If you’re a healthcare provider, the chances of you seeing the ostomy patient coming out of their ostomy surgery are probably more slim than coming across a patient with an ostomy who is there for a different reason. Know about ostomies. As an RN, you probably learned about ostomies at some point early on in nursing school, but how much of that do you remember? If you aren’t an RN, did you learn about ostomies? Take a CE course on wound and ostomy care so you can help them if they need it.
If you’re in a position where you have to help someone take care of their ostomy, and they’re already familiar with it (they didn’t just get out of ostomy surgery), ask them how they prefer to do things. If you’re tasked with emptying or changing their bag, see if they have any tricks they can share with you.
If you do see them right after they get out of their ostomy surgery, be positive with them about their ostomy. They might be nervous about looking at it, but after a day or two, encourage them to take a peak. If you have to change their appliance, encourage them to watch or even help.