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Troubleshooting stomas in the community setting

Welcome to JCN’s learning zone. By reading the article in each issue, you can learn all about the key principles of subjects that are vital to your role as a community nurse. Once you have read the article, visit to evaluate your knowledge on this topic by answering the 10 questions in the e-learning unit; all answers can be found in the article. If you answer the questions correctly, you can download your certificate, which can be used in your continuing professional development (CPD) portfolio as evidence of your continued learning.

For the person with a stoma such as a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, the invasive nature of the procedure means that there can be complications such as poor stomal output, sore skin around the stoma or malodorous urine. An assessment is necessary to establish the cause of the problem, as this will provide information needed to choose the appropriate treatment. This article will discuss a variety of complications that can occur for the person with a stoma, as well as discussing the presentation, assessment, treatment options and how community nurses can ensure that any treatment continues to be effective into the future.