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So, we’re starting to look at the logistics of setting up an ostomy clinic.

HOW would it work? Would an ostomate make appointments, or be referred from other places like home health, hospitals, emergency rooms, primary care physicians, other medical personnel? or any or all of the above?

WHAT services would be offered? general ostomy check up? emergency services? solutions for leakage? fitting a pouching system? counseling? small support sessions? nutrition information? education, such as irrigation, or answering questions for those who just found out they will have an ostomy, or their caregivers, or families?

We’d like to hear the services you feel should be offered, and also the services that other clinics actually do offer.

WHO would staff it, in general? Okay, a receptionist, and a CWOCN. Are those a given? Are more people needed? What about a nutritionist? Custodial staff?

WHEN would it be open? Is this something that would work if it were open once a week, say on Saturday or  Wednesday afternoon, when the space might be used the rest of the week by a doctor, but usually be closed to patients on Wednesday afternoon? Does it need to be open more that a half day a week? It would be a beginning, but would leave the emergencies, like the Easter Sunday episode out in the cold, still with nowhere to go for help.

and HOW IN THE WORLD would we handle insurance, payment, etc. Gratis would be a dream, but the clinic would have staff, rent, supplies, phone, and on and on to provide funds for. And that would also mean an accounts manager or bookkeeper, or that receptionist is quickly becoming a general manager/bookkeeper.

These things make my head swim. I’m glad I opted for a career in education as opposed to business.

So come on all of you smart people!! How would an ostomy clinic handle all of these things?

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Where??

So, if we decide, YES, an Ostomy clinic is needed in our area, we need to answer the 5 Ws at the very least, so WHERE might this Ostomy Clinic be situated?

Our retired WOCN nurse had a call from a new ileostomate on Easter Sunday. The skin around the stoma was a mess. The patient had gone to the emergency room where they wouldn’t treat her and told her to go to the wound clinic (on Monday). Our retired nurse actually went to the patient’s home and helped her.

When I hear stories like this, I think the Ostomy Clinic should be connected with an emergency room of a hospital.

Then, at every support group meeting, things are mentioned that bring up not so needy problems. The experienced ostomate who is still using a pouching system with a precut hole that is much larger than the stoma and is compensating with eakin (SP?) rings would not probably even recognize a problem or think of going to the emergency room. But her life might be made a lot easier if someone checked her out once or twice a year. So do we have the Ostomy Clinic set up in the room next door to our Support Group meetings?

I have been noticing on Ostomy discussion Boards that there are areas in the US with Ostomy Clinics.

Perhaps we could brainstorm the types of places where it would make sense to have an Ostomy Clinic.

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If we were to have our dreams come true, we would have a clinic in Hernando County for Ostomates.

 

If 25 people read that manifesto, we’d probably have 25 different ideas about what the clinic would be like, depending upon our experiences and personal needs.

We are not currently visioning having an MD available at the clinic.  If an Ostomy nurse felt a doctor visit was warranted, they would make the recommendation that the patient see a physician or surgeon. But, you might feel the clinic should also have a doctor on-site during operating hours.  We’d like to know that also.

An ostomy clinic COULD:

  • have small support groups
  • help with getting a good fit in a pouch
  • help with leakage
  • help with skin problems around or under the pouch
  • review changing the pouch
  • review managing the pouch
  • answer many of your questions
  • calm your fears

I’ll start with an example of a need from my experience that I think should be met by an Ostomy clinic (and I think I could list at least 25) and then I’ll let you have a turn.

I think there should be small group support sessions for cancer survivors with ostomy.  As a 2 time survivor of anal cancer with 2 colostomy surgeries, there never was a support group available for me.  Breast cancer had a support group, but not anal or colon.  I didn’t feel the women at the breast cancer group would understand what was going on with me.  They might have, but I doubt it.  I don’t understand what they are going through, even though I have made several friends with breast cancer while undergoing treatment for four years.  It takes one to know one, deep down.

Now think about your situation.

What should an ostomy clinic do?  Why do you say that?

 

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