Nurses Certified in Ostomy Care

The ostomy care nurses at the University of Chicago Medicine are advanced practice nurses certified in ostomy care. We can provide education for adults before and after ostomy surgery. We also problem-solve with patients who encounter difficulties with their pouching system or stoma.

The opportunity to establish a relationship with an ostomy nurse is a unique service. Once an ostomy patient is discharged from the hospital, our nurses will see the patient in our outpatient stoma clinic on an ongoing basis. We manage all patients who have their stoma surgery at UChicago Medicine, but we also see patients who had their surgery at an outside hospital. Patients do not need to have a UChicago Medicine physician to make an appointment with a nurse at the ostomy clinic.

What care can nurses provide at an ostomy clinic visit?

The services that the ostomy nurses can provide include:

  • Pre-operative education and stoma site marking
  • Pouching system fitting
  • Assessment of inability to maintain a seal on the ostomy pouching system for a prolonged period of time
  • Assessment of peristomal skin issues (redness, itchiness, etc.)
  • Introduction to different pouching systems
  • Stoma assessment, if there is a problem with the appearance of the stoma
  • Development of problem-solving plans
  • General assistance with stoma problems (such as leakage irritated skin, change in stoma appearance, etc.)

What do patients need to bring when they come to the ostomy clinic?

  • Bring a list of any ostomy related questions to facilitate the discussion.
  • Bring one complete ostomy pouching system change to allow the ostomy nurse to see all of your pouching system items.
  • Consider how many times in a day you empty your pouch and how many days you currently wear your pouching system.

This information will be useful for the ostomy nurse as she assesses your progress.

Meet Our Ostomy Nurses

You can schedule an appointment with our ostomy nurses even if you did not have your surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine. If you signed up to use MyChart, you can contact your ostomy nurse using the MyChart App.

Janice Colwell, RN, MS, CWOCN, FAAN has been working in the field of ostomy care nursing for over 40 years. She has experience in the inpatient and outpatient areas working with patients who are anticipating ostomy surgery, have had ostomy surgery and are working towards adapting to living with a stoma. She is the past president of the Wound Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society, and has contributed to the field of ostomy nursing by editing two books on ostomy care, editing the ostomy section of the Journal of Wound Ostomy and Continence Nursing, publishing and lecturing on ostomy care nationally and internationally. She is on the board of Friends of Ostomates Worldwide USA and maintains her certification in wound ostomy and continence care.

You can reach Janice Colwell directly at janice.colwell@uchospitals.edu.

Michele Kaplon-Jones, MSN, RN, ANP-BC, CWOCN is an advanced practice nurse in ostomy care services working in conjunction with the Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Colorectal Surgery and Urology Departments managing the needs of patients with fecal and urinary diversions. She is masters prepared as an Adult Nurse Practitioner and is certified by the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nurses Certification Board for over 18 years. Her more than 27 years’ experience as a nurse ranges from gerontological rehabilitation, long-term care administration, occupational injury case management, home health, hospice and hematology-oncology. She also has facilitated an ostomy support group affiliated with the United Ostomy Association of America in Northwest Indiana over the past eight years.

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