Patients and families who are dealing with conditions such as non-healing wounds, bedsores, bladder and bowel incontinence and ostomy-related issues contend with physical symptoms, as well as social and emotional side effects. The impact on patients and families can exact an enormous toll. The Wound Ostomy & Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society is launching a campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of specialized care. "Place Your Care in the Hands of an Expert" highlights the importance of expert nursing care in addressing the comprehensive needs of the wound, ostomy and continence patient. The awareness campaign focuses on educating patients and other professionals by making a poster, brochure and a patient request for WOC Nursing services available through the WOCN Website. The campaign is designed to build awareness of the role of the WOC Nurse, especially during WOC Nurses Week (April 18-24th)
Knowledge is Power
The issues related to wound, ostomy and continence conditions may be too embarrassing for many sufferers to acknowledge and discuss. But knowledge is power, and when patients have the support, insight and understanding of professionals with the education and certification to address physical conditions, as well as the less-often considered emotional issues, the road to increased independence, condition management and improved self esteem is within their reach. WOC Nurses are committed to providing quality care.
Wound, Ostomy & Continence Issues, More Common than Many Realize
Just how common are wound, ostomy and continence conditions in the U.S.? The facts are startling:
-Non-healing wounds affect a significant number of people. They are responsible for considerable pain, suffering and loss of function. Furthermore, without proper treatment, wounds can become infected and threaten loss of limb or life.
-Pressure ulcers (or bedsores) affect 10% of people in hospitals. Older adults are the group that is most susceptible.
-It is estimated that over 12 million Americans struggle with some form of urinary incontinence
-Approximately 5.5 million Americans may experience episodes of fecal incontinence
-One third of all men and women between the ages of 30-70, will experience loss of bladder or bowel control at some point in their adult lives.
-750,000 people in the US have an ostomy, a surgically created opening in the body to allow body waste to pass through.
- 75,000 fecal and urinary ostomies are created annually.
-Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease may eventually create wound and incontinence issues without a preventive care plan.
Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society