Things are Changing for the Ostomy World! - Uncover Ostomy
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Things are Changing for the Ostomy World!

A few weeks ago I was asked to sit on an advisory board for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto for a special project to change ostomy education in both the medical field and for families and patients alike. This project has been named the Rachel M. Flood program of Education for Ostomy and Wound Care.

On this past Wednesday, I attended the first meeting.

I had never been on an advisory board, so I had no idea what to expect. I was overwhelmed as I walked into the board room next to the hospital’s president’s office and took a seat where there had already been a large booklet and agenda set out for me.

I felt like a real adult!

The first meeting was really just for introductions and to get a feel of what we would be accomplishing with this project. I sat among some amazing individuals, one being Dr. Zane Cohen, a very accomplished surgeon in the field of IBD. I also sat among nurses who had earned high esteem in their work at the hospital. Mary Agnes Beduz, the director of Nursing Education and Development was also present, sitting to the left of Rachel M. Flood herself, the wonderful woman who has contributed the money for this project.

After our introductions, we began to discuss the programs mission. We were informed that the purpose of this program is to provide a regional, national, and international center for excellence in education, clinical skill development, and research in ostomy and wound care. This will enable health care professionals to provide the best care that they can to both patients and families.

Myself, and another member of this board, an executive of Ostomy Toronto, were chosen to give input from the patient side of things. During this first meeting, both of us included our input on how improvement in patient training is needed. We discussed how the level of training and what needs to be taught to these ostomates is extremely inconsistent and often unsuccessful. Ostomates usually only have around 5 days post-surgery to learn everything they need to know to care for their ostomy for the rest of their life. The board was extremely receptive to our ideas and it looks like this program will help make a huge change in ostomy training for patients.

This is only the beginning of this huge project, as the target finish date is 2014. We have a lot of work set out for us but I think we’ll be able to do it.

Since I am on this board for the patient side of things, I wanted to ask you guys:

What do you wish you would have been taught post surgery before you left the hospital?

Did you have enough time to learn the information you were taught before you had left the hospital?

Did the doctors and nurses address and cater to your specific concerns pre and post operation?

What would you like to see improved in ostomate education pre and post operation?

Let me know!

Jessica Grossman