Last week we were back in Cardiff Airport to provide more stoma awareness training for their security and PRM (Passengers with Reduced Mobility) teams and managers, lead by our Community Nurse Specialist, Hazel. It was a great day and amazing to be back in the airport also discussing travelling with a hidden disability and a stoma.
Keith Thomas, a local ostomate and Respond home delivery and support service user, and his Wife, Jane, came along to help give the ostomate’s perspective on travelling through the airport, which was truly invaluable and gave us all great insight into the worries and perceptions ostomates may have when travelling.
The training helped to familiarise staff with the types of products an ostomate could be travelling with, and how they would feel if they were to be separated from them, as well as some medical conditions behind have a stoma. A common misconception when travelling through the security scanners is that the scanner can see your pouch (and it’s contents), when in actual fact it just highlights a yellow box on the body, indicating to the security staff that something is there for them to check.
The participants had the opportunity to ask questions and put themselves in the shoes of someone walking through security with a pouch – how would they be feeling and what they should expect going through. The clear message from the training sessions was that there is nothing to fear, there are initiatives taking place across most airports, Cardiff included, introducing the hidden disabilities sunflower lanyard that you can request to highlight to the staff that you may need some extra assistance or that there is something to be aware of – a great scheme helping hundreds of people with different hidden disabilities!
But if you don’t wish to wear a lanyard, the security team’s advice is that a quiet word or notion that you are wearing a pouch will help them, to help you, through the security process, but they understand that this is not always possible for everyone, which is why training such as the one we are providing the airport is proving to be invaluable and educational for all involved.
We have more training sessions coming up to help raise the awareness of stomas and break some stigmas. You can read our recent blog post about our first training session with Cardiff Airport here, if you would like any more travel advice or learn about Global Assistance Scheme (helping you to access emergency supplies when away from home) check out our website and the links provided.
Thank you to the wonderful security, PRM and management staff for taking part! We can’t wait to come back in the New Year for more training!
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