Don't put Limitations on yourself, just because you have a stoma.
Going Out & Doing It!
Most people who have a stoma can return to their normal daily
activities, once they have recovered from the effects of the
Many ostomates return to work, continue with their sports, go out
with friends, entertain and travel within Australia and abroad.
Having a stoma should not limit you, and you should take up the
challenge and do all of these things and more, if your health
If you have any concerns talk to your STN.
Preparation is one of the keys to achieving the lifestyle that you
want and forward thinking is definitely something that ostomates
need to do.
It is essential that you are prepared when you do leave the house
whether for work or leisure, by having an "emergency kit" to take
with you. This kit should contain 2 spare appliances, spare clip
(if appropriate), two (2) disposable bags (for the used
appliances), six (6) disposable washcloths, air freshener and any
other items you need to change your appliance. A toiletry bag or
makeup bag makes a good holder for all your needs.
this kit will not be used every time you go out, it is
essential that you replace the appliances in your kit regularly to
ensure that they are "fresh" .
The disabled toilets are the better toilets to use when out, as
they are larger and give you more room to change your appliance if
you need to do so. Just because you are not in a wheelchair does
not mean you can not use these toilets.
Going Back to Work
Deciding when to go back to work is a decision that you, your
Stomal Therapy Nurse and your Doctor should decide together.
Ask your Stomal Therapy Nurse about any suggestions that they may
have for your returning to work.
It might be appropriate to carry a spare set of clothing in your
work bag/car, especially if you do physical work that could cause
a problem, (just in case). It never hurts to be prepared!
An essential part of your work day practise is to ensure that you
have a fresh “emergency kit” handy, whether in your car, locker or
somewhere secure and easily accessed.
It is advisable to take sufficient appliances with you if you are
admitted to hospital, as the hospital probably will not stock your
brand and size. With over 2,000 different appliances on the Stoma
Appliance Scheme list, it is impossible for a hospital to stock
It is very important if you are only going in for a day procedure
to take a “emergency Kit” with you.
It is highly recommended that you ask to see the
hospital's Stomal Therapy Nurse when you are admitted, as not all
nurses are familiar with stoma care.
If you have been admitted for something completely
unrelated to your stoma, it is still important to talk to the STN,
as medications and treatments can cause other issues.
It is always a good idea to tell someone else where
your supplies are kept at home, so that in the case of an
emergency admittance, or if your stay in hospital is longer than
expected, they will be able to collect some appliances etc, for
If you have serious medical problems that could mean
a hurried admission to hospital a good tip would be to have an
"Emergency Bag" to be collected at the last minute. This
"Emergency Bag" would need to contain a few days appliances.
Don’t forget to renew your appliances periodically
in the “Emergency Bag”
It is also advisable to have a Hospital bag, for that emergency.
In it you can have an emergency stoma Kit, a pair of pyjamas,
underwear, toiletries, tissues, a list of medications, a list of
addresses and phone numbers of family members, your GP’s name and
phone number and some spare change.
Having a stoma is no reason for not travelling. Many ostomates
travel around Australia and the world by car, bus, train and
planes and do so with little fuss and a bit of preparation.
If travelling in Australia a good tip would be to take a copy of
Ostomy Australia with you, as it has a directory of all the
associations in Australia ,that you can get supplies from if you
need some in emergency. Having a copy of your entitlement Number
is also important (If you don't know this number, contact the
The Government allows you to have one months issue, in advance, to
cover for holidays so it is important that you plan ahead and work
out what you will need.
Storage of appliances when travelling is important, as you need to
keep them out of damp spots, out of direct light and not allow
them to sweat as they will loose their adhesion to some degree.
Before travelling abroad you should obtain from the Ostomy rooms
an International Travel Certificate, that explains in different
languages, that the appliances you are travelling with are for
When travelling, it is a good idea to have a list of your
appliances code numbers and manufacturers name just in case of an
When travelling, it is important that you take sufficient supplies
for what you need, and then a bit more, especially if you are not
close to another association (in Australia).
When travelling overseas, talk to your Stomal Therapy Nurse and
they will be able to direct you where to go, if you need extra
supplies etc. But be aware that other countries do not have the
same scheme in place as Australia, and you may have to buy your
Always be prepared that you might have a reaction to food or
water, especially if travelling overseas. Talk to your Stomal
Therapy Nurse and they can help you with suggestions as to what to
do if this occurs.
When travelling by plane it is essential that you do not pack all
your appliances in one bag and that you also carry a few in your
hand luggage. Airlines are known to lose luggage and in this way
you will not lose all of your appliances.
Be aware that scissors are not allowed on the plane so if you have
to cut out your supplies, pre-cut as many as you need to cover you
until you can purchase a pair of scissors at your destination.
Plane toilets are known to be a small flush, so paper in the bowl
first helps to flush away your pouch contents easier.
Ask for an aisle seat when boarding, as it helps you get to the
toilet easier without having to climb over other travellers.
In the plane, you can dispose of your used
appliances by wrapping it first and then placing it in the
container for sanitary towels.
When flying don't wait until the last moment to use the toilet as
there is always a long queue.