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January 28, 2017

Finding the Right Enterostomal Nurse After Your Ostomy

I remember well the days of post-surgery recovery in the hospital.  While I was thankful for the relief that my ileostomy provided from the painful symptoms of ulcerative colitis, I was somewhat anxious about what my “new” life would look like.  What would I have to do differently now that I had this unfamiliar stoma protruding from my abdominal wall?  Would I be able to enjoy travel and the great outdoors again?  Would I even be able to go back to work?

Such thoughts and worries played on my mind when I was alone.  When my family or friends dropped by to visit, I put on a brave face.  I assured them that I would be able to resume the normal, active life that I had known prior to surgery, and prior to my disease.  But when I was alone again, I wasn’t so sure. Notably, a big reason why I launched Inner Good was to provide access to an ET Nurse online via Skype so that individuals all over Canada can have access to help in post surgery moments like these. To schedule a video conference with our ET Nurse, click here.    

How The Right ET Nurse Helps You to Go Home

As I shared in a previous post, one of the most important people I met in my life as a new ostomate was my Enterostomal Therapy (ET) Nurse.  The hospital I had surgery at connected us as part of my post-surgery recovery program.  She was knowledgeable, encouraging, and provided a level of practical support that helped me adjust to ostomate life much more quickly than I would have otherwise.


Enterostomal Therapy / Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurse Certificate

Your ET will (should) have a Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurse Certificate. Since my ET Nurse was indeed equipped with advanced, specialized knowledge and practical skills in ostomy care, she was able to do all of the following effectively and professionally:

1. Educate me and my family members in the specifics of self-care, sharing the latest research and “best practices”.

2. Introduce a wide variety of products, helping me to find the right fit and teaching me how to customize them when necessary.

3. Act as an advocate for me with other medical professionals (i.e. my family doctor).

I am convinced that, without her help in the weeks following surgery, I would have made the transition to ostomate life much more slowly, and with a lot more feelings of discouragement and loneliness.  Did I mention how much I appreciate my ET Nurse?

In talking with other ostomates, I have realized that not all hospitals provide this service after ostomy surgery.  There are also situations where people aren’t happy with the ET Nurse that was introduced by the hospital.  Because of my overwhelmingly positive experience, I always feel the need to help others who have had these experiences. That’s why we at Inner Good launched our Canada’s first online ET Service

If you find yourself in either of these situations, you can contact the “Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy” via phone, email, or you can visit their website and click on the prominent “Find An E.T. Nurse” button.  Just enter your city or postal code and you’ll be able to access a listing of the closest ET Nurses.  

Trust me: you won’t regret taking the time to find the right ET Nurse!      

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