Before the establishment of Enterostomal Therapy training, nursing knowledge and skill in caring ostomates was relatively primitive. The standard in the management of stoma, wound and incontinence was varied. Consequently, clients might not receive optimal care from health professionals. At that time, it was difficult to identify any organization which could offer educational program, consultancy service to clinical practice and professional network which facilitate knowledge enhancement and professional growth. The above experience stimulate nurses to recognize the essence of continue nursing education, specialty development and establishment of professional network for sharing of knowledge and skill.
Heritage of E. T. in Hong Kong
The British Government had built a westernized health care system under her regime. However, before the 70’s, the knowledge and skill in caring patients requiring stoma care was relatively limited. In 1980, the first stoma care service was started in Queen Mary Hospital in a voluntary basis. Until 1985, the first stoma care clinic had been set up outside the hospital.
The growth of ET service raised dramatically since 1994. In 1994, there was only 6 ETs working in the health care system. In 1996 there was only 12 trained ET working in the public hospitals. By now, there are about more than 100 ETs in Hong Kong. Some of them were trained from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia but most of them are trained through the local ETNEP. Eleven of them are working as full time ETs in the hospitals while the others are working in dual roles both in the hospitals and community. A few of them are working in the commercial firms related to ET. The ET service in Hong Kong has been widely developed since 1990 and the patients can receive proper care from the ETs in most of the hospitals.
E.T. Trainings in Hong Kong
There were two ETNEPs in Hong Kong, one is organized by the Princess Margaret Hospital and the other organized by the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPACE) of the University of Hong Kong. In 1995, Princess Margaret Hospital had held the first Enterostomal Therapist training course in Hong Kong but the school was closed later due to administrative reason. In 1997, another ETNEP course had been started by Queen Mary Hospital and Hong Kong University-SPACE. The two ET school have altogether trained more than 120 ETs (both from HK and overseas) in the past ten years.
The Hong Kong Enterostomal Therapists Association
In responses to the vision and mission of ET services in Hong Kong, the professional organization of ETs was setup in 1994. The Hong Kong Enterostomal Therapists Association is made up of nurses who manage stoma, wound and continence care with the aims to promote and share with other multidisciplinary teams the expertise knowledge of Enterostomal Therapy in the provision of quality patient care. Its mission is to enhance quality stoma, wound and continence care service to the community. The establishment of the association also include the objectives to promote the welfare and protect the interests of nurses engaged in enterostomal therapy and to promote professional and educational advancement in caring for the sick and in giving better service to the community.
The association have around 200 members including life members, full members, associate and affiliated members. To facilitate the execution of activities with the attainment of mission, the executive committee of HKETA which was formed by ET nurses would have regular meetings bi-monthly. To meet the specialized and diversified nature of Enterostomal Therapy, our business plan will focus on four domains namely clinical competency, education, professional growth and administration. Within the association, there have several sub-committee looking into various issue concerning about the profession of ET. The publication committee had published several newsletters each year to disseminate information in advanced practice of ET nursing and the activities of HKETA. The educational subcommittee is responsible for the organization of courses, seminar and workshops related to stoma, wound and continence care. Standard and professional development committee had been set up to look into and unifying the standards related to ET nursing. Administrative committee was set up to look into the internal issues of the HKETA itself and trying build up a better structure within the HKETA.
Achievements of Hong Kong Enterostomal Therapists Association
Over the years, we have developed in Hong Kong an enviable ET services. In order to strengthen our partnership, the association works to empower each ET.
Tremendous dedication from the HKETA toward the health service was evident since its establishment. Market awareness, professional commitment and channel differentiation are our critical success factors in the attainment of mission. The HKETA is very conscious on the local and global trend of care on stoma, continence and wound. Last years, we took initiative in setting the standard in stoma care. Indeed, our recognition with dissemination of current practice by various channels can enhance the promotion of clinical competency with skill refinement among nursing professional.
The unique role the HKETA demonstrated can create a favorable environment in guiding the direction of ET development. Its contribution is also very conductive to the delivery of knowledge-based practice within the multicultural society. Various educational strategies through different channel of network have been utilized to facilitate professional advancement. We have got newsletters and bulletin which highlight information on advanced practice of ET nursing and activities of HKETA. Those publication materials are very welcomed among nursing professionals. The HKETA also succeeded in the organization of conference, workshop and seminar. In the past few years, we got a very rewarding experience from the famous speakers and scholars like Norma Gill Thompson, Paula Erwin Toth, Nancy Faller, Marilyn Spencer and Elizabeth English whom had delivered speeches in Hong Kong. To show our recognition in knowledge enrichment, financial support from the HKETA is offered to members who participating in educational activities related to ET practice. In 2006, HKETA had hosted the 16th Biennial Congress of World Council of Enterostomal Therapists with tremendous success, there were more than 900 delegates from 42 countries attended the meeting.
The HKETA also demonstrates partnership care with its enthusiasm extended towards the local community in Hong Kong and China. As a resourceful organization, we work closely with the Hong Kong Stoma Association, a patient self-help group, in the delivery of education program on stoma care to new ostomates in regular basis. Some of our members have actively involved in the country wide survey on the “Quality of Life of Ostomates” held by Hong Kong Stoma Association in 1999. In addition, the HKETA facilitates the Hong Kong Stoma Association in the implementation of annual health check at the community level. Recently, the HKETA have liaised with the Hong Kong Association of Gerontology in giving seminars on wound and skin care to staffs working with elderly. Through team participation and collaboration with multidiscipline, the HKETA contributes to the promotion of professional standard with empowerment of the community and improvement of the quality of life.
As a member of WCET, HKETA has represented the needs of our clients, taking a leading role in developing the China ET services. Since 2000, Hong Kong has participated in the Twinning project of WCET to help in the development of ET specialty in China. In 2001, we successfully set up the ETNEP in Guangzhou with the co-operation of Sun Yat-sen University of Medical Sciences (China) and The University of Hong Kong. ETs from Hong Kong and overseas had been sponsored to teach and act as mentors in the course. We have continued the programme in 2002 and 23 ETs were trained in these two classes. The new concepts of care in the field of stoma, wound, continence care and even nursing practice were introduced from the western world into Chinese culture through the means of these courses. As a proactive organization, the HKETA visualizes professional commitment in the promotion of ET nursing in China, and we had organized another ETNEP course in Beijing since 2004.
Hong Kong being a dynamic social and cultural city with its international reputation, HKETA would like to take this great challenge in sharing our experience and exploring new horizon in transcultural care with other parts of the world.