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Ensuring optimum quality of life in community patients with a stoma

Community nurses are frequently involved in the care of patients after they are discharged from hospital, including many who have undergone stoma-forming surgery. There is evidence that it takes some time to adjust to life with a stoma, with much of this adjustment occurring in the first three months following surgery. During this period, nurses can use their skills to resolve any
problems that might occur, helping patients to adapt and improve their quality of life. If community nurses cannot resolve any issues patients may have with their stomas, referral to a specialist such as the local stoma specialist nurse, might be necessary.

Jennie Burch, Enhanced Recovery Nurse, St Marks Hospital, Surgery, Harrow, Middlesex