Stomal Therapy Awareness Week
Meet our amazing Stomal Therapy Team who manage patient stomas, wounds and continence in the hospital.
Clinical Nurse Consultant and dedicated Stomal Therapy Nurse Erin says her team has a diverse and complex caseload.
“We see inpatient and outpatient ostomates, providing education for people who have had a stoma formed or those with pre-existing stoma complications,” Erin said.
“Although many people may not know a lot about stomas, it's important to discuss in order to break down the stigma as people often feel embarrassed about needing to have one.”
“Anyone can need a stoma, from newborn babies to the elderly, they can be permanent or temporary.”
Erin explains that a stoma is an artificial opening from the body created by surgery and acts as an alternative exit for body waste.
“The need for a stoma is usually caused by cancer, disease, congenital disorders, or trauma, for the most part they are not painful and people usually adjust well to having them,” Erin said.
“It is important that patients and their families or carers are well educated on how to manage them so they can resume or regain their lifestyle.”
Erin is one of approximately 350 dedicated Stomal Therapy Nurses in Australia and said she would love to see more nurses specialise in this area.
“It’s an incredibly rewarding career and it’s empowering to help your patients learn how to manage their stoma and give them the freedom and independence,” Erin said.
Erin has recently won a bursary to commence her Nurse Practitioner studies in Stomal Therapy/Wound Management while mentoring junior nurses to become dedicated Stomal Therapy Nurses.
This Stomal Therapy Week the team have been running a series of educational events and activities across the hospital to enhance the skills and knowledge of other nurses to manage stomas.