The Israeli Nursing Oncology Society Celebrates its 30th Anniversary
Dr Ilana Kadmon reports on a memorable day of celebration, discussion and dance to mark three decades.
The Israeli Oncology Nursing society has celebrated 30 years! The conference to mark this anniversary, last year, was a very significant event for us, and different from any of our other annual conferences (which are usually based on presentations of selected papers).
We started with the usual opening by our Chair, Livia Kislev, and by the Head of the Israeli Cancer Association, Miri Ziv, which has supported our organisation since its beginning. We also showed a wonderful video clip from the Chair of the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) and the President of EONS – Danny Kelly. Then two other greeting messages were read from our partner organisations – the Society of Nursing in Cancer Care and the Asian Oncology Nursing Society. It was good to celebrate with friends old and new.
After the discussion, there was a lecture given in the TED format on the issue of mass communication and the TED method. (TED is a nonpartisan, nonprofit initiative devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks.) This lecture was then followed by expert nurses from our organisation who gave a TED talk about their own expertise. The first lecture focused on the treatment of colleagues with cancer, the second on the role of positive emotions in children with cancer, the third on immunotherapy and the last lecture on the influence of oncology nursing on other aspects of our lives.
This was followed by a panel discussion on: “What the future holds?" The panel focused on health trends in the world and in Israel, new trends in oncology, and finally, trends in palliative care. The panel included four lectures followed by a multidisciplinary discussion.
During the congress, another key panel debate was: "Nostalgia and humor in Oncology Nursing". This was a chance to hear the views of “senior” oncology nurses, all of them retired, who discussed their experience with cancer nursing in the past. Some of these nurses were the co-founders of our Israeli organisation. They focused on short stories about the many challenges the nurses and the society faced at the beginning, and still do to some extent. These include being recognised by other international cancer nursing societies, and going to international conferences where English is the only spoken language and, in particular, presenting at such conferences.
Other issues that had developed during these 30 years in cancer nursing included the issue of understanding sexuality, which affects everyone diagnosed with cancer, and also the issue of life after being treated with cancer – a major topic in cancer nursing. Another topic that was discussed was, writing and publishing articles in English - a major obstacle that only a few nurses could handle without support. (Our Israeli Nursing journal now has all the abstracts written in English, as well as the table of content, for an international readership. It is hoped this will soon be available online.)
To sum up, the conference marked the 30 years of the establishment of our society well. We thank all the other societies with whom we are closely linked, such as EONS, and of course all the presenters and the oncology nurses who participated in this meaningful event!
Ilana Kadmon is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Breast Cancer Care at Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel. She is also a former EONS Board Member.