Practical skills

How to change a stoma bag

  • RCN accredited
  • Peer reviewed
  • Certificate
  • Learning time: 01 hr
  • Last updated: 2020
  • Link to RCNi portfolio

This practical learning module explains how to change a stoma bag, also known as an appliance or pouch, in a safe and supportive manner. How to measure a stoma and cutting a bag aperture are discussed, as are the three main types of stoma: ileostomy, urostomy and colostomy. Shared decision-making and patient education to encourage self-care is also addressed.


Please note that information provided by RCNi Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to

Debbie Smith, Salts Medilink stoma nurse, Salts Healthcare Ltd, Birmingham, England
Nicola Samways, Salts Medilink stoma nurse, Salts Healthcare Ltd, Birmingham, England

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