Enterostomy Therapy nurses, also referred to as ET or stoma nurses, are registered nurses who specialize in the management and care of patients with urinary and fecal diversions and/or incontinence. These nurses assist physicians in performing ostomies and help patients to continually care for them after the procedure has been performed. It's common for ET nurses to make house calls, especially following surgeries, to help patients with cleaning or troubleshooting a malfunctioning ostomy device, caring for skin infections near the ostomy, and helping to alleviate the pain that's often caused by the ostomies.
Common duties that ET nurses are tasked with may include:
ET nurses are generally found wherever ostomy procedures and maintenance are performed. This can include:
Becoming an enterostomy therapy nurse means first earning an appropriate degree and becoming licensed as an RN. Although eligibility requirements will vary from certification to certification, most enterostomy therapy certifications - and there are many - will require you to complete at least 50 hours of experience and/or a Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Education Program. Additional experience in the field is also recommended.
To become an enterostomy therapy nurse, the following educational requirements must be met:
* In some cases, ET nurses will have Master's or doctoral degrees
Yes, enterostomy therapy nurses are required to hold an active and unencumbered RN license. This means that they should hold an ADN or BSN degree, though BSN degrees are generally preferred by hospitals.
Several certifications applicable to enterostomy therapy nurses can be gained via the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nursing Certification Board (WOCNCB). They include:
* Eligibility requirements for these certifications generally include holding a BSN degree or higher, holding an active an unrestricted RN license, having a specific amount of direct patient care hours, and having completed a certain number of pertinent continuing education hours.
The highly specialized nature of this career compounded by technological advances in the field mean that ET nursing jobs won't be going away anytime soon.
According to PayScale, the average yearly salary for wound care nurses is approximately $67,975. On top of their base annual salaries, ET nurses usually receive employee benefits packages which include generous medical insurance coverage as well as yearly allotments of sick leave and/or paid time off, retirement plans, and sometimes life insurance options. Salaries and the contents of benefits packages will vary based on city, state, and employer. Additional factors that will influence how much an ET nurse can make include educational levels, the clinical experience, and certifications held.