Incontinence needn’t stop you from enjoying life


Incontinence need not be an uncomfortable issue for discussion.

This World Continence Week from 19 to 25 June, Bass Coast Health’s (BCH) Continence team is reminding the community they are here to help.

Continence is being able to control our own ability to pass urine and faeces, but for many reasons, not everybody can do so, which can lead to embarrassment. 

The BCH continence service is staffed by three enthusiastic and specialist trained Continence Nurse Consultants, including a Nurse Practitioner, Dianne Jones. She is joined by Ebony Scott and Joanne Sawyers, who are completing their graduate certificate in continence and urology through Latrobe University. 

“Our clientele includes men and women of all ages, and children with bedwetting or constipation issues,” Dianne said. 

“We have many clients with urinary catheter devices or a history of urological problems. As many of these concerns are highly sensitive, often clients want to tell their story to the nurse and want to be ‘heard’. The nurse is able to validate your concerns and provide advice on how to improve and manage. 

“We provide services at the Phillip Island Health Hub, from Wonthaggi Hospital and home visits where needed.” 

Patient Beverly Bowker said of the service, “It’s an excellent service and saves me from having to travel elsewhere for care. I like being able to have done what I need to have done without having to travel to a metropolitan hospital.”

The BCH service is staffed Monday to Friday across the two sites. To book, phone 5671 3353. The service is free and no GP referral is needed.

Team members also take their continence messages to the community. In May, they attended a prostate cancer awareness event hosted by the Wonthaggi Rotary Club at the Wonthaggi Club. 

Attendees heard an account of prostate cancer from author Alan White. Former AFL coach David Parkin spoke about his fundraising for regional centres to implement trans-rectal ultrasound biopsy equipment by supporting a group riding postie motorbikes from Perth to Canberra.

Dianne spoke of her journey as a urology nurse and how the Continence team members have prostate cancer nurse qualifications and can therefore support men, their partners and families in their journey with prostate cancer.

The Continence team remains up-to-date with the latest in urological care. They attended the Australasian Urological Society’s conference in Melbourne in February this year and participated in world class workshops about such topics as nocturia (waking at night to pass urine), urodynamics, prostate problems and bladder cancer.

“The conference was a great opportunity to learn more about how to best help our clients who suffer with bladder and bowel issues, and network with like-minded health professionals including urologists, gynaecologists, physiotherapists and of course continence nurses,” Dianne said.