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For more information contact:

Dr. Jennifer Skelly 
P: 905-573-4823 
E: skelly@mcmaster.ca

Jana Lognon is a Nurse Continence Advisor (NCA) in the pelvic floor clinic at Foothills Medical Centre Woman’s Health Ambulatory Clinics in Calgary, Alberta.  To compliment this speciality, Jana became an NCA in 2015 to add to her knowledge base and learn new approaches for her work with women struggling with incontinence of varying kinds.

The women referred to the clinic have pelvic floor dysfunction that can have consequences for bladder and bowel symptoms including incontinence (urinary and fecal), urinary retention, outlet constipation, discomfort, pain, and chronic urinary tract infections. The clinic believes that women need a proper understanding of their condition so that they can make the right treatment choices.  In light of this, Jana works as part of a team to care for clients.  The nurses focus on providing assessments, teaching (either in group sessions or one on one with clients) and pessary fitting and care.  Some of the nurses will also assist with cystoscopies or perform urodynamic tests. The physicians focus more on medical and surgical interventions while the physiotherapists focus on the musculoskeletal rehab patients may need.

A typical day for Jana will include 2-4 one hour initial assessments and about 3-5 follow up patients.  Some days she may teach group educational sessions to new incoming patients so they have some baseline knowledge before their first appointment with a clinician.  She is often assigned to help teach medical residents who will take this training into their medical career. However, the one on one time she has with her patients is the most valuable part of her job because she can see how her thorough assessments can help find simple strategies to overcome continence issues, and her motivational interviewing techniques often help patients take behavioural steps to help themselves.  Patients come in with a lot of fear, anxiety, or embarrassment because of the private nature of their health issues.  There are often tears on the first visit as patients disclose their symptoms to someone who cares and can help them. The tears turn to smiles and laughter as patients understand how they can be helped and that they are not alone. Daily she hears comments like, “you made me feel so comfortable talking about this” or “I can’t believe I have my life back!”

“I have been a nurse for 30 years and have loved all my jobs, but working as an NCA is probably the most fulfilling because I feel that I make such a huge difference in the lives of whole families.  Women are central to their families and communities, so when I help them feel better about themselves it affects their entire outlook on life.”

Jana Lognon