Ostomy Education, Ostomy Resources

Summer pouching tips

Summer may cause issues with the wear-time of a pouching system. Here are some hints to help keep your pouching system intact during this warm, hot, and/or humid season.

  • Apply aluminum chloride hexahydrate antiperspirant to the skin prior to application of the skin barrier. Use this type of a product on intact skin only.  Examples of this product: Drysol, Driclor.
  • Use a standard wear skin barrier that absorbs moisture better — Hollister uses the term Flexwear,  Coloplast uses the term Sensura, ConvaTec calls it Stomahesive Skin Barriers and ConvaTec does say it works best with a solid output ostomy.
  • If you call the manufacturer (Hollister, Coloplast, ConvaTec and others)–they will talk to you about your issues and needs. They will also send you samples, if you request them. A distributor company such as Edgepark, Preferred Home Care, Shield and others can also give direction to you and send samples. Check out our Resource Page for company contact information.

Remember to stay well hydrated during the warm months and anytime you exercise. For the ileostomate, keep your electrolyte levels in a good range-through periodic blood work monitoring, taking vitamin/mineral supplements after checking with your doctor, and eating/drinking foods high in your missing electrolyte/minerals.

CROC ostomy support group meetings, Ostomy Education, Ostomy Resources

The importance of certified ostomy nurses

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.



Ostomy Resources

Local Ostomy Resource Makes Life Easier

An ostomy (pronounced os-tuh-mee) is a surgical procedure which diverts urinary or bowel output through a surgically created opening, called a stoma, located on the abdomen. Some of the reasons to have an ostomy procedure include bladder or colon cancer, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, familial polyposis, and diverticulitis.  An ostomy can be temporary or permanent. In the United States, there is an estimated 120,000 ostomy procedures performed every year, with an estimated 800,000 to 1 million people with ostomies in the US. This means 1 out of 400 people has an ostomy.


In Mohave County, resources to assist persons with ostomies, known as ostomates, have been limited. Yet, there is a unique resource available in the Colorado River Ostomy Chapter (CROC) of United Ostomy Association of America (UOAA).  This Chapter is located in  Bullhead City where it is the only official UOAA support group in the county as well as the Tristate area. CROC draws ostomates from Kingman and Lake Havasu to its meetings routinely with Winter visitors attending as well.


The Chapter meets every second Monday  from 1-3 pm in building at Joshua Springs Senior Living’s Media Room.  Persons with ostomies, those who anticipate needing ostomy surgery, those with continent diversions, support persons of ostomates/diversions,  those who have had ostomies are welcome to attend, and medical professionals interested in ostomy care. The group creates opportunities to discuss issues, review ostomy products, and provides education on various ostomy topics. Jim Morris is the local UOAA President with the monthly meetings co-facilitated by Desiree Morgan RN and Stephanie Short RN, both of whom are certified in Ostomy care.


by Stephanie Short, RN OMS