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A look at our Bloodwise haemato-oncology nursing shared learning conferences

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27 Nov 2017

On 6th October and 3rd November 2017, Bloodwise held two free and innovative conferences as part of the Bloodwise Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Days Series in Nottingham and Bristol for haemato-oncology nurses from across the UK. These study days were hosted to bring nurses together to learn and share best practice and essentially improve blood cancer patient care.

On 6th October and 3rd November 2017, Bloodwise held a Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference at the Park Plaza Hotel in Nottingham and DoubleTree by Hilton in Bristol for haemato-oncology nurses from across the UK. These study days were hosted to bring nurses together to learn and share best practice and essentially improve blood cancer patient care. The conference ran all day and included seven sessions with expert speakers, plenty of opportunity to network with colleagues and share experiences from different clinical settings. Near 40 people attended over both days. A lovely lunch was provided in great locations with ease of access and even a chance to participate in a mini Schwartz Round session!

“The conference as a whole was really informative. I am looking forward to attending some more study days.”

This was a well-run, interesting and relevant study day. I would not hesitate to recommend the day to colleagues.

“I enjoyed the variety of speakers at the event and the focus on staff. It was nice to meet other colleagues and discuss their experiences.”

The days were designed to provide an opportunity for nurses to learn, reflect, network and to share best practice, as well as to give nurses interested in improving their clinical practice the chance to focus on three key areas: communication, innovation and self-care.

Throughout both days there were presentations on various topics, such as developing communication skills through motivational interviewing and the difficulty with defining the cancer pathway. The sessions on innovation were comprised of sharing insight into current nursing innovation projects being delivered in hospitals across the UK such as; the IAM Portal for teenage and young adults to identify the right type of support this specific cohort group needs from their perspectives and our Bloodwise introduction to haemato-oncology nursing e-learning course. The final sessions focused on the wellbeing of nurses as well as discussing ways of reflecting on practice and exploring the impact of nurses’ work independently and collectively to improve development. The sessions were often interactive and generated a lot of dialogue and interest amongst the delegates who attended whether it was refreshing existing knowledge or gaining insight into new topics.

In addition to this, we had two Patient Ambassadors who gave their 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 the effect of nursing care on a blood cancer experience.

“I felt refocused - that we do what we do as nurses and it all truly counts to the patients’ experience.”

The majority of the delegates took the time to comment on individual sessions in their evaluations and we received really positive feedback from both days. Here is some of the feedback provided:

“This session (Motivational interviewing) was very relevant, especially to nurses who have practised the same way for many years. For me, it was a real ‘light bulb’ moment.”

The sessions (Creating new space to explore the impact of our work and Utilising mindfulness skills to support yourself, your colleagues and your patients) can really help with relaxation and stress levels at work and increase my creativity and decision making.”

Through the feedback received, it shows that we have fulfilled our objectives of providing a platform for nurses to learn and gain skills in a variety of topics such as looking at practical techniques to get the most out of conversations with patients and to overcome barriers so that communication can be as effective as possible. The focus of the days was not just for patients but also to look at ways for nurses to take care of themselves and their colleagues in a highly demanding environment. Ultimately, the conference was designed to give nurses the opportunity to get to know other healthcare professionals in similar roles across the UK and to share best practise amongst each other in order to improve standards of care for blood cancer patients.

Both conferences provided a great platform for Bloodwise to raise awareness of the Nurses Network and provide information on how we support and work together with nurses working in haemato-oncology to improve the standards of care for blood cancer patients. We had delegates who were already a part of our Network or engaging with our resources but the delegates who weren’t signed up to our Network did join and were really enthusiastic to explore our e-learning course and promote all of the services we provide for haemato-oncology nurses in their teams!

“I found this really interesting and would like to implement this into our education programme.”

Following on from the conferences, Bloodwise will continue organising more similar events as it proved to be a fantastic opportunity for nurses to meet and look at topics that can impact practice without being just disease specific, and which were focused on care for nurses as well as patients. So please look out for the next Haemato-Oncology Nurses Shared Learning Conference happening near you in 2018!

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