Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence
A Nurse Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence (NSWOC) or, in the US, Wound Ostomy Continence (WOC) nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training. This specialized training focuses on the care of people with wounds, issues with continence, and people who have had ostomy surgery.
Initially, Enterostomal Therapists were people who had had ostomy surgery themselves. Eventually it became a nursing specialty. NSWOC or WOC nurses have a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, work experience, and successful completion of the NSWOC/WOC/ET training course.
Until recently, the term Enterostomal Therapy was used in Canada (and is still used in many other countries). On May 4, 2018, the Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) officially changed the name of the organization and the nurses it represents. Now, the nurses providing care to people with wounds, ostomies and continence issues are called Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence (NSWOC). The CAET is now known as Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence Canada (NSWOCC).
In Canada, the NSWOC course is offered through the Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence Canada, the professional body for Canadian Nurses Specialized in Wound, Ostomy & Continence. In the US, several schools offer the course. American WOC nurses have the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society as their professional body.