The number of nurses that are members of the European Association of Urology Nurses (EAUN) is growing each year. This year we have over 2,500 members, and to serve our growing membership the EAUN is exerting efforts, among other activities, to bring to the discussion table issues and topics of crucial relevance to urological nurses.
Organising meetings where renowned experts and medical practitioners can carefully examine these issues is part of our aims to boost professionalism in our community. However, not everyone in our association has the opportunity to attend our conferences. Besides financial constraints language also poses an obstacle in our region where there is wide diversity in terms of language and culture.
With English as the official language in our conferences we are aware that some of our potential members may find this as a sort of barrier. Thus, with all these challenges, we have to be creative in finding ways to assist urology nurses acquire a more structured approach in upgrading their skills.
Our members in Denmark and the Netherlands have found creative ways in sharing or “bringing back” what they have learned in a conference by organising an ‘satellite meeting’ or a ‘Post-EAUN meeting.” Organising a satellite meeting is quite easy. Ask those in your team who are attending a conference to closely follow or take extensive notes of the presentations that are given so they can report back when they return home. A “bring back conference” which summarises the main points of a meeting can also be organised. Whatever types of satellite meeting you are organising, it will certainly bring benefits to both those who attended and those who missed the event.
In the case of our Danish colleagues they organised the first Post-EAUN meeting in 2010. An initiative by one of the authors, the Post-EAUN meeting attempted to duplicate the original meeting’s international character by inviting Lawrence Drudge-Coates (with support from the EAUN). Drudge-Coates presented his lecture on bone health that he was supposed to give in Barcelona, but was unable to due to the suspension of international flights caused by the volcanic ash cloud in 2010. The Danish participants highly appreciated the Post-EAUN meeting that it was held again this year. To note, the Danish Urological Nurses currently have no national platform or forum where they can present their scientific work or discuss practical issues on urology nursing in English, which nowadays is the lingua franca in most international conferences. Scientifically, however, the Danish urology nurses have seen tremendous progress and has contributed up to 30% of all abstracts at past EAUN Annual Meetings. The Post-EAUN meetings have therefore been a challenge and a great encouragement for them to have the chance to present right on their ‘home ground,’ or simply get an idea of what it takes to push their limits by writing and presenting in English.
At the end of their Post-EAUN meetings the Danish nurses were glad to realise the benefits and extent of their successful efforts. Next year they plan to hold the third meeting on June 13 at Århus University Hospital. Besides the traditional sessions, the main focus will be on education, fellowships and the European School of Urology Nursing.
Meanwhile, our colleagues in the Netherlands are also keen to follow up on the many nursing issues raised in the annual EAUN congresses. Facing similar financial and language constraints as our colleagues in other countries, our Dutch colleagues have recently organised a Post-EAUN meeting in Amsterdam, an event which was also enthusiastically appreciated by the participants.
Many of the topics that were presented and discussed in Vienna were “re-presented” by Dutch nurses that are not only experts on the topic, but also gave the local or Dutch perspective on the issue. The organisers collaborated with the Dutch and Belgian urology nursing associations, VenVN-Urologie and Uro-Bel, and around 140 nurses from Holland and Belgium attended the satellite conference, with the participants giving the meeting an average score of 8.5 out of 10!
Indeed, the EAUN does not only warmly welcome these Post-EAUN meeting initiatives but is also ready to provide the needed support to local or national nursing groups who plan to organise or set-up a Post-EAUN meeting in their home country. For those who are interested to coordinate and learn the necessary requirements to set-up echo conferences, contact Willem De Blok through the EAU Central Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be more than happy to hear from you about your meeting ideas and needs!
We are grateful to the companies that helped us make these events possible.
Willem De Blok, Ma, ANP, RnEAUN SecretaryAmsterdam (NL)
Co-author: Bente Thoft Jensen, MPH / PhD Stud.,EAUN Vice Chair
Article from European Urology Today, volume 23, No. 5