Winter 2016 edition of the EONS Magazine - catch up with the EONS-10 Congress

How was it for you?

EONS-10 was a very successful congress where nurses got together to share their experience and build their knowledge and skills. We asked for the views of some of those who attended from across Europe.

“Every congress gets better”

Brenda Nevidjon, Chief Executive Officer, Oncology Nursing Society, USA

Brenda Nevidjon, Chief Executive Officer, Oncology Nursing Society, USA, gives her thoughts about the success of the EONS-10 Conference

This is not my first EONS congress, and every one gets better. Every year the presentations get better and the science gets better because we are gaining  more experience with doing studies like those we hear presented here.

In terms of some of what I've heard thus far, the work that I've seen and some of the posters it’s about understanding things from capturing the patients’ voice – what is important to them, not assuming that we know what they need to know, that we need to tell them what to do, that we need to hear from them. And I noticed there are a number of things where we’d really been listening to the patients, what do they want, what do they need, and develop things that way.

I think even within a resource-rich country like the United States or some of the European countries, you have disparities as well. I mean we have disparities in our system and, then of course around the world, something that Meinir Krishnasamy captured so well in her key speech at the opening. And if we only think about the illness of what’s going on in our system, we’re missing everything upstream in terms of a culture of health, a culture of wellbeing, and that gets into do you have access to appropriate nutrition, do you have safe neighbourhoods where you can get out and walk and have exercise, do you have interventions to help people quit smoking if they happen to start smoking? But beyond that, are you educating people to the dangers of these? How do you go upstream from any illness whether its diabetes, whether its heart disease and, with us, whether it’s cancer?

“We wish we could clone ourselves to attend all the sessions”

Katarzyna Dolecka-Grubic, Universitätmedizin Mannheim, Germany

One of my colleagues asked if someone wanted to go to the EONS congress in Dublin, and I jumped on the opportunity, probably because I hadn't heard of it before. I'm really glad to be here, and I'm pretty delighted to see how many oncology nurses are here. And I love it! We wish we could clone ourselves to attend all the sessions! The programme was overwhelming, but pretty easy to navigate. 

Cordula Beisel, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany

It’s my first European congress as well, but I've been to the German cancer congress three or four times. I'm a paediatric nurse and I know the spirit of this congress is so impressive and you do much networking all the time. So I like the spirit.

KDG: We have not got a similar kind of society but the system is adjustable – if you want to come here you're allowed to come. You've got to fight for it, you've got to find someone who finances it. There are so many possibilities to be a part of the bigger structure, I mean the international or European structure, to communicate, to share our opinions. But I felt the support here in Ireland is much greater than in Germany, which is wonderful – I wish we had that support in Germany.

CB: I feel a very warm welcome from all the colleagues here and they do know our special situation in Germany, in Austria as well, with the different education. So they know about it and it doesn't matter at all.

KDG: It’s not common in Germany for nurses to do research although it has changed over the last 10 years or so. It’s hard to find a starting point. And you don't have a lot of supporters in your working area.

CB: If I say I wanted to do research in this or that topic I need to convince my colleagues that it’s absolutely necessary to do that. Maybe one day we’ll have a big idea and all my colleagues will say, that's fine and we’ll help you.

But this congress is definitely an inspiration for both of us.

“Bringing back good ideas to our wards”

Jincy Joseph, St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

This is the first time I’ve attended an EONS congress. I was awarded the travel grant last year and when I got the invitation to make a presentation here, I thought it was a really good opportunity to come along and see everything and then network with colleagues, share our experiences, the good ideas, to bring them back to our hospitals as well.

A chance to network and read about the latest research

A chance to network and read about the latest research

When you are actually meeting colleagues who have expertise in some areas and you hear about processes that are in place and running well, which we probably don’t have here in Ireland, you have an opportunity to take back the ideas from them – and also to share with and meet them and ask questions about how it’s been running and how we could utilise that idea or approach in our place as well.

I have done my Masters in nursing, my oncology course and my nurse tutor course. We are currently undertaking a research project in our oncology unit which is a collective effort. Personally, I have been inspired by all these presentations and I’m now motivated to get on and do my PHD at some point in my life.

“We are family”

Dimitrios Protogeros, Euroclinic, Athens, Greece

This is my first congress and I’m so happy to have made it. My first meeting with EONS members was the last Masterclass in Switzerland which made me really so keen to come and meet more colleagues. Indeed, the most important aspect is the networking. In this congress, we all come from such different countries with different views and experiences.  Also, the high level of science in the programmes gives us things to talk about and take back to Athens, which will help improve conditions in our hospitals. 

Having been made unemployed, I am in a difficult situation, but as a trained nurse I want to carry on with my career and I feel so much stronger.

Argyri Psychogyiou, St Savvas Hospital, Athens, Greece

I am a veteran of these congresses having attended six or seven. I have the feeling that this is the best, but all the previous ones have been of high quality. I also feel that most of us confront the same difficulties at work, especially those who work at clinical level. So being here is very empowering for all of us. And it makes us feel that we part of a family – the European family of nurses. And this is great, this makes us feel better and not alone, and I am very optimistic.

“Congress keeps us motivates and makes us grow professionally”

Nurhan Dogan, Erciyes University, Turkey

This is my first congress, rich in subjects, and I learned a great deal from what I’ve heard and seen. I expected to be able to hear different approaches from different countries and share experiences. I came with a group of young nurses from Turkey, and a gathering like this keeps us motivated and makes us grow professionally. I have my own experiences through my PhD research, which allowed me to interact with patients and their families and helped me understand and improve my professional work.

Audience members at EONS-10

Audience members at EONS-10

EONS congress is an excellent platform to share my study with others and also to meet and network with nurses from other countries. It is a great feeling. I got tremendous support from my university to come here, and I’ll take back the ideas flowing from all networking opportunities, which will get more nurses involved and join the association. This will make it grow and contribute to their advancement and that of their peers. Interacting culturally is also another good aspect giving us a glimpse of the various hospital environments, and how they are doing things differently, or just interacting with nurses doing the work.

If you were at EONS-10 and want to tell us how it was for you, email