The Ostomy Care Associate® Program

OCA Classes open now!

  • Registration deadline is April 1st.
  • Classes begin April 26th.

Register now!

Miami Ostomy Aftercare Program, Inc. (MOAP) is a not-for-profit charitable Florida organization dedicated to improving the lives of ostomy patients post hospitalization. MOAP is proud to join forces with WOCN® to provide ostomy education to healthcare clinicians, therefore improving their ability to provide appropriate ostomy care for patients with ostomies.

What is the OCA® PROGRAM?

The Ostomy Care Associate (OCA®) Program is a continuing education program developed by the Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Nurse (WOCN®) Society and is intended to prepare non-specialty nurses to provide optimal care for patients with ostomies. This program was developed in acknowledgement of the ever-growing demand for ostomy care services in all health care settings. The OCA Program is not a certification program.

The OCA® program is offered by the Miami Ostomy Aftercare Program, Inc.

Purpose of the OCA Program

The WOCN Society developed this educational program to:

  1. Educate and prepare more skilled ostomy care providers across all health care settings.
  2. Enhance nurses’ ability to provide optimal care for patients with ostomies as members of a collaborative ostomy care team.
  3. Provide the non-specialty nurse the ability to provide optimal care for patients with ostomies under the direction of a supervising WOC specialty nurse, a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner; or a clinical nurse specialist (experienced in ostomy care).

Why choose the OCA® PROGRAM?

The OCA® Program is an evidence-based online course that meets international guidelines for ostomy care and provides 27.0 contact hours for nurses.

Unlike other ostomy education courses, the OCA® Program requires hands-on training and testing facilitated by WOCNCB-certified specialty nurses.

The program was developed and is presented by internationally-recognized CWOCN leaders and educators in ostomy and fistula patient management.

The WOCN® Society is an accredited provider of CNEs through the ANCC and was awarded Accreditation with Distinction, the ANCC’s highest recognition.

Course Formats

The OCA Program is designed to be completed within three months, under the direction of CWON-approved OCA Course Coordinator Ana Restrepo BSN, RN, CWON. The Program consist of two components:

  1. Online didactic portion: pre-recorded online learning modules and case studies that can be viewed by the participant within their personal time. The modules are narrated by Dorothy Doughty, MN, RN, CWOCN, FAAN and Janice Colwell, RN, MS, CWOCN, FAAN, internationally-recognized CWOCN leaders and educators in ostomy and fistula patient management. The estimated time to view all pre-recorded online learning modules and to complete online review questions is approximately 12-18 hours. It is recommended that the didactic component of the course be completed in 2 months’ time, so that the on-site competency testing/final examination can be arranged in a timely manner following the didactic.
  2. On-site clinical skills competency training and testing: Participants are also required to meet with the Course Coordinator for an applied learning day, which typically takes about 8 hours and includes review of critical content, preparation for the online final exam, clinical skills demonstration, practice and skills competency testing.

The online program is designed to be self-paced, however, all participants are required to complete the course within 3 months from the date they are enrolled in the program. The total estimated time required for completion of all elements of the course is about 35 hours

Upon completion of the OCA program, participants will be able to demonstrate competency in the following skills:

  • Measuring a stoma and pouching
  • Management of a night drainage system
  • Differential evaluation of peristomal and stomal complications
  • Colostomy irrigation
  • Fistula management (e.g. closed suction system, fistula management system)
  • Stabilization of percutaneous tubes

Criteria for Successful Completion:

To receive the certificate of completion and contact hours, participants must complete the entire online activity, receive a passing score of 70% or above, satisfactorily demonstrate required clinical skills competency, and complete a course evaluation form.

Eligibility for Course Participation

The OCA Program is for non-specialty licensed ostomy care providers, such as:

  • Licensed health care providers.
  • LPN's/LVN's.
  • Non-baccalaureate RN's.
  • Baccalaureate prepared RN's and master's prepared APN's who do not wish to specialize but want adequate knowledge in ostomy care.
  • Physicians and other clinicians who want adequate knowledge in ostomy care.

Any licensed nurse is eligible and will receive 27.0 continuing education contact hours upon completion of the program. All other participants will obtain a certificate upon successful completion of the program.

The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation. The Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 15115.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this Program, you will be able to:

  • Incorporate knowledge of anatomy and physiology into the assessment and management of a patient undergoing/or with a fecal or urinary diversion, percutaneous tube; or who has developed a fistula.
  • Identify indications, surgical construction and options for fecal and urinary diversions, including continent diversions.
  • Describe parameters to include in the assessment and management of a patient undergoing/or with a fecal or urinary diversion, percutaneous tube; or who has developed a fistula.
  • Identify key elements to include when assisting with/or providing basic preoperative education for a patient undergoing a colostomy, ileostomy, or incontinent urinary diversion.
  • Discuss the importance and established guidelines for preoperative stoma site marking.
  • Evaluate the viability of the stoma, function of the ostomy, and status of the peristomal skin.
  • Differentiate the distinguishing characteristics of common stomal and peristomal complications.
  • Identify appropriate strategies for management of common stomal and peristomal complications.
  • Differentiate among types of pouching systems, including accessory products (e.g., components, features, benefits, advantages, disadvantages, etc.), when selecting a pouching system for a patient.
  • Identify key factors that must be included in the evaluation of a patient to establish an effective pouching system (i.e., type of ostomy, construction of the stoma, peristomal contours, type and consistency of the output, impaired vision, limited mobility, and/or other functional limitations).
  • Demonstrate the correct technique for sizing, selecting, and fitting a pouching system; including measuring the size, determining the shape of the stoma or fistula, and pattern making.
  • Demonstrate the correct technique for the following: Application of a pouching system, use of accessory products, pouch emptying, and attachment of an appropriate drainage collector for a urostomy pouch.
  • Identify factors that inhibit or facilitate the rehabilitation and adaptation of a patient with an ostomy.
  • Describe key elements to include in patient/caregiver instructions for ostomy care and management:
    • When and how to empty the pouch.
    • When and how to change the pouching system.
    • How to measure the stoma and size the pouching system.
    • Normal characteristics of the stoma and peristomal skin.
    • Normal stomal output.
    • Incorporation of ostomy care into activities of daily living.
    • Dietary and fluid modifications for the type of ostomy.
    • Rehabilitative care and resumption of usual activities, including sexual activity.
    • Community and internet resources related to ostomy management.
    • Prevention and recognition of potential complications specific to the type of ostomy (e.g., food blockage, urinary tract infection, dehydration, etc.).
    • When to seek assistance from the WOC specialty nurse (i.e., certified wound, ostomy, and continence nurse [CWOCN]; certified ostomy care nurse [COCN]; certified wound and ostomy nurse [CWON]) or other healthcare provider.
  • Identify indications for managing a colostomy by irrigation.
  • Describe procedural guidelines for colostomy irrigation.
  • Describe medical surgical management of the patient with a fistula.
  • Demonstrate options for skin protection and containment of drainage for the patient with a fistula.
  • Identify strategies for management of a patient with a percutaneous tube: stabilization, skin protection, maintenance of tube patency, and containment of drainage if needed.
  • Demonstrate how to stabilize percutaneous tubes.
  • Determine situations and indications that warrant collaboration with, or referral to, a WOC specialty nurse or other healthcare provider.

What is the cost of the OCA Online Course?

Miami Ostomy Aftercare is pleased to offer the WOCN®'s Ostomy Care Associate Program at a reduced introductory rate of only $500 per participant. This fee covers a hard copy OCA participant workbook.

Register now!