Each day at Cleveland Clinic main campus, our WOC nurses care for 50 to 60 people with ostomies and fistulae. Each year, they provide counseling during more than 2,700 outpatient visits. They care for children, adolescents, and adults.
While your WOC nurse does not function as your primary nurse, the WOC nurse’s goal is to help ensure a smooth recovery so you can return to normal daily life as quickly as possible.
Your WOC nurse is available to provide individualized care and instruction at the bedside before and after surgery, in the outpatient clinics, and by phone even when you are at home.
Nearly one million people in North America currently have ostomies and 70,000 new ostomy surgeries are performed each year. People learn to lead very normal lives with temporary and permanent ostomies of all kinds. They work, have children, eat well, travel and lead active lives.
WOC nurses offer preoperative counseling, working individually with patients to provide them with information about their surgery and prepare them for what to expect afterward. They play an important role in stoma siting, finding the best spot on the abdomen for the surgeon to create the stoma, by identifying an area on the abdomen which will help ensure both comfort and a reliable seal with the ostomy pouch. After surgery, WOC nurses assess the abdominal and stomal area, and recommend the most appropriate pouching system. In-depth instruction will be provided regarding stoma and skin care as well as pouching procedures and techniques.
The WOC nursing staff cares for patients with colostomies, conventional and continent ileostomies, conventional and continent urostomies, fistulae and pressure ulcers. For those patients with incontinence, the WOC nurse can provide information on skin care, odor management, and absorption or collection products.
Please ask questions of your WOC nurse. Any question you have is important; no questions is too difficult or too trivial. To reach a WOC nurse:
Call us toll-free 800.223.2273, ext. 6677, or the direct line to the office is 216.444.6677.
We are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Or you may email questions.
Some medical insurers cover WOC nursing services. Check with your insurer to find out about your specific coverage. A fee schedule is available through Cleveland Clinic by calling 216.444.9286.