My first nursing role in 1999 was as a military nurse serving in the Royal Air Force on a general/colorectal ward. In 2002, I joined St Mark’s Hospital in London, spending 12 months as a Senior Staff Nurse on the colorectal ward before joining the stoma care department in 2003, working as a Stoma Care Nurse Specialist. My role was managing patients with stomas, ileoanal pouches, entercutaneous fistulae and those with intestinal failure.
In 2005 I began developing and expanding the current ileoanal pouch service, providing expert care to patients with ileoanal pouches both pre and post operation. I currently run out-patient, nurse-led clinics and an e-mail and telephone advice line. I am involved with current pouch/stoma research, guideline and protocol development and have published in a variety of medical and nursing journals. As the department’s education lead, I also contribute to pre and post graduate nurse education, act as the stoma care nurse liaison for international observers and present at national and international conferences. In 2014 I became the Lead Nurse, providing stoma care services for local, national and international patients with the aim to improve the patient experience for every patient undergoing stoma forming surgery.
I set up Zarah’s Independent Pouch Service (ZIPS LTD) in 2006 with my colleague Stephen Wright to provide specialist stoma care services to private patients ensuring the package of care was implemented over weekends and bank holidays and to improve accessibility to stoma nurse resources.