Hi, I’m Louise, I’m a stoma care nurse and I wanted to have a word today about the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a major impact on most parts of the world.
So, our hospitals are the front line and many are restricting access to their sites.
One consequence of this is that some clinics are moving to virtual appointments, using Skype, FaceTime or similar.
If you are going to have a virtual appointment with your stoma care nurse this is likely to be a first, so we felt some guidance may be appreciated.
The most important thing that you do is to treat this exactly the same way as you would with a face to face appointment.
An appointment is normally private with just you, the nurse and perhaps a very close friend or family member if you choose to bring them.
Create the same environment at home.
Take the call somewhere private with the maximum of one other person present or do it on your own if this is how you do it for a normal appointment.
An appointment is quiet with no distractions, the focus is on you.
Again, create the same environment at home, turn off the TV and the radio, don’t look at your social media and put your phone away.
So, to get the most out of the appointment, the focus needs to be on you.
If you have a laptop or a tablet use it rather than your phone, as the screen is larger and you’ll be able to see the nurse better.
The nurse may need to look at your stoma and the skin around it, so it would be great if you had your products and accessories to hand.
Also, make sure that light is good and if you can, work out in advance how you will show him or her your stoma.
Will you stand up or would it be a shot that you could sit down and you’re more comfortable and have access to your products?
Have a little think about this.
As a face to face appointment, it is a good idea to write down a list of questions to prepare yourself, like anything.
Prior to your appointment, use this time to have a think about it and then I suppose the list is to guide you to make sure you don’t forget anything.
After you’ve made these simple and practical steps, use the appointment in exactly the same way you would treat a face to face appointment.
Be open and discuss any concerns with your nurse. A virtual appointment may be the way forward,it can be convenient. Embrace it and don’t worry about it.
Best of luck.