The First Private Teaching Hospital in South Africa, Johannesburg

Enterostomal Therapy

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Enterostomal therapy is a nursing specialty.

An Enterostomal therapy nurse or Enterostomal Therapist (ET) is a registered nurse who has specialised in the management of patients with urinary or faecal diversions, draining wounds, fistulae and partial or actual tissue trauma (chronic wounds such as pressure or vascular ulcers). An ET nurse may also care for people with faecal or urinary continence management problems.

ET nurses play a major role in the rehabilitation of patients undergoing diversionary surgery and provide long term solutions in outpatient settings.

Pre - operative services include:

  1. Education regarding the planned surgical procedure.
  2. Stoma site selection.
  3. The impact of a stoma on the patients’ life.
  4. Basics of stoma management.

General post - operative services include:
  1. Product selection and application.
  2. Instruction to the patient and family/care workers in stoma care.
  3. Dietary and fluid alterations in consultation with a registered dietician, when applicable.
  4. Developing ways to incorporate stoma management into the patient’s life.

The ET nurse provides long term follow up in outpatient settings. Such care includes:
  1. Ongoing education and lifestyle adjustment.
  2. Surveillance for stoma complications which may arise later or in the early phases of recovery.
  3. Prevent and manage peristomal skin breakdown.