What does An Enterostomal Therapy Nurse do?

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Enterostomal therapy nurses treat patients who are suffering from chronic wounds such as fistulas and ulcers, urinary or faecal incontinence. They also provide post-surgical care and treatment for patients with ostomies, which are surgical openings that help in the elimination of bodily wastes.

Job Description & Working In This Field

Enterostomal nurses may provide pre or post-operative care.

Pre-operative care involves educating, counselling and providing patients with information about the surgery and how it was likely to affect their life.

Post-operative care is varied and could range from monitoring the patient to providing follow-up care and advice on beneficial lifestyle adjustments.

In addition to helping the patient, an enterostomal nurse must also help the families understand their loved one’s condition and teach them how to adjust to the life of the patient post-surgery and also how to prevent any further complications. Patient education is a very important role in this specialisation. This means that a nurse must have very good communication skills in order to be able to talk to patients and their families effectively.

Enterostomal nurses may work at hospitals, clinics, specialised practices and residential facilities.

Education & Training Requirements

There are different ways to get qualified to work as a full-time enterostomal nurse. The first way is to become a Registered Nurse. You can do this by completing an associate’s degree in nursing which will take you two years.

Another alternative is to get into a bachelor’s degree of nursing which will take four years of full-time study. This is the preferred pathway as it will garner you better opportunities along with higher salaries.

Once you become a nurse, you will need to get licensed before you can practice. Some nurses may choose to continue studying and, in that case, you can look at various advanced degrees in nursing. The better your educational background, the more qualified you will become for higher positions in organisations, better job roles and higher salaries.

Certification for Enterostomal Therapy

While certification in Enterostomal therapy is not compulsory, it will help boost your resume and facilitate entry into certain highly specialised jobs. It demonstrates your expertise not just to potential employees and future co-workers but also to patients.

If you want to get certified, you must complete your bachelor’s degree in nursing and then you should either have some form of training through continuous education or you should have at least five years’ work experience in this particular field. You will need to reapply for certification every few years but this will also help you stay abreast with all the latest developments in the field.

As you get more specialised in your career, you will find that there are better job opportunities with a lot of scope. In a field like nursing where there is high demand for nurses, advanced degrees could help accelerate your advancement in the field.



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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.

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