The WOCN Society 40th Annual Conference (June 21-25th, 2008)


Caring Behaviors of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses

Mary Walden, RN, MSN, CWOCN, Itawamba Community College, Faculty, 30047 Lake Monroe, Aberdeen, MS 39730

        Wound, ostomy, and continence nurses' perception of caring behaviors were explored in this descriptive quantitative study conducted during the South Central Regional Wound, Ostomy, and Continence Society Conference. Watson's Theory of Human Caring provided the theoretical framework and provides a description of caring behaviors practiced by wound, ostomy, and continence nurses. The sample was composed of 60 wound, ostomy, and continence nurse participants who completed the Wolf Caring Behavior Inventory II survey. 

        The purposes of this study were:  to improve the quality of care; to develop a better understanding of caring behaviors for patients; to improve nursing practices; and to strengthen the nurse-patient relationship.

        The identified limitations of this study included:  a small convenience sample; the sample was obtained at one regional conference; and the instrument was originally designed for acute care nurses. 

        This study describes the caring behaviors of wound, ostomy, and continence nurses within multiple healthcare settings. Their responses to the 42 Likert scale statements describe their perceived caring behaviors. Cronbach's alpha was utilized to test the homegenity of this 42- item instrument. The Cronbach's alpha analysis was 0.937, which indicated a fine discrimination in the item constructs in this study.        

        It was determined that the self-perceived top ten caring behaviors of wound, ostomy and continence nurses were:  showing respect for the patient, treating patient information

confidentially, talking with the patient, supporting the patient, teaching the patient as an individual, demonstrating professional knowledge and skill, giving good physical care, encouraging the patient to call if there is a problem, being honest with the patient, and providing a reassuring presence.