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How to care for patients with stomas

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This article tells you about:

  • The main types of stoma
  • Common reasons that patients need stomas
  • How to care for patients with stomas

You would be likely to reference this article if you were researching:

  • Stoma care
  • Colostomy, urostomy or ileostomy
  • Stoma appliances

In what situations will this article be useful to me?

  • Most patients with stomas receive specialist care from stoma clinical nurse specialists. However, they may present in any clinical setting for health problems either related to their stoma or not. In these situations non-specialist nurses need to be able to understand the basics of stoma management to ensure they provide holistic care, and know when to seek help from the stoma care nurse.

Questions for your mentor/tutor

  • Is a stoma care nurse specialist available to offer stoma care help and advice in your place of
  • Do nursing staff need training in basic stoma care?
  • Does your workplace need to develop a stoma care policy or guideline?

Student Nursing Times decoder

  • Colostomy: a stoma formed from the large bowel or colon
  • Ileostomy: a stoma formed from the small bowel or ileum
  • Urostomy: a stoma formed using a segment of bowel to allow the passage of urine
  • Peristomal skin: Skin surrounding a stoma


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