A visit to blow my ‘red stockings’ off

Ms Alison Kennedy1
1Sydney Childrens Hospital, Coogee, Australia

The Cincinnati Reds (red stockings) are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati. The city and its residents are very proud and passionate about their team.

Another ‘institution’ the Cincinnatians are proud and passionate about is their children’s hospital. It is rated number 2 in the USA and has a worldwide reputation for excellence in many disciplines including paediatric colorectal surgery and bowel management.

I was very fortunate to be awarded a scholarship which allowed me to travel to Cincinnati and attend a colorectal nursing workshop hosted by the hospital and participate in their bowel management programme over a two week period.

The nursing workshop was held over three days, and attracted sixty nurses from all over the USA. The topics under discussion were all related to congenital bowel conditions such as Hirschsprung Disease and Ano-rectal malformations and the presentations included anatomy, surgical techniques used, colonic motility, bladder involvement, gynaecology, ostomy care, nutritional aspects, psychology and home care/ school integration.

The bowel management programme has patients attend from all corners of the world and is run as an outpatient service. Participants mainly have faecal incontinence who have failed previous attempts achieving continence. They attend the hospital on day one (orientation) of the programme and meet the team. A management plan is agreed, they are provided with bowel diaries and instructions to follow.  Daily abdominal x-ray and communication with the team follows and treatment/ management updates are given.

This presentation will provide a snap shot of my educational visit, what I learned and how it affected my practice.


Alison works at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick, NSW. She is a paediatric nurse whose clinical practice spans over three decades working within the surgical discipline. Since emigrating to Australia sixteen years ago her role has entailed caring for children who have surgically created ‘holes’ such as gastrostomies, jejunostomies and caecostomies. In 2012 she took the plunge and commenced a post graduate certificate in Stomal Therapy Nursing and her CNC position was expanded to the role of STN on completion. She is now referred to as the poo nurse but does not find that insulting in the least  🙂

A colourful idea for children having a Mitrofanoff / Monti stoma – from idea to end product

Mrs Lisa Naeher1
1Women’s And Children’s Hospital Adelaide, North Adelaide, Australia

The thought of any surgery can be daunting, but imagine surgery that alters the way that urine is passed. Imagine urine draining from your abdomen but in a controlled way. Imagine having to insert a catheter into your abdomen numerous times a day. This becomes part of everyday life for children and their families having a Mitrofanoff procedure.

Teaching children how to catheterise their new stoma can be a daunting and very emotional process for all involved. This presentation discusses the development of a colouring book aimed at 5-12 year olds to assist with learning the process of catheterisation. It will help children to come to terms with the technique and how to care for their stoma.

This is a resource that will provide a fun but informative approach to ‘weeing in a different way’.

The presentation  discusses the process used to develop the resource, engaging with consumers/running a consumer interest group and generating the content of the colouring book.

This project is the result of the Mitrofanoff Support Australia Scholarship.

I feel very fortunate to be awarded this scholarship and look forward to this resource being embraced by the children and their families requiring a Mitrofanoff or Monti procedure.


Lisa works at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital as the Stomal Therapy/Urology Nurse Consultant.

Lisa has a keen interest in improving the lives of children with stomas and continence issues.

Lisa a member of The Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses and is also a representative on the national Association’s Education and Professional Development Sub committee.

Lisa believes nursing is a very privileged occupation especially caring for children and families at vulnerable stages in their life. Being a support for the patients/families and making a small difference is what Lisa find rewarding.

Getting to the bottom of Hirschsprung’s Disease

Ms Chary Richards1

1Children’s Hospital, Westmead, Westmead, Australia

Hirschsprung’s Disease is characterised by an absence of myenteric parasympathetic, intramural ganglion cells in the distal colon, resulting in a functional obstruction of the bowel.  A Danish physician Dr Harold Hirschsprung first described the disease in 1886.  This condition occurs in approximately 1 in 5000 births with greater incidence in boys than girls.  The cause of HD is unknown although there is a familial tendency for HD to affect siblings or offspring.  This condition may also be associated with other anomalies such as Down’s syndrome.  Failure or delay in passing meconium is usually the first observable sign. Other signs and symptoms may be abdominal distension, signs of bowel obstruction, chronic constipation or diarrhoea.  Older children may exhibit signs of bowel obstruction, chronic constipation or diarrhoea.  My oral presentation will follow an infant/child’s journey from diagnosis to achieving stooling effectively.

I will discuss the diagnostic tests performed to evaluate the extent of Hirschsprung’s Disease and the surgical options.   It will highlight the day to day procedures parents are asked to perform to help their baby pass stools effectively.  I will also outline procedures and common problems the baby will face in a clinical environment. This case study will also illustrate the impact on the parents with regards to body perception, ongoing care and social implications of a rarely discussed and poorly understood condition.  The infant/child’s 1st year of diagnosis is complex and at times challenging for clinicians and families but also rewarding.


Chary has been a CNC at the Children’s Hospital, Westmead  for the past 7 years. One aspect of her position is being part of a multi-discipline colo-rectal team working with children and their families following diagnosis of Hirschsprung’s Disease.


This conference is proudly hosted by the Australian Association of Stomal Therapy Nurses: www.stomaltherapy.com

One of the Association's major objectives is the promotion of quality care for a wide range of people with specific needs. These needs may be related to ostomy construction, urinary or faecal incontinence, wounds with or without tube insertion and breast surgery.

Patients/clients across the life span are provided with preventative, acute, rehabilitative and continuing care as required. Another objective is the maintenance and improvement of professional standards in relation to Stomal Therapy Nursing Practice to the highest degree possible. Recognition of the need for and encouragement of the development of specialist expertise in the field of Stomal Therapy Nursing underpins the Standards for Stomal Therapy Nursing Practice.

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