Spotlight: Premier Health Ostomy Clinic is Unique to Region

Premier Pulse     January 2019

The certified ostomy nurses at Premier Health’s Ostomy Clinic regularly see patients who believe they must live with their daily discomfort. “I have seen countless ostomates who don’t go out any more due to fear of having an accident,” says Advance Practice Registered Nurse Gregory Sanchez. “They often don’t even tell their doctors. One of the most satisfying parts of our work here at the Ostomy Clinic is helping these patients to get their lives back.”

Without the Ostomy Clinic at Miami Valley Hospital – the only one of its kind in the region – patients would be forced to travel as far as Columbus or Cincinnati for complex ostomy and fistula care. The clinic provides relief for patients suffering from itching, pain, odor, frequent leakage, and skin problems. “Patients with an ostomy are relieved to find someone who understands their issues,” Sanchez says. “We often see patients who are amazed that the rash they have had under their ostomy wafer is easily treatable or that the leakage they have every few days can be fixed by finding a better ostomy appliance and applying it in a different way.”

The clinic’s advanced practice registered nurses – all certified in wound and ostomy care – provide invaluable assistance to physicians throughout the region, helping with their patients’ ostomy care as well as proper fit and function. “Most in the medical profession, including many physicians, do not have the experience or the time to put into the details of ostomy care,” says James Ouellette, DO, of Premier Surgical Oncology. “They address patient fears and know how to fix the minor details that really disrupt people’s lives. This begins in the pre-op area with marking the best place for a stoma and carries over to teaching after surgery.” 

After meeting with clinic staff, patients come away with a much better understanding of what to expect. “This results in an easier transition and possibly a shorter hospital stay,” says Kathryn Haught, MSN, RN, a Premier Health oncology nurse navigator for gastrointestinal cancers.

Sanchez adds that recent research has shown that preoperative education can decrease length of stay and readmissions: “We have found that preoperative education makes the transition from the hospital to home much easier,” he says. “There is so much going on during a hospital stay, we have found it’s beneficial for patients to get a head start on how to care for their ostomy.”

In addition to improved quality of life, patients can also experience considerable financial relief. “We can place the patients with the right equipment and decrease their cost as well, so they are not using up too many supplies at once,” explains APRN Deanna Boyd.

The Ostomy Clinic shares clinic space with the Miami Valley Regional Hospital Burn Center and Wound Care Center. “It often takes a team,” Sanchez says. “For instance, our ostomy nurses specialize in using wound VACs to isolate fistulas within a wound.”

Ostomy Clinic staff derive a sense of fulfillment from improving the daily quality of life for both outpatients and inpatients. “Believe me, if you are having troubles with an ostomy, you need a specialist,” Boyd says. “It can be a life changer!”

Back to the January 2019 issue of Premier Pulse

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