Visiting the ‘Pearl of Stockholm’

We had the opportunity to visit the Södersjukhuset, a leading hospital in Stockholm, which is also known as the “Pearl of Stockholm.”

We always make use of the opportunity to visit a hospital during an EAUN congress. It is very interesting to see how other urology nurses and urology departments function, and compare the differences and similarities. Our visit was auspicious since the hospital had just celebrated its 75th anniversary. We were heartily welcomed by urology nurses from the Outpatients Department, theatre and urology wards. They wore the same traditional uniforms worn 75 years ago when the hospital first opened its doors.

The nursing head of the department briefed us about the hospital’s history and the challenges it faced over the years, and how the hospital administration and staff tried to keep up with modern technology and changes in public healthcare. Stockholm occupies four Islands and the hospital was built outside the city. Today, with the city expanding beyond its former limits, the hospital is now practically situated in the middle of the city and there is no more adjacent land available on which to build. This is quite a feat considering that the hospital has the largest emergency department in northern Europe and has more than 4,000 employees.

After introductions and a presentation in the urology department we toured the operating theatre, outpatients department and urology ward. At the urology operating theatre, we all dressed up in gowns and caps. Our guide showed us an operating room where all the transurethral bladder and prostate resections, vasectomies, orchidectomies, lithotripsies and PCNLs are done. In another well-equipped and impressive theatre complex, all the nephrectomies, cystectomies and prostatectomies are performed. The operating staff employs a very large digital, colour-coded display panel where they keep track of what is happening in each operating theatre.

Urology Outpatients Department
The next stop was the urology outpatients department where all the cystoscopies, urodynamic investigations, flowmetries, transrectal biopsies and ultrasounds of the prostate are done. Aside from the nurses, nursing and doctor assistants which provide support to the urologists, there is a nurse-led clinic managed by a nurse practitioner who is responsible for the uro-oncology patients.

The nurses’ tasks include the cleaning, disinfection and maintenance of the cystoscopes and instruments. In the near future, everything will go to a central sterilisation department, which is currently being built. The nurses welcome this development since they invest a lot of time in the cleaning, disinfection and maintenance of equipment. Among the topics that we enthusiastically discussed were the use of disposable biopsy guns and which cystoscopes are commonly used in many urology departments.

The participants of the visit together with their hosts, Prof. Ulf Norming, Head (back left) and some nurses of the Urology department
The participants of the visit together with their hosts, Prof. Ulf Norming, Head (back left) and some nurses of the Urology department