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The role of the colorectal and stoma clinical nurse specialist

Close attention is being paid to the role the clinical nurse specialist (CNS) plays in facilitating patient adjustment and adaptation to life in the weeks, months and years after treatment for a colorectal cancer and stoma formation. Much of the CNS work is performed in the outpatient setting, in the community or on the telephone, placing the colorectal CNS in a prime position to co-ordinate the complex care needs of individuals who have undergone surgery and formation of a faecal stoma. In this article, the author examines the combined role of the colorectal/stoma CNS in co-ordinating the complex care needs of the ostomy patient with a colorectal cancer diagnosis by exploring the repertoire of skills and expertise that comes into play in the follow up care of ostomy cancer patients.

Kathryn Foskett RN BSc (Hons) GI Nursing. Senior Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist. The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Article accepted for publication: August 2012