An enterostomal therapy nurse (also referred to as a stoma nurse) is a nurse who specializes in the care of patients who receive ostomies due to a variety of diseases, conditions, or injuries.
An enterostomal therapy nurse is a registered nurse, or RN, that receives additional training in issues related to wounds, incontinence, and ostomies.
A BSN degree is often required for these nurses.
Special training and certification is also available from agencies such as the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society.
These specially trained nurses help with fecal and urinary diversions and devices, such as stomas.
Wounds and fistulas that require draining, chronic wounds that result in ulcers, and incontinence issues are all effectively managed by this type of nurse.
These nurses handle patients before and after surgery, providing assistance, support, and advice in proper care of these specific issues.
When it comes to fecal and urinary diversions, these nurses help patients before and after these surgical procedures.
Prior to surgery, the nurse will help counsel the patient regarding the procedure, as well as explain the changes the patient will undergo in his or her life due to the ostomy, including any changes that will need to be made in the patient’s diet and sex life.
This specialized nurse will also help select a site for placement of the stoma for the removal of waste products from the patient’s body.
After surgery the nurse will give proper instruction for care and management of the patient’s stoma upon release from the hospital.
When involved in outpatient therapy, these nurses can continue to give support and care to their patients on an ongoing basis.
This allows the nurse to keep an eye on the stoma and to be aware of any changes or potential issues that might develop in a patient’s care and condition.
An enterostomal therapy nurse is most likely found in an inpatient hospital setting to deal with pre-surgical and post-surgical fecal and urinary diversion patients.
These patients suffer from a variety of conditions that result in the need for surgical diversion procedures.
An enterostomal therapy nurse will check on other types of patients as well.
Those who suffer from draining wounds need to have their drainage tubes managed.
Also, patients who are confined to bed for long periods of time need to be adjusted to prevent the development of chronic wounds and skin ulcers, such as bed sores.
This makes this type of nurse a positive addition to both short and long-term care facilities, and in facilities that provide care for the chronically ill and elderly.