This is the third in a series of ICS publication in collaboration with Urology News. This first, by Paula Igualada-Martinez reviewed the history of pelvic floor physical therapy. The second, by Nadir Osman reviewed the challenges of lower urinary tract symptoms related to underactive bladder. The current article by Kathleen Hunter reviews the role of the nurse continence specialist in continence services. Below is a summary of the article. To view the entire publication click here.
The nurse who specialises in continence care is recognised as a key member of interdisciplinary teams seeking to deliver high quality integrated continence services. The recently published international service specifications for continence care supports the use of specialist continence nurses for initial assessment and management of urinary and faecal incontinence, in both nurse led clinics and speciality services. Such specialists are ideally suited to assume the role of continence case-coordinator recommended in the document.
Specialist continence nurses practice in a variety of settings: urogynecology clinics, geriatric and other speciality continence clinics, home care and long term care settings. Nurse-led continence services in the UK have been found to be effective in reducing symptoms, with high patient satisfaction.A qualitative evaluation revealed that interpersonal as well as technical skills (thoroughness, specialisation, knowledge) were important to patient satisfaction.A model of speciality continence nurses working with general practitioners in the primary care setting in the Netherlands was found to be cost effective.
In the article the following sections are discussed:
- Conservative Approaches First
- Pharmacological approaches
The role of the specialist continence nurse is well established in some countries, and growing in others. It is a challenging speciality, with new research informing practice, and opportunity to move into advanced practice roles. I would like to invite specialist continence nurses, as well as those interest or curious about this exciting area of practice to join us at ICS 2017 in Florence. Opportunities abound to network with nurses and practitioners from other disciplines, learn about new research on conservative as well and pharmacological interventions that make a positive difference in improving quality of life for those living with incontinence.
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Article by Kathleen Hunter on behalf of the ICS Nursing Committee