10th anniversary post-EAUN meeting in Aarhus, Denmark
Denmark hosts international speakers on a wide variety of topics once again
The first post-EAUN meeting was initiated by Bente Thoft Jensen, former chair of the EAUN in 2010. The volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland during the 11th EAUN meeting in Barcelona (ES) caused enormous disruption in air traffic across Europe. As a result, the majority of the Danish urology nurses could not travel to Barcelona, and this inspired Bente to start the tradition of a Danish post-EAUN meeting. This year both the EAUN Chair and EAUN Chair Elect participated in the celebration of the 10th anniversary, together with Franziska Geese who is an active EAUN member in the EAU Patient Information group.
The programme featured international speakers and focused on patients with bladder problems, bladder cancer and prostate cancer. At the end of the meeting, local urology nurses presented developmental projects to update and inspire each other on improvement in urology nursing care. The concept of prehabilitation became a focus in urology cancer surgery because patients who are elderly, malnourished, anxious and have a low physical function before surgery are likely to have suboptimal recovery from cancer surgery. Celena Scheede-Bergdahl, a PhD from McGill University, Montreal (CA) introduced us to a practical prehabilitation approach, with special focus on physical activity and nutrition. Her presentation was followed by that of Elke Rammant, PhD student from Ghent University Hospital (BE). She presented part of her PhD study which focuses on how to promote an active lifestyle in patients with bladder cancer before and after radical cystectomy.
“Mrs. Allchorne’s take-home message for anyone reading this: if you have been doing something for longer than 5 years, ‘stop’ and think! Have things changed, has practice changed globally? Is this pathway best practice, patient-focused and centred? If not, how can it be improved?”
Influence of mental stress
Stress is something everyone experiences and despite being unpleasant, the stress in itself is not an illness. For immediate, short-term situations, stress can even be beneficial to your health. Yet if your stress response doesn’t stop and stress levels stay elevated far longer than is necessary, it can have an impact on your health. Veronika Geng, Manfred-Sauer-Stiftung, Heidelberg (DE) explained the consequences of mental stress on bowel and bladder incontinence.
Nihal Muhamed, Research Assistant Professor, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York (US) elegantly shifted the topic from bladder cancer to prostate cancer by addressing care planning for patients with prostate cancer on active surveillance. She highlighted both the challenges and potential solutions. Benefits of physical training in prostate cancer patients with metastatic prostate cancer having androgen deprivation therapy often have side effects such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. Many androgen deprivation therapy-related complaints appear to be counteracted by exercise interventions. Brigitta Villumsen presented the latest news about the benefits of physical training in patients with prostate cancer. Finally, EAUN Chair Elect Paula Allchorne gave a presentation with the challenging title ‘Prostate cancer in the UK – are you simply better?’ highlighting recent advances in prostate cancer nursing with a focus on nurse-led diagnostics, the 28-day pathway, survivorship and living with and beyond cancer. She concluded with the message that the EAUN and EAU guidelines are widely used in the UK as they are of high quality and exceedingly useful for UK urology nurses and medical teams.
Prostate cancer pathway in the UK
In her talk, Mrs. Allchorne wonders what the title suggests and whether anyone globally got it right yet? Can anyone say their pathways are purely patient-focused and centred or are we driven by hospital and national targets? In the UK the Recovery Package has been implemented which has encapsulated four key areas of ‘Survivorship – Living With and Beyond Cancer’. She discussed these four areas in great detail during the presentation and what impact the survivorship pathway has on the nurses. If implemented with management support it can make the patient’s pathway more efficient to both the patient and the hospital (streamlining services) and improve patient outcomes.
Follow national guidelines
She noted: “With meetings like this being so globally diverse, one cannot say ‘their pathway is better’. As nurses, we all do very different roles and need to follow our own national guidelines. Nevertheless, what is important, and I think was clear throughout the meeting, nurses do feel empowered to change practice that has been implemented for many years.” All the talks were about how pathways have been redesigned to improve patient experience and outcome, based on best practice and research. This was a clear theme throughout the day – nurses were recognising where patient care could be improved, particularly post-surgery with rehabilitation programmes.
Mrs. Allchorne also discussed the UK’s 28-day prostate cancer diagnostic pathway which is nationally driven, and the impact this has on the patients and nurses. Some hospitals in the UK are now performing transperineal (TP) template biopsies instead of transrectal (TRUS) biopsies (or doing both). This pathway has pushed boundaries once again in the UK, particularly for nursing, as some nurses who were performing the TRUS biopsies have now trained to do TP biopsies.
Mrs. Allchorne’s take-home message for anyone reading this: if you have been doing something for longer than 5 years, ‘stop’ and think! Have things changed, has practice changed globally? Is this pathway best practice, patient-focused and centred? If not, how can it be improved? She added: “From the post EAUN meeting it was evident that nurses are looking for solutions to problems and the importance
of the patient’s recovery back to better health was evident in all the talks.”
Globally we have come a long way; nurses are now sharing practice which was clearly demonstrated in the 10th anniversary of post-EAUN meeting. It really was an international meeting with a platform provided for nurses from all over the world to share their evidence-based practice and research with other urology nurses.
The EAUN are proud to see a satellite meeting being hosted for urology nurses!
- Susanne Vahr Lauridsen, PhD, EAUN chair, Copenhagen (DK), email@example.com
- Paula Allchorne, MBA, RGN, Dip., EAUN chair-elect, London (UK), firstname.lastname@example.org