The Healing Hands of Wound Care
May 7, 2018
2018 marks the fiftieth year of the nursing specialty Certified Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurse (CWOCN). Through the years the formal program has evolved to prepare nurses to manage wounds, ostomies, and incontinence as well as improve patient care, outcomes, and satisfaction.
From acute care and home care to the wound clinic and Caring Circle, CWOCNs fill many different roles on the Lakeland team. CWOCNs assist new patients in adapting to stoma care and provide emotional support, often following patients throughout their life for continued care.
A few of our Lakeland CWOCNs took the opportunity during Healthcare Week to reflect on their experiences:
Why did you choose to become a CWOCN?
“When I was in Nursing school my nana was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that had metastasized to her colon. She had to have a permanent colostomy. She lived in an area of the country without an ET/CWOCN and a health care team with little knowledge of ostomy care. She shared her struggles to care for her colostomy with me, and I researched and found her the knowledge she needed to improve her ostomy care. I became an ET/CWOCN 25 years ago, in hopes that I could help someone like my nana learn to live a full life with an ostomy.”
What is a rewarding experience you’ve had as a CWOCN?
“While watching a wound heal can be very rewarding, working with ostomy patients is always a great experience. What begins as a life-altering, and most often frightening, experience blossoms into knowledge and independence as the patient learns and realizes that ‘they got this.’”
What is a rewarding experience you’ve had as a CWOCN? “I helped an ostomy patient regain her independence with ostomy care by finding the right equipment for her to use after a major weight gain. Later that year during the holidays she brought me a small sample of “Miracle” perfume (from Lancome) and a beautiful note about how helping her was a miracle. I still have that note.”