Ostomy Management Specialist® – Frequently Asked Questions

Question:

What is OMS Certification?

Answer:

OMS (Ostomy Management Specialist®) certification is the title used to designate that a dedicated health care provider has completed all requirements to obtain this highly specialized certification for all patients requiring a fecal or urinary diversion.

Question:

Why is OMS certification important?

Answer:

Certification as an Ostomy Management Specialist® (OMS) provides assurance to the public that the health care practitioner will provide safe and effective ostomy and skin management. The certification provides recognition that the individual has demonstrated a standard level of knowledge and proficiency in ostomy treatment, therapy, and management.

Question:

What are the eligibility requirements for OMS certification?

Answer:

OMS certification eligibility is open to the following licensed and registered health care providers:

Candidate Exam Handbook

Question:

Why do I need to become certified?

Answer:

OMS certification makes a statement regarding your professional skill set to patients, colleagues and employers. By meeting the requirements of certification, you have elevated yourself professionally. Most of all, this certification will ensure that you have the knowledge and skills to care for an underserved patient population, the ostomy patient.

Question:

Do I need special education to obtain  OMS certification?

Answer:

Yes. In order to sit for the certification exam you must all eligibility requirements and successfully complete all sessions of the Ostomy Management course provided by the Wound Care Education Institute.

Question:

Do I need to take the approved education for  OMS certification before I can sit for the national exam?

Answer:

Yes.

Question:

Are stoma cases increasing in the United States?

Answer:

Although there are not actual statistical information that there is an increase in the number of patients with stomas, it is known that there are not enough skilled health care professional nurses to provide a continuum of care for these patients and care givers including pre-operative education, post-operative training and continued counseling and support throughout the life cycle of the ostomate, or individual with a fecal or urinary diversion.

Question:

What is the difference between a CWOCN (COCN) and the OMS certification?

Answer:

Both certifications confirm that the individual certified has completed all course requirements along with passing a certification exam. The certification asserts that the individual holds the knowledge and skill set to provide quality, efficacious therapy, treatment and counseling for ostomy patients and care takers.

Being a multidisciplinary certification organization focusing on disease management, NAWCO® offers the opportunity to all levels of Nurses, Physicians and Therapists to provide specialized Ostomy care within their scope of practice and across the continuum of care. The WOCNCB offers the opportunity only to RNs with a Bachelors degree or higher. As a result, there simply aren’t enough Ostomy certified professionals nationally to care for patients with ostomies.

Question:

How can you certify different types of professionals with the same examination and credential, since they all practice at different levels?

Answer:

Successful ostomy patient education, teaching, training and management require the skills of an interdisciplinary health care team. Therefore, all members of the team should have a thorough knowledge of ostomy management including all factors of healing and self-care required for the patient to resume the “new normal” quality of life. The educational sessions are comprehensive and inclusive of physical, systemic and psychosocial factors faced by ostomates.

Question:

Do I need a bachelor’s degree to qualify for OMS certification?

Answer:

No. Health care providers with one year of experience and an active unrestricted license may apply for the OMS certification examination. See chart for eligibility requirements.

Question:

What will OMS certification do for my career?

Answer:

In today’s health care environment, the typical patient that is hospitalized for ostomy surgery receives the most basic patient education regarding their stoma and pouching systems. Much of the post-surgical care is provided in alternative health care settings. First and foremost, you will become a very important resource for the ostomates in your community. Secondly, your services will become essential to the health care providers in your facility, institution or agency. You will be able to add a new credential to support your scope of practice as determined by each respective professional state licensing board.

The sky is your limit as far as personal career satisfaction.

Question:

I am a good student but I do not test well. If I take the course but fail to pass the exam, may I re-take it again?

Answer:

If you do not pass the test, you may re-test. There will be a $330 charge for additional test sessions. (see handbook)

Question:

Will my employer automatically pay me more if I get this certification?

Answer:

Negotiation skills will be important here. This will be up to you to leverage your increase of knowledge and certification to make more money. NAWCO® will have some tools that will assist you on this topic located in their intranet site for OMS certified professionals.

Question:

What will my credentials enable me to do that I can’t do now?

Answer:

This training course and certification will prepare you for the challenging, life-time care that patient’s with fecal and urinary diversions deserves in all health care settings.