Australian and NZ Urological Nurses Society Annual Meeting

Australian and NZ Urological Nurses Society Annual Meeting

In April I had the privilege of attending a full and varied urological conference programme in Adelaide, Australia. The 68th Annual Scientific Meeting was collaboratively organised by the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) and the Australian and New Zealand Urological Nurses Society (ANZUNS) and held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from April 11-14, 2015.

USANZ is the professional body for urological surgeons in Australia and New Zealand, administering the Surgical Education and Training Program in urology through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. ANZUNS is a special interest nursing society which aims to promote excellence in urology nursing through research, education, mentoring and the identification of standards of nursing care. The shared annual conference provides a diverse scientific programme and offers updates on urological topics.

Adelaide, capital of South Australia, is the continent’s most productive wine state with wine-producing regions such as the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. The winemaking tradition stretches back to 1840 with the arrival of British and German settlers and has the longest lineage of winemaking. I managed to sight-see, allowing me to sample the Barossa’s fine wine products away from the conference schedule. It would have been a shame to merely be a passive spectator!

The ANZUNS programme ran over two days while my full registration entitled me to attend concurrent medical sessions and additional content through the medical programme. The content was so robust that it led me to dilemma at times when I ended up in two sessions almost at the same time!

My conference began prior to the official opening of the meeting when I attended the Advanced Urological Nursing Professional Development (ANZUNS) workshop. This focussed on providing a greater understanding of the selection of different investigations, and interpretation of findings. Yvette Sullivan, nurse practitioner from Queensland, provided a comprehensive description of urological investigations, both pathological and radiological. There was a selection of three workshops for nursing delegates, others being Uro-Oncology (which this year focussed on renal cancer) and General Urology. This workshop aimed to educate on identifying high risk / frail / co morbid patients prior to urological surgery.

The keynote speaker for the ANZUNS opening session was Elizabeth English, Senior Credentialed Stomal Therapy Nurse at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. In 2013 she led a team of stomal therapy nurses to Kenya to establish the first Stoma, Wound and Continence Program in Eastern Africa. She returns annually to teach in ongoing programs and to ensure sustainability of this project. Her presentation showed the disparities in care between private and public hospitals, the latter with poor hygiene, hand washing and two patients sharing a single bed – including sharing with a dying patient. Schistosomasis (bilharzia), cloaca and exstrophy are common conditions in Kenya. Elizabeth is obviously passionate about her work and keen to continue (despite funding issues) offering her knowledge and skills in developing nations.

There were 12 podium presentations for the ANZUNS awards. These are ten-minute presentations and all were of a very high standard. There was a wide range of innovative practice and audit outcomes presented, ensuring a good quality of transferable knowledge for delegates to take back to their workplace. I was delighted that the winner of both the most innovative paper and best new presenter awards was Jacinta Townsend, from Counties Manukau District Health Board in Auckland, New Zealand. Her paper titled ‘A little thing called a bladder diary’ was about creating a new diary and format for her organisation which has now been published for wider use in her District Health Board area.

The best poster prize was for the study titled “Development of a pathway of care for men undergoing Radical Retropubic Prostatectomy in a private healthcare setting,” won by Kerry Santoro of the Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide.

Over the past six years, I have increased both my interest and involvement in the assessment of urinary incontinence as clinical nurse specialist in urology. I was particularly interested in attending the various ‘Female Urology’ sessions in the USANZ part of the conference. Prof. Philip Van Kerrebroek (NL) presented on investigation and management of nocturia. Among the key points were:

  • Each void is preceded and followed by sleep;
  • Accurate bladder diary is important – 60% may improve with lifestyle advice;
  • No evidence of benefit from the use of diuretics;
  • 85% of elderly population will have nocturnal polyuria;
  • Desmopressin gives >50% reduction in output but requires close monitoring of sodium levels; and
  • Sleep apnoea is a major cause of nocturia.

He also discussed the role of neuromodulation- in functional pelvic problems – to ‘rebalance’ the problem area; sites for stimulation include anogenital, transcutaneous (TENS), percutaneous nerve and sacral nerve. He mentioned a 50% success rate at five years for sacral nerve stimulation.

Other sessions provided learning on Chronic Pelvic Pain (or Persistent Pelvic Pain), vulval condition/ diseases, stress urinary incontinence and slings. The Female Urology Forum closed with a panel discussion which consisted of case presentations, followed by panel and delegate discussion on stress incontinence, underactive bladder, overactive bladder, pelvic pain and urinary retention.

I have had a long association with our society and it was a real pleasure to meet so many familiar faces – ‘networking’ is such a key part of these meetings. The Industry Exhibition area displayed the 170 USANZ posters with topics including endourology/ stones, LUTS/BPH, oncology, uro-oncology and reconstructive urology. There were also three ANZUNS posters. The trade strongly supported the conference with 56 excellent exhibition stands displaying a wide range of urological medication and products.

Overall it was a great meeting in a city new to me. It was an excellent opportunity for my husband and me to tick Adelaide off our ‘bucket lists’, while updating my urological knowledge. The next meeting is planned for April 16 to 19 next year at the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

By Jean Bothwell, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Urology, Waitemata District Health Board, Waitemata (NZ)

European Urology Today Vol. 27 No. 3 June/July 2015