If you’re preparing for surgery, or just recently had it, you know that you’ll probably have Home Health Aids for at least a couple of weeks. Their role is to make sure you’re doing well after surgery and help with your first few pouch changes. But not all “nurses” from Home Health agencies are actually qualified. I learned this the hard way. My Home Health nurse had never seen an ostomy. It was my first pouch change since coming home, and I was expecting him (yes, “him” was a surprise, too) to help me out. But he made things much worse, by not allowing my skin to dry thoroughly before applying the new pouch, and I had a wicked blow-out a couple of hours later. Not to mention, it was the beginning of some serious skin breakdown until I was able to get it all figured out.
In Colorado there is a Class-A rating for those Home Health groups that can provide qualified nursing staff for ostomates. Before signing up for your nursing needs, ask the agency if they will take Medicare (not all of them do) and if they have qualified nursing staff for your needs. A couple of phone calls could save you lots of stress.
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