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Ostomy and Wound Care

Ochsner Enterostomal Therapy Clinic

Wound, Ostomy or Continence nurses (WOCNs) provide care for people with selected disorders of the gastrointestinal, urinary and reproductive organ systems and the skin.

People with ostomies may refer to this nurse as their Enterostomal Therapist (or ET nurse), however, WOCN is now the more commonly used name.

As clinical experts, WOCNs care for people with abdominal stomas, wounds, fistulas, drains, pressure ulcers, other complicated wounds and continence disorders.

A WOCN participates in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of a plan of care for patients with wound, ostomy and continence care needs.

What Does a WOCN Provide?

The WOCN partners with the physician and other health care team members to help patients in a variety of areas.

  • Managing stomal complications
  • Accessing a certified Wound, Ostomy and Continence nurse
  • Offering transitional care services from hospital to community
  • Assisting through the adaption period of a new ostomy
  • Counseling on living with an ostomy and regaining independence
  • Providing lifelong follow-up care

Who Benefits from a WOCN Consultation?

A WOCN consultation is beneficial for anyone with wounds (especially slow healing ones), fistulas, diabetic ulcers or skin problems related to pressure, friction, shear and moisture.

If you have any type of ostomy or incontinence, a WOCN offers special skills and knowledge to assist in your care.

What Happens During a WOCN Consultation?

Your consultation may be from thirty minutes to one hour. The WOCN will review your past medical and surgical history along with all the medications you are currently taking.

Prior to Surgery. 

A consultation may be needed to mark the best possible site for the stoma. The visit will also allow you to ask questions and obtain an understanding of what you can expect with a new stoma.

When you go home.

There may be challenges following your ostomy surgery that leave you unsure or in need of advice.

A visit may provide assistance with the following:

  • Appliance refitting
  • Peristomal skin irritation
  • Pouch leakage odor
  • Adjusting to normal activites

A treatment plan will be created in collaboration with your specific needs and the WOCN’s unique skill set.

The WOCN plays a pivotal role in directing and giving care across many settings including hospital, outpatient, skilled nursing and home health care.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment, call 504-842-4060.