Background and Objectives
: Patients affected by inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) are complex patients with various problems from a clinical and psychological point of view. This complexity must be addressed by a multidisciplinary team, and an inflammatory bowel disease nurse can be the ideal professional figure to create a link between doctor and patient. The objective of this comprehensive review is to describe the figure of inflammatory bowel disease nurses and the various benefits that their introduction into a multidisciplinary team can bring, as well as a focus on how to become an inflammatory bowel disease nurse. Materials and Methods
: A search on the PubMed database was performed by associating the terms “IBD” or “inflammatory bowel disease” with the Boolean term AND to the various issues addressed: “life impact”, “communication”, “fistulas”, “ostomy”, “diet”, “incontinence”, “sexuality”, “parenthood”, “fatigue”, “pain management”, and “follow up appointments”. Regarding the analysis of the benefits that the IBD nurse brings, the terms “IBD”, “inflammatory bowel diseases”, “Crohn’s disease”, and “ulcerative colitis” were used, associating them with the terms “benefit”, “costs”, “team”, and “patients”. Finally, regarding the focus on how to become an IBD nurse, an IBD nurse was interviewed. Results
: An IBD nurse is a valuable nursing figure within the multidisciplinary team that takes care of patients with IBD because this nurse performs important functions from both a clinical assistance point of view (management of fistulas, ostomies, infusion of biological drugs) and an information and therapeutic education point of view (communication with patients, direct contact with patients by telephone or email). Furthermore, this nurse performs the “filter” function between doctor and patient, saving time for doctors that will be used for more outpatient visits. Conclusions
: The introduction of an inflammatory bowel disease nurse is therefore recommended for multidisciplinary organizations dealing with the clinical course of patients suffering from IBD.