Hear from Sarah our Clinical Advisor
From A Bigger Life
Hopefully you all have a good relationship with your Stoma Care Nurse. You will see them before your operation, during your time in hospital and following your surgery as and when you need to. Some hospitals have a very close follow up and others just don’t have the resources to be able to do that, they would rely on you contacting them if you have any issues. Apart from all of this you are probably wondering what else does a SCN do on a day to day basis. Sarah our Clinical Advisor shares a day in the life of a stoma nurse. Sarah was a stoma nurse for 15 years within a large teaching practice in Northern Ireland.
Your key contact
A SCN is a very important part of the multi-disciplinary team within your hospital. They will be the one who is able to ensure your surgeon knows your situation and any other important details they might need to know about your journey. He/she will be the liaison between any social workers, physios or occupational therapists, helping to direct you to the appropriate health care professional that can help you with any problems that you might be having.
Outside of a clinical role the SCN also has other aspects to their job which is important in helping their patients. To enable stoma services to grow and progress they would share knowledge with colleagues throughout the world, participate in research and share results at nurse conferences. Within the course of a year in each country there would be one big SCN conference were all stoma nurses would meet, listen to different developments, be updated on different services and be able to take the information back to their own services to help improve them. This all helps to provide patients with the best possible care and go forward with new ideas and thinking that can help your quality of life.
A SCN also operates telephone support to reduce the amount of time you need to visit the hospital if you only have a minor issue that can be answered on the phone.
Education is a big part of the role of a SCN, including not only ostomates but their family, friends, nursing colleagues, members of the multi-disciplinary team and wider health care professionals. As patients are getting discharged from hospital quicker, community nurses are important for helping to manage stoma care at home. SCN’s would have ongoing teaching sessions with this group of nurses.
Stoma nurses can act as consultants, this can be within local government when they are looking at strategies to help make services more efficient or manufacturing companies to help with product development.
The nurse that you see is there with you during your recovery, but their role can be widespread through the hospital.