Cancer surgery nursing

Elizabeth is a 76-year-old insulin-dependent diabetic with cancer of the bowel. As part of her treatment, she had been admitted to hospital for a colostomy.

Unfortunately, Elizabeth found it difficult to accept the colostomy and, hindered further by the instability of her diabetes, her recovery was proving slow and difficult.

So Elizabeth and her daughter came to us. They wanted us to deliver a rehabilitation programme at home following her discharge from acute care. The aim was to enable her to regain physical ability, confidence and independence.

The Consultus Nurse went to the hospital where Elizabeth had had her operation on the day of discharge, for a handover from the nursing team. Our nurse then worked closely with the community team, including the stoma nurse and district nurses, to formulate a care plan which focused on promoting independence and confidence.

Elizabeth’s diabetes was soon stabilised and our Live-in Nurse ensured that she was completely confident in dealing with her insulin administration and regulating her own diet. Over the course of the week that our nurse lived in her home, Elizabeth also became proficient in looking after her colostomy and changing the stoma bag.

At the end of the seven days, she was fully independent, self-caring and had a more positive outlook on life.

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