One of a surgical patient’s most unsettling surprises can arrive in the recovery room with the discovery that an ostomy bag is now an appendage, potentially a long-term one.
Enter the recovery follow-up team, whose nurse and physician members are confronted with explaining the unexpected need for the bag along with the myriad details of what lies ahead.
Whether the need for an ostomy bag comes as an unexpected revelation or is known in advance, as it most often is, dealing with patients’ questions and uncertainties can be a daunting issue.
It was this challenge that led Dr. Gordon Bozin and his medical team at Chandler Regional Medical Center to develop one of the area’s newest ostomy centers, a compact but fully operational facility that provides an in-depth overview of the ostomy phenomenon.
Best of all, says Barbara McGuire, RN, who is part of the team overseeing the new facility, its location on the Chandler Regional campus will give patients the benefit of receiving instruction, support and care close to home.
Previously, patients were required to visit an ostomy-care facility out of the immediate area, according to McGuire.
Chandler Regional’s nationally certified and specially trained WOCNs, or wound ostomy and continence nurses such as McGuire, have extensive knowledge of ostomy care and the related experience to help patients effectively manage ostomies and ease their return to normal life.
In the United States alone, more than 75,000 people each year undergo surgery that results in an ostomy, a surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes, said Kay Prost, RN, the hospital’s medical-surgical director.
A person usually has ostomy surgery to relieve or cure the symptoms of a disease or condition adversely affecting the digestive or urinary tract system, said Prost.
The most common procedures requiring ostomy surgery relate to cancer treatment. Other reasons for an ostomy may include diverticulitis, imperforate anus, Hirschsprung’s disease or physical trauma.
“Working with a WOCN will improve patient comfort level and reduce complications,” said Patty White, who served as hospital president and CEO while the ostomy program was being developed.
White said it is commonly known that optimal care and management can lead to better medical outcomes, quicker recovery and a faster return to normal activities.
“We knew there was a need in the southeast Valley for ostomy support services so we put a team of experts in place to create this program.”
White is now president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
The clinic, located on Chandler Regional’s campus in the Morrison Building at 1875W. Frye Road, will be open Monday through Friday based on the needs of individual patients.
Patients can be referred by their primary care doctor or surgeon, and can call 480-728-3836 to make an appointment.
It is not a walk-in clinic and appointments are required.