Wound, ostomy and continence care professionals are anticipating the presentation of three essential practice documents at the 2010 Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses (WOCN) Society Joint Conference.

The conference, held in conjunction with the World Council of Enterostomal Therapists (WCET), convenes June 12-16, 2010 in Phoenix, AZ.  The documents, Guideline for Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers, Management of the Patient with a Fecal Ostomy: Best Practice Guideline for Clinicians, and WOC Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, provide indispensable information for practitioners specializing in wound, ostomy and continence nursing.

Guideline for Prevention and Management of Pressure Ulcers The WOCN Society has produced a series of evidence-based guidelines focused on best practices for managing patients with neuropathic wounds and wounds due to arterial, venous disease, and pressure ulcers. The guidelines were developed by a panel comprised of WOCN-member nurses representing a wide range of experience and clinical practice backgrounds.

The Society has recently completed revisions to the guideline focused on pressure ulcer care. The previously published guideline has been updated to provide consistent, evidence-based information, as well as an overview covering the background, significance and physiological aspects of pressure ulcers. Also presented is the etiology of pressure ulcers, overall management goals, and recommendations for prevention and treatment.

Guideline includes an algorithm to determine wound etiology, a comprehensive glossary, and several appendices with tools for managing pressure ulcers. Included are studies reporting primary data applicable to pressure ulcers and relevant therapies or diagnostic modalities. The final completed guideline include recommendations, strategies and information to assist health care practitioners make decisions about appropriate health care based on established standards of care.

Management of the Patient with a Fecal Ostomy: Best Practice Guideline The Society has also published a guideline for managing patients with fecal ostomies. The guideline supports clinical practice by providing consistent research-based information designed to improve cost-effective patient outcomes and encourage ostomy-related research. Input from a panel of WOCN members and consulting colorectal surgeons drove the process. The publication covers the following areas: types of ostomies, stoma site marking, preoperative and postoperative patient education, pouching options and basic management, complications (Stoma and Peristomal) and interventions, and how an ostomy impacts the quality of life of the patient. The guideline is a valuable resource for physicians, nurses, therapists and other health care professionals treating patients who have undergone, or will undergo a fecal ostomy.

A Comprehensive Guide to WOC Nursing Wound, Ostomy and Continence (WOC) nursing is one of the newest specialties recognized by the American Nurses Association (ANA). To earn specialty recognition, the ANA requires that applicants provide thorough research and documentation of the specialty. The WOCN Society ANA Specialty Practice Task Force compiled, reviewed and revised information for the application and published the information in three documents. The documents detail the Scope of Nursing Practice, Standards of Nursing Practice and the formal criteria for designation for Specialty Practice. The result is a comprehensive examination of the history, practice and standards of WOC nursing.

The information is essential to anyone practicing in the field. Emphasizing the specialty's roots, current state and future direction, the documents distill the extensive, yet vital information about the specialty into a manageable format. It is fundamental reading for WOC Nurses and others whose works involves WOC Nursing issues.