Greetings once again to you all from your New Zealand colleagues. You may have been enjoying the summer holiday season as you read this, hopefully getting some relaxation and refreshing yourselves for another busy year ahead. I had my vacation early this year and came back to work in New Zealand late April, feeling revitalised after a five-week holiday in Spain and England.
My trip also coincided with a wonderful visit to the beautiful, historic city of Vienna to attend the EAU 26th International Congress / EAUN 12th International Congress from March 18 to 22, 2011. The meeting was a stimulating educational event that also provided me with many opportunities to network with medical and nursing colleagues from the world of urology, a chance for which I am thankful.
For me one of the highlights early on the congress was the international consultation on bladder cancer. Large committees of urologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists and other cancer specialists have performed a meta-analysis of the evidence on diagnosis, pathology, biomarkers, Ta/low grade disease, muscle invasive bladder cancer and urinary diversion. The consensus view and the findings were presented, providing some insights on this potentially deadly disease. I found the sessions extremely informative since my nursing practice involves both surveillance flexible cystoscopy and the management of patients with superficial bladder cancer.
Another meeting highlight was the “Quality of life in stoma patients” session facilitated by Sharon Fillingham of the United Kingdom and Berit Kiesbye of Denmark. The session discussed the principles of stoma siting and also presented the opportunity for the session participants to practise this skill. The presenters also discussed body image and sexuality, the regimes for bowel preparation, facilitating the return to normal bowel function following cystectomy and developing continent urostomy. Also noteworthy is the EAUN ‘Good Practice in Health Care’ guidelines for continent urostomy which recommend nurses to follow local guidelines for bowel care in the absence of evidence from research studies or pending expert consensus.
I was impressed by the number of nurses presenting their work in the poster and oral presentation sessions. Two presentations in particular prompted me to reflect on the clinical practice in the hospital I work for. One presentation by Danish nurses involved developing and validating a stoma scale for changing a stoma appliance, while another study from the UK examined the question whether group seminars are efficient and cost-effective in delivering patient information on radical prostatectomy and functional outcomes. The EAUN meeting was indeed a wonderful learning opportunity for which I am grateful and I hope it will not be too long before I can attend the next one!
Recently, Ms. Janette Kinsella, a prostate cancer advanced nurse practitioner working at Guys Hospital in London, was the international guest at the 12th Australasian Prostate Cancer Conference held in Melbourne, Australia. The excellent three-day meeting gathered over 800 delegates with lectures from urologists, urology nurses, general practitioners and psycho-oncologists, as well as experts involved in prostate cancer research. Ms. Kinsella presented an excellent research-based lecture on ‘Decision Regret’ related to the treatment of localised prostate cancer. Ms. Kinsella also participated in a panel discussion on managing erectile dysfunction following radical prostatectomy. She also contributed to the poster session of the nurses programme where nine research studies were judged. The winning posters covered topics such as patient outcomes after open and minimally invasive surgery for prostate cancer, evaluation of nurse-led telephone surveillance follow-up of low / intermediate risk prostate cancer patients and implementing survivorship plans for men with prostate cancer who underwent androgen deprivation therapy. To readers who are interested to get in touch with the nurse researchers or authors of these projects, feel free to contact me via my email address.
Each time I return to work after a stimulating conference I have a list of quality improvement projects to consider implementing for the benefit of our patients. I also return with a feeling of pride of what nurses have so far accomplished for urology patients. A good conference gives us food for thought, revitalises and inspires us, and hopefully will prompt us to say “Yes, we do that,” and with the full conviction that we do make a positive difference in our patients’ lives. My best wishes and I hope that we will all find the time to reflect on our practice with growing pride.
Sue Osborne, Rn
Waitemata District Health Board North Shore Hospital Urology