In March 2015, I attended the EAUN conference in Madrid. It was my first international urology conference and I was very impressed with the high standard of presentations and workshops delivered by the nurses in Europe. I was delighted to be in attendance when the EAUN intravesicle guidelines were released.
In 2016, I was given the role of updating the intravesicle guidelines of the Australian & New Zealand Urological Nurses Society (ANZUNS). Feeling very daunted and not knowing where to start I reached out to my dear friend Bente Thoft Jensen who was a great facilitator and assisted me in making these valuable connections. She shared her enthusiasm and passion suggesting that “evidence is evidence” and this evidence can be shared amongst urology nurses. I then proceeded to make contact with EAUN and sought permission to use their guidelines with some minor changes to encompass the Australian and New Zealand landscape. This was the beginning of our collaboration.
Currently the EAUN executive have agreed to provide access to their guidelines for our ANZUNS members. This is a perfect example of collaborative support from EAUN. In the future ANZUNS would also like to contribute to the development of guidelines at an international level.
With the use of the internet, teleconferencing and accessibility to air travel, the world is more open for opportunities to collaborate and share our information. Sometimes the term “the right place at the right time” is very apt. It is particularly relevant given one of ANZUNS strategic goals is to improve our profile internationally.
Fast-forward to 2018: Andrea Nixon (ANZUNS Immediate Past President) was invited to join a very exciting collaboration with EAUN and BAUN to develop an educational framework for urology nurses (EFUN) worldwide. This project was consolidated at ANZUNS Annual Scientific Meeting this year where we had the opportunity to deliver the World Café to our members. This data is currently being analysed to provide the perspective of Australian and New Zealand urology nurses.
ANZUNS has recently endorsed a position statement on distress and psychosocial care for men with prostate cancer. This document will form part of the assessment process for nurses managing the distress experienced by men living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer. It has been produced by the lead author, Professor Suzanne Chambers, and has had international input from a number of key stakeholders. EAUN were invited to endorse this statement and we are delighted that they have agreed to do so.
As urology nurses we are living and working in exciting times. The opportunities we have to collaborate are endless and we at ANZUNS look forward to continuing a strong collegial association with EAUN and continuing to promote the professional development of urological nurses world-wide.
Kath Schubach, President ANZUNS, Scientific Advisory Committee ANZUP, Melbourne (AU), email@example.com