Hope you are all having a good summer! We just returned from a couple of weeks with family in Florida and a Caribbean cruise. Since my surgery I’ve not had to worry about sweating in the heat, but we sure experienced it on this trip. It was a little concerning, but my Hollister wafer held up fine. I read a lot about problems with adhesion in hot, humid weather, and I’m now very sympathetic. Here’s some of the news I found interesting this month:
Joanna Burgess-Stocks, BSN, RN, CWOCN and UOAA Advocacy Chair, has written a number of reports for the UOAA and Ostomy Advocacy, but I think this article, Know Your Ostomy, is particularly useful. Here she addresses the communication problems we have describing our ostomies, and provides tips for explaining things like color, size, shape and location. Included is a handy checklist that can be printed and used the next time you visit your health care professional.
Did you receive the information you needed after surgery while you were still in the hospital? I know I didn’t. I had an “ostomy” nurse that I suspect couldn’t even spell o-s-t-o-m-y. Fortunately, I had the time before surgery to do a lot of homework, so I didn’t need a lot of support. That’s not typically the case, and this survey shows that almost half of all ostomate patients felt that they received inadequate information and communication from their provider at the hospital. Furthermore, the survey shows that the further back you had surgery the MORE information you received. The survey included patients all the way back to 1953, and current patients are receiving less information! This leads to many more questions around adequate patient care and why communication has decreased. There will be follow up surveys to help answer these questions, but clearly there’s much more work to be done to inform patients when they first receive their pouches.
At our recent lunch, we mentioned the blogger Eric Polsinelli of VeganOstomy. Eric writes about his experiences and is a great resource for product reviews. In this article for Shield Healthcare he reports on his trip and invitation to speak at the WOCN 2018 Conference in Philadelphia. He’s a cheerful writer (didn’t like the Walmart noodles!) and his first impression driving into Philadelphia is telling. The article is filled with interesting pictures of his trip. If this is your first time checking out his website, you’ll find lots of things to see.
For those that missed the last meeting, I wanted to give a shout-out to the non-profit healthcare supply group GoodHealthWill. Located in Loveland (with an additional location in Greeley) GoodHealthWill accepts donations of almost all medical supplies and equipment, and offers them for sale at radically reduced prices.