ET nurse move raises questions

We, the members of the West Kootenay Ostomy Support Group are concerned about the relocation of the ET (Enterstomal Therapist) nurse.

We, the members of the West Kootenay Ostomy Support Group are concerned about the relocation of the ET (Enterstomal Therapist) nurse from the Trail Regional Hospital to the Castlegar Heath Center.

We believe this decision by Interior Health, as usual, is very flawed and not in the best interest of the patients involved.

Her workload even before being relocated to Castlegar was too much and now it will be even worse.

I understand that this decision was based on putting the ET nurse in a central location, but how can this be central when all of the ostomy operations are performed in the Trail Hospital where the patient is required to see the ET nurse before the surgery and at least once after the surgery.

Even when the ET nurse worked out of the hospital, it was difficult for her to consult with all the ostomy surgery patients before they were discharged.

What will happen now when she only comes to Trail twice a week?

Many patients will slip through the cracks and not get the information and help they need to cope with their ostomy when they get home. Although our group is there for support, we are not able to give the hands on attention many new ostomy patients need from the ET nurse.

It has also come to our attention that when the ET nurse does come into Trail twice a week, she is only there to see inpatients and is not set up to see any outpatients anymore.

Would it not be possible to have a room set up in the hospital or the Wellness Center where she could see outpatients as she does in our communities?

It is increasingly difficult to get an appointment with the ET nurse in Castlegar as she is spending so much time on the road now and therefore never in her office.

All that time wasted on the road could be better used to see all the patients that need her help and guidance.

The best solution if she had to be moved out of the hospital would have been relocating her in the Kiro Wellness Center.

At least then, she would have been close to the hospital.  We, as a group feel that the ET nurse is overworked and therefore unable to do her job efficiently.  We all miss her expertise and availability.

Interior Health has been aware of our concerns for a couple of months now, and has yet to address the problem.  An email was sent to them by another concerned group on Dec. 7, 2011 and then again by me on Feb. 4.

Their latest response sent on Feb. 9, which was not sent to me, was that they have to wait for a response from the Community Integrated Health Service Administrator.

We, (the West Kootenay Ostomy Support Group) have waited long enough. It is time for action!

Why is that Interior Health can make a bad decision in a day, but will take several months, if ever, to correct it?

Their motto must be “There is no reason for it. It is just our policy.”

Well it is time to give sensible reasons and forget about the uncompassionate and archaic policy.

Rickie Beatty


On behalf of the West Kootenay Ostomy Support Group