ESO-EONS Masterclass in Oncology Nursing marks 10 years
EONS President-Elect and faculty member Lena Sharp reports
What defines a cancer nurse?
We asked the 30 cancer nurses who attended the recent ESO-EONS Masterclass in Oncology Nursing to define themselves as cancer nurses in one word. To our surprise, nearly all of them selected different words. We covered topics such as clinical leadership, being a role model, and I guess that if we did this exercise at the end of the Masterclass, the results may have been slightly different. This exercise was done on the first of the six-day Masterclass, held outside Berlin at the end of March 2017. The 30 nurses came from 21 different countries, which is a record both in the number of nurses and the mix of countries. For the first time, we had participants from Norway, Romania and Georgia.
Defining ourselves as cancer nurses
Acute oncology nursing
Talking about role models, one of last year’s Masterclass participants, Celia Diez De Los Rios De La Serna, was this time invited to speak about acute oncology nursing from the perspective of her role as Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Southampton, UK. This was one of the week’s highest rated sessions. Celia explained how her team works and what an important role the Advanced Nurse Practitioner has in treating acute oncological conditions such as neutropenic sepsis and spinal cord compression, but she also highlighted symptoms like diarrhea as an acute symptom in oncology, especially for patients undergoing immunotherapy. Celia pointed out that early assessment and intervention will reduce the need for and duration of hospitalisation. Patients presented with suspected neutropenic sepsis should have IV antibiotics delivered within one hour.
Ethical issues were considered in smaller mixed groups (nurses and physicians) – this was a new topic on the Masterclass programme. The response was mixed, some groups reported that they had great ethical conversations, while others tended to focus on whether the described treatment choice in the cases were correct or not. As a faculty member, I am extremely happy to see that the integration between the two parallel Masterclasses (in oncology nursing and in clinical oncology) is improving each year. The days of physicians and nurses grouped independently, both during the sessions and the breaks and meals seems to be a thing of the past.