Ostomy care at work
After you've had your ostomy surgery and are ready to return to your job, these tips may help you get back into your regular work schedule.
Tip # 1
Do plenty of planning before returning to work:
- Determine the best way to keep the necessary ostomy supplies at work, including an extra ostomy pouching system and an extra change of clothes, just in case.
- Find the most private restroom at work, where it will be easiest to empty your ostomy pouch without interruption.
- Consider letting your supervisor and/or a trusted co-worker know about your ostomy so you can have support in the workplace when you return.
- Think about how to structure your day for the most convenient ostomy care.
Tip # 2
Consider asking your supervisor if you can start back to work part time if you are still more tired than usual.
- Recovering from any type of surgery can make you tired. Starting back to work on a part-time basis may help you ease back into the job. You can then gradually work back up to full time.
Tip # 3
If you're concerned about odor, take precautions ahead of time.
- There are excellent deodorants to use for your ostomy pouch. You can also limit foods that cause odors, including fish, cabbage and eggs.
Talk to your health care provider about other ostomy care concerns in the workplace.
- You can also find local support groups of the United Ostomy Associations of America. Members of these groups have experienced work-related issues and can offer you suggestions and support. Call 1-800-826-0826 to find the support group nearest you.