Sharing best practices in major surgical care

Nursing collaboration started in 1993 with first the International Nursing Conference, a dialogue between the University of Jordan and the Institute of Health and Caring Science in Sweden. 

The results of this abovementioned meeting led to cultural exchanges, job satisfaction, establishment of nursing councils, empowerment of the nurses, strengthening nursing care, increasing knowledge and skills needed to care for patients and the development of curriculum that included nursing issues.

During Thematic Session 9 in Munich, in the presentation “Sharing practice across the pond”, N. Love-Retinger (US) discussed the advantages and challenges in international collaboration with regards cancer treatment trials. The most important advantages are the continuous exchange of competencies for patients with common cancers and rare tumours, the broader applicability of research results and the more rapid dissemination of advances in cancer treatment. Despite the benefits there are also challenges that pose difficult barriers, such as the different levels of infrastructure support for cancer clinical trials among countries, different rules, variability in funding and scientific review processes and the differences in drug distribution issues.

Examples of international nursing collaboration are projects-in-progress in Denmark and in the US. The first project, a prospective randomized controlled trial, examines the efficacy of a multi-professional rehabilitation programme in radical cystectomy pathways (Aarhus University – Denmark). The focus of the second project is the evaluation of the adherence, impact on length of stay and complications in pre-operative nutritional intervention in radical cystectomy (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA).

This second project provided some educational interventions during the preoperative period (nutritional education, physical education, health related quality of life, baseline measurements, demographics) and collected some data during hospital stay and at discharge (co-morbidities, Body Mass Index, six-minute walk, caloric and protein intake, supplements, dietary diary, exercise
programme, evaluation of preoperative programme, health-related quality of life).

The session and its focus on the two projects were very interesting because it showed the importance of using evidence in practice and how they impact on and improve clinical practice. My experience in Munich was an incentive for me to look at my own practice and helped me reflect on and identify some aspects in my clinical practice which need improvement or closer examination. Participating at the EAUN Meeting in Munich also promotes a continuous exchange of experience among one’s peers.

The session also yielded insights regarding the pathways in major urological surgery, the promotion of multi-professional  intervention following the pre-operative phase, evaluating adherence practices and the monitoring of outcomes complications, length of stay, patient satisfaction).



Author: Mr. Fabio Scordia, Rn, IRCCS Hospital San Raffaele, Milan (IT),