Nurses certified in ostomy care are not abundant especially in rural areas. Colorado River Ostomy Chapter currently has two nurses certified in ostomy care.
Why is a certified ostomy nurse important? The Board Certified nurse has gone above the basic standards of nursing care to study then demonstrate a knowledge of safe and effective care to the ostomy/stoma and the peristomal skin care. This knowledge and skill is then tested by a national specialized test on ostomy care which must by successfully passed. Once certified, these nurses provide management of ostomy issues to help improve the ostomate’s daily functional status to help them thrive in life.
Desiree is certifed in Wound, Ostomy and Continence with her credentials listed as CWOCN for Certified Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse. All CWOCNs are Registered nurses. Desiree has a wide base of knowledge about complex wound care and ostomy care.
Stephanie is certified as an Ostomy Management Specialist or OMS. This certification focuses on ostomy and peristomal skin care with treatment of issues including wound care in relation to the ostomy and surrounding skin. While Stephanie is a nurse, not all OMS are nurses, some are physical therapists who perform ostomy care.
Having certified ostomy nurses at the CROC meetings helps the group members keep up to date on current issues with ostomies and peristomal skin health, allows for education for increased ostomy knowledge, and assist with problems members of the group have with their ostomies and pouching system.