Today launches the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Week sponsored by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society. Highlighting the important work of WOC nurses, the week also helps nurses in the field celebrate all they do for patients and their families.

WOC nurses treat patients who have unhealed wounds, ostomies, or urinary or fecal incontinence issues, so nurses who are in this field or who are considering entering this specialty will have many areas of focus to work in. Some patients receive care for these conditions throughout their lives while others might be going through the process of figuring out the best care for new conditions. Nurses interested in growing professionally as a nurse in education and in patient interaction will find this field particularly satisfying.

Nurses in wound, ostomy, and incontinence care work with patients of all ages and with different health conditions. From infants with gastrointestinal system disorders to patients who have newly presented urinary incontinence to patients with open wounds, WOC nurses know the medical conditions and help patients understand what is happening. They are able to navigate the incredibly complex conditions that bring patients to them and the different stages of understanding and self-care their patients are capable of.

WOC nurses are mindful of the medical care their patients need and also promote education to make their patients engaged in their own care if at all possible. As with any nursing specialist, certification through the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board is encouraged. With varied conditions requiring treatment in this field, nurses can also look into certification for foot care, as so many patients deal with wounds on their feet that won’t heal.

In the efforts of continuing to gain knowledge and education, the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurses Society is hosting a webinar this week. Kathleen Lawrence MSN, RN, CWOCN presents the webinar “Guiding Your Professional Future with the Scope and Standards for the WOC Nurse” on Wednesday, April 17 from 1-2 pm Eastern. If you participate, you may be eligible to earn one credit hour. The webinar is free but you must register to participate.

For fun, the society is also encouraging nurses to send in photos from this week in a photo contest. You can also tag the photos with #WOCNurseWeek2019 and share them on social media. Your team might also want to host a small celebration at work. Take a few minutes to enjoy some goodies and recognize how deeply your work is appreciated by the people you help every day. And recognize your team members for the way you all work as a unit to help you patients and their families achieve the very best health they can.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil is a freelance writer based in Bolton, Massachusetts.
Julia Quinn-Szcesuil

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