For those of us who have an ileostomy or a colostomy, you have probably met with an ostomy nurse at least once. These people are nurses who usually specialize in ostomy and wound care specifically. Meaning, that is the only thing they deal with everyday which makes them experts.
To be honest, I hate seeing an ostomy nurse. I am really sensitive in that area of my body and really just hate when anyone touches it. I like to feel in control of my stomach and I feel awkward just laying on the table with my stoma sticking out even though I know that situation is hardly foreign to them. If I had to “shrink” myself, I would also have to say that me seeing an ostomy nurse usually signifies that things aren’t going well so in my mind I probably do associate these nurses with medical issues.
Anyway, enough of my opinion and I’ll get to the point of this post. As a new ostomate, you are bombarded with information and it seems like you are never going to get the hang of things. I remember seeing an ostomy nurse in the hospital before my surgery that was overwhelming me beyond belief so she was asked to leave and then I saw another one who had a way better bedside manner so I did listen but again, there was a lot to take in.
Every local hospital (or most I should say) has at least one ostomy nurse. These individuals do nothing but deal with ostomy related issues all day long. I have shopped around quite a bit since I had constant leakage with my first bag and did find a calm, older lady at a local hospital that I did like. She was my “go to” ostomy nurse if all else failed. I went kicking and screaming but she was very knowledgeable and did know a lot more than I did, and even more than my doctor.
I also want to add that any of the major ostomy companies (ex, Hollister, Convatec, or Coloplast) have ostomy nurses that you can call and speak with for free. They are also EXTREMELY nice and thorough. They do try to tailor the conversation to give you the most personalized help they can without actually seeing your stoma or body but they really do know the exact right questions to ask. They can then send free samples of appliances or products for you to try at home at your convenience so you can see how it works for you before you invest in it.
I wanted to talk a little bit about ostomy nurses because I realize that I haven’t mentioned them once here on my blog. If anyone has any questions or I can be of any help to anyone please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.