Advice Wanted: Wound Care and Ostomy Nurse

  1. Hi Everyone Out There.

    I am new to this site and a recent RN graduate. I currently work as a med-surg nurse at a busy county hospital. In the future I would like to have a career as a wound care and ostomy nurse. Anyone out there got any good solid advice for me on how to proceed with my choice? Thanks.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   UCDSICURN
    I'd look for a "Wound Center". We had a Vascular surgeon that ran a wound center. Mostly lower extremity stasis ulcers. Lots of little dressings. If you want the best experience I'd say get into a Burn ICU. You will become a God at dressing changes.

    As far as the ostomy area. If you're hospital has one, maybe hit a GI floor.

    Hope this helps.

    Donn C.
  4. by   goodasitgetts
    I started as a burn nurse, then moved up to burn ICU. After about 5 years I started feeling stressed and moved into home care. I loved doing home care and I quickly discovered that I knew a LOT more about wounds, grafts, and flaps than most of the other nurses. I decided to become a WOC nurse after a few years of working closely with the WOC nurses. They were about the nicest and most knowledgable nurses that I had ever met. I announced this to my supervisor who promply offered me a position as an "assistant" to our WOC nurse who was very overwhelmed as we had hundreds of patients in service and she was the ONLY woc nurse. I worked one on one with her for six weeks and received a wonderful education! Later on she would ask me to meet her whenever she had an interesting case.
    The one thing that was most helpful was working around people who had more experience and were willing to share. Other things which proved helpful were seeing the same patients over and over and watching their progress and learning what was helpful and what was not. Working in a wound center should be helpful but make sure that you are working with at least one practioner who has had formal wound training. There is a wound center nearby were some of my (home care) wound patients receive treatment. The nurses at that particular center have no training and frequently do not practice what is known as "evidence based practice." This means following established protocals which are based on research and common sense.
    If you know a WOC nurse or have one who works at your facility you may try speaking with her and asking her if she would help you on your quest. She might be very willing to assist you. I am always willing to assist fellow nurses. I need them as much as they need me! Good Luck!
  5. by   lindsay869
    Hi everyone. I have been an RN for about a year now and work on a Surgical Specialty floor. Our patient population is pretty diverse. The three main focuses are Ortho, Urology, and Plastic/limb saving. Our plastic patients are pretty complex and involve amps, flaps, grafts, vacs, maggot treatments, ect.
    I spent my senior preceptorship in a Burn ICU and loved it but felt I needed some "general floor time" and to really understand the basics before going into an ICU full-time. My passion is burns, plastics, and wound care.
    I would like to specialize and I like teaching (like nursing students or other RNs) the proper way to dress/care for wounds. The students we have had come through love my patience. I just don't know how to go about specializing. I don't want a full WOC certification - I want to focus on burns and wounds only. How do I go about progressing to the next level (grad school) so I can teach in house patients and RNs, and in schools if I choose (like clinicals)? I already have my BS in nursing. Should I go for my CNS? NP? Nurse Educator? I just dont know. Help, please!!
  6. by   BROOK9960
    I am not a nurse, YET, but starting school in August. I have a colostomy and I would like to share something with anyone who is working with patients with ostomies. When I first got my colostomy, I was extremely depressed, the reason, because no one explained to me that there are other bags out there besides the clear, drainable ones. Please inform your patients that there opaque, disposable bags out there, one piece, that makes life with a colostomy so much easier and less noticeable. Make them aware that there is a 34 year old mother out there who has one and she is living a normal, happy life with only a few draw-backs. The biggest draw-back is the fact that I like to take showers without my bags (I feel cleaner after) and once in a while I have to clean feces out of the drain. Once in a while I won't get my bag on right and I will have to wash sheets in the middle of the nite, but other than that, the best bags to use are the Convatec Active Life one piece disposables. I am even to a point now where I can order mine pre-cut!

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