We know that stoma surgery can have a profound effect on a person’s life and can cause significant changes in their daily routine, as well as impacting on their body confidence, self-belief, and ability to cope both physically and emotionally.
We also realise that individual responses to surgery can vary and are dependent on so many factors – for example was the operation an emergency, do they have their stoma as a result of a cancer diagnosis, are they more prone to anxiety and depression – all these things can play a major part in how well someone copes with what can be for many, a truly frightening experience.
When I was researching and developing this white paper on the psychological impact of stoma formation it became quite evident that whilst we have made huge advancements in products and services, unfortunately many patients continue to struggle with coming to terms and psychologically adjusting to their new life with a stoma.
The white paper is entitled “Survivor to Thriver” and explores the 3 main elements which many ostomates struggle to cope with:
- Firstly, loss of control leading to a grieving process-How important it is that we validate the sense of loss of control that ostomates can feel after surgery. Giving them the language they need to express their feelings, as they navigate through a range of emotions from grieving and denial, through to ultimate acceptance.
- Secondly, altered body image and loss of self-esteem. How crucial it is that we integrate mutual support, educational, and supportive interventions within each patient’s care plan to help address these issues.
- And lastly intimacy and sexual healing. As stoma care nurses we need to be willing to acquire new skills through appropriate specialized training and education helping us address highly sensitive topics with our patients
To complement the white paper and these important discussions, I would also invite you to watch our series of 4 webinars in the links below which explore these key themes. In each webinar you will hear from several international guest speakers, experts within their own specialist field, offering solutions to help us support our patients more effectively within their psychological recovery. Each webinar will hopefully include learnings which provide translatable skills to your current clinical practice.
Webinar 1: https://vimeo.com/548838361
Webinar 2: https://vimeo.com/548831063
Webinar 3: https://vimeo.com/606681097
Webinar 4: https://vimeo.com/606515963
Thank you for reading and please click here to download your copy of the white paper. You can also find out more on how our eakin dot pouches can help make ostomates feel more secure and confident to get on with their lives – https://www.eakin.eu/product/eakin-dot-2-piece-soft-convex/