I am a urology nurse at heart. I help patients with issues and diseases related to their urinary system. One health issue I’ve helped patients manage is urinary incontinence, or the leakage of urine.

I found this area of urologic nursing quite by accident. I became interested in this area of urology by hearing stories from patients who were unable to live a normal life because of the impact of incontinence.

Impeding everyday life

To this day, I always think of one female patient in particular who came into the urology office where I practiced. She was seeking help after many years because her family had asked her to not attend her granddaughter’s wedding because they were afraid she would have an “accident” and embarrass them. It broke my heart.

Too many men and women “live with” incontinence because they are too embarrassed to seek help or think that it is a “normal” part of aging and, for women, a “normal” part of having children.

Incontinence can be embarrassing for people to talk about and is still not openly and publicly discussed with family, friends or health care providers. It can affect a person’s day-to-day activities and relationships, and cause feelings of isolation.

“We want to know what questions you have or what scares you so we can help. Many people are afraid of what they don’t understand.”

How nurses help

Urology nurses who specialize in continence care know how to evaluate, diagnose and treat urinary incontinence. They also help educate patients, their families and the public about this condition.

No matter your age, there are treatments available. Many of these nurses are advanced practice nurses, also known as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. They are often the lifeline for those dealing with the stigma of incontinence and have helped improve their care and their lives.

Nurses do this every day, in many different specialties. We want to know what questions you have or what scares you so we can help. Many people are afraid of what they don’t understand. Nurses are there to care for patients and to teach them, so everyone can live healthier, happier lives.

Nurturing a number of lives

When I interviewed for a job in a urology office many years ago I wondered what in the world I was doing. I soon found that urology nursing goes far beyond what most people imagine. It is more than managing urinary catheters and obtaining urine samples. It’s challenging, exciting and diverse, covering issues like cancer and sexual dysfunction. We work with all age groups, from babies to the elderly, both men and women. Little did I realize when I started as a nurse that urology nursing would be so much more than I ever thought it would be, the many skills I would gain and the many opportunities that would become available for me.

Talk to a nurse. We want to hear from you; we want to help you. Together, we can face anything.