Believe it or not I am going into Geortetown University in Washington DC, one of the "finest" hospitals in the country with a magnet nursing program. The problem is that now nursing is such a highly specialized field, that osteo nurses are not really trained in ostomy care. I have heard their GI department is first rate, but there is a shockingly few number of nurses who even know the basics of ostomy care, no less the variants of products that exist out there. The doctors are aware of the situation and have advised me to bring many more products than I would normally need - but it is an organizational problem, and an education problem. Bowel movements are not the domain of nurses at these higher end hospitals and they have nursing assitants empty bed pans and the like- these aids are sadly minimum wage, often immigrants with this being their first job in the country, and also have language barriers, and are also not taught anything other than bedpan cleaning, and urination.
Elimination is not in the domain of the nursing staff, so anything that is out of the ordinary, is not understood and addressed.
I have been even trying to find nurses aids that you can hire to augment your nursing care at about 20-25 per hour, but I have been told now by several agencies that I would have to teach these assistants in the whole process.
Not that bag elimmination or replacement is rocket science, but it is beyond some of the skill sets of staff that I have been forced to use in the past.
In Washington DC, the vast majority of nurses are coming in as immigrants from the Asian countries and Africa - Lord know I welcome them to our wonderful country...but the job is more than standard bedpan duty - and Georgetown, as well as Washington Hospital Center only has two WOC nurses full time in terms of staff, and it is their job to teach patients with new or problematic ostomies, not assist in patient daily care of elimination or appliance changes.
I do hope that I have made it clear that this is not an immigration issue - America should welcome all who want to better their lives - but this is a bit more difficult than their current job position and potential language skills.
I appreciate all the kind suggestions and have consulted the patient advocacy area, and they confirm along with my doctor, that I have to play the major role in ostomy care while in a non GI related department, ward, or ortho center.
Otherwise the nurses at Georgetown are top notch, and I have zero complaints during 14 previous surgeries. Washington Hospital Center is another story entirely with the surliest nurses I have ever experienced (except in their oncology department where I was given Remicade for UC, they were exceptional and compassionate). Of course, this is a personal opinion, I am sure others have diffferent views on WHC in DC. But I do prefer Georgetown, again personally.
So, it is up to me, my wife, and a paid assitant for when my wife is not there - and we will try to teach him or her.
Love to all here