Nursing Care and COVID-19
During COVID-19, we are making some changes in the ways we offer support.
Although restrictions are being reduced to allow increased provision of care, the guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer and our nursing college still advise us that virtual visits, emails and phone calls should be our first approach. Face-to-face visits are allowed when other strategies are not effective and when there are emergency situations.
Our nursing team is here to support you with your ostomy. Please help us keep patients, staff and nurses safe with the following strategies.
A nurse will get in touch with you as soon as they can. As we are working with a smaller team at the moment, we appreciate your patience as we contact people in the order they contacted us.
Step one: Telehealth
- The nurse will discuss your issue with you and may ask you to send photos by email or text only, or to use a video chat service. Please see our tutorial on which photos will help the nurse evaluate the issue.
- The nurse may suggest samples or products which can be delivered or picked up (please see our COVID-19 page for information on our delivery and pick up procedures).
Step two: In-person visits
- If the issue cannot be resolved through telehealth, you will be asked to book an appointment. The nurse will advise you of which appointment times are available. Please note that fewer appointments are available due to strategies we have put in place to help reduce risk to you (below), our staff and our other patients. Thank you for your understanding and patience.
- The nurse may use both in-person and telehealth to address your needs. They may focus your in-person time on finding the correct pouching system, or addressing skin issues, and book a follow up by phone to check on your progress and discuss the other components of life with an ostomy, such as diet, hydration, and the emotional and psychological part of recovery.
Important safety information for in-person visits:
- When your appointment is booked, the nurse will screen you for any symptoms of COVID-19, and ask if you’ve been in contact with anyone with these symptoms:
- cough, fever, shortness of breath
- loss of sense of smell, nausea, loss of appetite
- shivers, sore throat, painful swallowing
- unusual fatigue, general feeling of unwell, body aches
- Please reschedule your appointment if you develop any of these symptoms between booking and the date of your visit
When you arrive for your appointment:
- Please wait outside and call in to verify the nurse is ready for you
- The staff will again ask you about symptoms that you or your family members or close contacts may be experiencing
- Please bring and wear a mask if you have one
- You will be asked to use hand sanitizer when you arrive and when you depart
- Please bring only what you need for the appointment and avoid unnecessary items (purses, etc)
- Please bring your own powder, barrier film and remover spray/wipes if you have them.
Important things to know about telehealth:
- Please note that sometimes the nurse will be working from home, and may need to ask you for some of the information they would normally have in your chart at the office (your stoma type, your pouching system, etc.).
- As the nurse may be calling from home, you may receive a call from a blocked number. If the call is not answered, they will leave a voicemail and call back in a few minutes.
- Please review this document on the risks associated with communicating with health care providers by email or text.
If you have recently had surgery, there is a lot to learn. In the weeks after surgery, you may also encounter changes to your stoma or abdomen that lead to leakage, skin irritation or other concerns. We want to make sure you have the help you need when you need it. Let’s start with a phone call, and see how we can best support you.