker offers products that are complementary to those produced by Sage. Sage has a 45-year history of focus on patients and caregivers that is evident in their culture and fits well with our Medical division,” said Kevin Lobo, President and CEO of Stryker Corporation.

Stryker is one of the world's leading medical technology companies and, together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better. The Company offers a diverse array of innovative products and services in Orthopaedics, Medical and Surgical, and Neurotechnology and Spine that help improve patient and hospital outcomes. Stryker is active in over 100 countries around the world. Please contact us for more information at

Tags:  Corporate Members  Joint Conference  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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WOCN Society Member Highlights Experience Presenting at the 2016 National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Conference

Posted By Jenna A. Bertini, Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WOCN Society member, Teri Robinson, RN, BSN, CWON, shared her recent experience about presenting educational sessions at the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA) Conference in Orlando, Florida.

You can read Teri's story below, and if you have a story you would like to share please email us at

It was a great opportunity to present at NSNA in Orlando this year. I was able to meet a student board member and the editor. It was very impressive to see the new generation of nurses active in nursing.  Their excitement and passion validated why I chose this career and why I still love it!

I presented two sessions on “Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses: Who we are and what we do”.  Both sessions were extremely well attended. The first session was completely full and the second was ¾ full.  I had great questions from the audience during and after the presentations.  These included flexibility of the role, the schools offered, and private practice opportunities.  This was a very rewarding experience. I am thankful for the opportunity to share the varied roles Nursing can offer, especially WOC nursing specialty.

Tags:  NSNA  nursing  nursing student  WOC  woc nurse  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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Share Your Story: How my Own WOC Nurses Inspired my Passion

Posted By Becky Carroll, Monday, January 4, 2016
Updated: Thursday, January 7, 2016

We asked members to share their story about why they are passionate about WOC nursing. WOCN Society member, Heather Brigstock, ADN, RN, shared her incredible journey of how the care from her WOC nurses inspired her to pursue a career in WOC nursing. You can read Heather's story below and if you have a story you'd like to share please email us at

     On May 2, 2001, I underwent a total proctocolectomy resulting in a permanent ileostomy. I was 22 years old and 4 years into my battle with Crohn’s Disease. My first experience with a WOC nurse was my preoperative appointment for site marking. At the time, I had no idea how lucky I was to get a preoperative visit with a WOC nurse. I didn’t even know what a WOC nurse was. But during those first days of recovery in the hospital, I figured out very quickly that the WOC nurse was my lifeline. I tried to listen and retain everything I was taught in the hospital, but between the pain, nausea and orthostatic hypotension, I still went home feeling overwhelmed. The day I got home, I had a dehiscence of my abdominal incision. It was draining copious amounts of fluid, and was very scary. My home WOC nurse, Zora Hocking, was there right away. She taught my family how to pack my wound and we embarked on a long and slow process of wound healing. I was 95 pounds at 5 feet, 8 inches tall. My WOC nurse stressed the importance of my nutrition in my healing. On top of all of this, I kept having leaks under the wafer of my ileostomy appliance. I felt like I was falling apart. Zora switched me to a different pouching system-the system I still use to this day, because it is the only one I can wear without leaking. Something as simple as making the leaks stop was a huge boost in my confidence level. I could leave the house with confidence for the first time to go to my appointments. Slowly, my abdominal wound healed and I adjusted to life with an ileostomy. I gained some weight, was discharged from home care and returned to work.

     Over the next few years, I went back to school to complete my prerequisites for nursing school and I got pregnant with my first baby. After delivering my baby daughter, I was visited by a WOC nurse, Marsha Connelly, to check in and make sure I was doing well. I had no complications from the pregnancy or delivery, but about six months later my stoma retracted. I started having leaks and my pouch life went from seven days to 12 hours. I didn’t know what to do and there were no outpatient WOC nurses in my area, so I called Zora and asked for help. After she assessed me, she knew I needed to go see a surgeon for revision. The day after the final in my anatomy class, I went in for a revision which turned into a bowel resection as well.  Marsha was my WOC nurse in the hospital and she helped me adjust to this new stoma in a new location. She and Zora were tasked with getting me up and running within two weeks of surgery-my summer chemistry class was starting. Somehow, they did just that. I was able to get to the first day of my chemistry class; I had steri-strips still on my abdomen, but I made it.

     Soon after, I was an official nursing student. The most rewarding experience I had in nursing school was taking care of a new ostomate. My patient was struggling and would not even look at the ostomy or acknowledge that it was there. I asked him if he would like to know what I like about having an ostomy. In that moment, I could see a wall come down in his eyes. “You mean you have an ostomy?” he asked. I nodded and smiled. “But I couldn’t even tell!” he told me. “No, and no one will be able to tell you have an ostomy either” I responded. By the end of that shift, he was emptying his pouch independently. Just knowing that he wasn’t alone was enough. The experience of taking care of a new ostomate lit a fire inside me. I knew that I had found my passion, but I was overwhelmed being a new nurse and any additional education seemed out of reach. When I graduated from nursing school, I had my second baby girl and went to work as a new nurse.

     Several years passed by and I experienced a severe relapse of my Crohn’s disease. On top of this, my stoma was retracting again. By this point, I had two young daughters who were quite proficient in ostomy care. At times, they would wear one of my pouches to “look like Mommy.” Due to the disease and the retracted stoma, I had to undergo another bowel resection and stoma revision. Once again, Zora was by my side, helping me adjust to yet another stoma in yet another location.

     I have now had my ileostomy for almost 15 years. The same WOC nurses have taken care of me that entire time. It is like seeing old friends who have coached me along a very long journey. If I didn’t have the care of amazing WOC nurses, I would never have had my children and I would never have had the confidence to go to school. This August, I will graduate with my Master of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco. Immediately after graduation, I will be starting a WOC Nursing Education Program. My area of focus in school has been the long term support of ostomy patients. Without WOC nurses, there would be no long term support for patients like myself. Like the patient I took care of when I was a student years ago, we all have a need to feel understood. WOC nurses are the only people we can turn to when we have a complication. All patients with chronic health needs deserve to have competent care, ostomy patients like myself deserve to have access to a WOC nurse. Nothing less will do.   

Heather Brigstock, ADN, RN

Tags:  Nursing  Ostomy  WOC nurse  WOCN  WOCN Society 

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Copyright 2017 Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society™. All rights reserved.

The WOCN® Society is professionally managed by Association Headquarters, a charter accredited association management company.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 15115.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: The names and contact information for all individuals listed on this site is privileged, confidential information and intended for specific purposes. No one (individual or company) may use any contact information on the WOCN Society website to contact, to distribute information to, or solicit anyone for any reason other than the intended purpose for which the name and contact information is available.