I and two other colleagues from Denmark have had the privilege to attend in April this year the EAUN Congress in Stockholm under sponsorship which meant that we were exempt from paying the registration fees.
At the congress venue we met a group of 25 nurses at the main entrance of Stockholmsmässan to visit Södersjukhuset (Stockholm South General Hospital). Although many of us were from the Nordic countries, there were also nurses from Lithuania, The Netherlands and China, among others. We travelled together by metro.
The reception at Södersjukhuset was impressive. At the lobby, we were welcomed by two cheerful Swedish nurses dressed in long, black nurse uniforms with pins all the way to the collar (See photo), making us feel as if we were back to a bygone historic period!
The visit began with a briefing on the hospital’s history conducted by the director of the department of urology, Prof. Ulf Norming. Built during the Second World War under the supervision of architect Hjalmal Cederström, the hospital was completed in 1944, and was then considered as the largest and most modern hospital in the Nordic countries. The hospital is ideally located with a wonderful view of the river, and the architect obviously took advantage of this viewpoint by constructing panoramic windows and balconies from the patient wards which overlook the water.
After the briefing, we were split into three smaller groups with each group guided by a staff nurse also dressed in period costumes. At the outpatient unit, the guide nurse talked about the preliminary examinations done at the various clinics. Meanwhile, at the outpatient clinic they also perform urodynamic as well as TRUS with biopsy and cystoscopies.
For the ward patients, they have access to a permanently manned nursing phone at the outpatient clinic. The patients can phone on weekdays at day time, with the call automatically connected to the patient’s chart via a computer that is linked to the phone.
At the surgery ward, the operating rooms were quite small with the modern equipment taking up a lot of the limited space. The hospital’s newly acquired robot Da Vinci was in the largest of the operating rooms.
The surgery ward handles most types of urologic surgeries except cystectomies which are done at Karolinska. Approximately 1,300 surgeries are performed each year. With one of the surgery wings currently undergoing expansion, the staff is looking forward to more spacious and better equipped rooms.
The ward is also part of a day-surgery unit where a number of the hospitalised patients undergo surgery. With 22 beds, the ward, with its small rooms and few extra rooms, is often filled to capacity. However, from the living room, patients and visitors have a picturesque view of mountains and the river. The ward has a coordinating nurse who works in teams of two.
After the tour, we all met in the auditorium for further questions while enjoying coffee and cake. It was evident throughout the tour that the hospitable staff was all very well prepared.
For this very informative congress where we gained insights on best practices in urological nursing, we would like to thank the EAUN for making our participation possible.
Department of Urology
Aarhus University Hospital