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Educating patients in stoma care

14 March 2019
6 min read
Volume 28 · Issue 5

Journeying towards life with a stoma can be a cause for concern for many people facing ostomy surgery. Giving the right information to the right person at the right time can help alleviate some of the worries experienced, so it is a vital part of the stoma care nurse's (SCN) role to be able to recognise and respond to the educational needs of those in their care. The aim of this article is to identify the opportunities to deliver education and the subjects often discussed. Initially, the preoperative stage will be discussed, followed by the immediate postoperative period within the hospital setting, before moving on to the long-term postoperative period after discharge. Finally, barriers to delivering this education will be highlighted.

Patients preparing for life with a stoma will often be anxious and need help to adjust to, and accept, its presence (Lim et al, 2015). A preoperative meeting is organised with the SCN to help prepare for surgery. During this meeting, the SCN will ask questions about which lifestyle and personal needs the patient feels it is important to discuss at this juncture, as well as identifying any concerns that need addressing. Typical topics discussed during the preoperative meeting include:

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