Suzanne Beattie
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The Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference

Suzanne Beattie
Posted by
30 Mar 2014

A look at the first Bloodwise Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference in London, 2017.

On 10th March 2017 Bloodwise held the first ever Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference at the National Gallery in London for haemato-oncology nurses from across the UK. The conference ran all day and included seven sessions with speakers, lots of shared communication during the breaks, a lovely lunch provided in a beautiful venue and the opportunity to network and share learning over wine and nibbles at the end of the day!

“It was excellent. As an experienced practitioner I have got use to attending study days with perhaps only one or two sessions of interest to me. It was so good to find a study day with every session relevant. Clinical nurse specialists need more of these sorts of days. It was also brilliant that it was free”

The day was designed to provide an opportunity for nurses to connect with each other, and to share best practice, as well as to give nurses interested in improving practise the chance to focus on two key areas: communication and self-care. Throughout the day there were presentations on various topics, such as living well with and beyond cancer, getting the most out of conversations with patients and asking difficult or uncomfortable questions, addressing sexual concerns and the implications for practice, as well as sessions on complementary therapies and implementing mindfulness. The sessions were often interactive and generated a lot of conversation and interest amongst the delegates who attended.

In addition to this, one of our patient Ambassadors, Paul Carless, came to speak at the conference and gave his own personal account of what it’s like to live well with and beyond a blood cancer diagnosis. The thought behind this session was to give haemato-oncology nurses the chance to hear a full account of a patient journey first hand and to hear from a patient what his experience of care had been like. Some of the delegates took the time to comment on individual sessions in their evaluations:

“I felt the patient presentation was excellent and informative, very disturbing this experience but honest and helps with reflection whilst dealing with the vast number of calls received daily”

“As a Clinical nurse specialist it is so import to get conversations and delivering health information right…it is very easy to get into bad habits. [The Motivational Interviewing] session was really encouraging, with very useful tips and the role play (something I dread) really worked well. I definitely feel his session will have positive impact on my practice”

Overall, the aim of the day was to look at how to get the most out of conversations with patients, and to look at ways to overcome barriers so that communication can be as effective as possible. A very important focus was also to look at ways for nurses to look after themselves in a highly stressful environment, and ways of motivating others to do the same. Ultimately, the conference was designed to give nurses the opportunity to get to know other people in similar roles across the UK and to share best practise amongst each other, facilitated by the speakers.

Following on from the conference, Bloodwise will now aim to organise more frequent similar events across the country as it was a fantastic opportunity for nurses to meet and to look at topics not readily discussed at other conferences, and which are more focused on care for nurses as well as patients. We will also be looking to hold the conferences in different locations around the country to make sure that they are accessible to all so that all haemato-oncology nurses have the opportunity to meet and share. So look out for a Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference happening soon near you!